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Compensation to  Gujarat Riot Victims

 

Public Meeting

Fatwa on Terrorism issued by Mufti Fuzail-ur-Rahman Hilal Usmani
(Pronounced in person at a Public Meeting, “Citizens Against Terror”, organized by Citizens for Justice and Peace, Muslims for Secular Democracy and others in Mumbai on July 27, 2006).

Text of Fatwa: Hindi | Urdu | Marathi | Gujarati

Message from Sajjadanashin Of
Hazrat Khwaja Saheb,
Ajmer Shari
f

Press Coverage of Meeting

Statement of Condemnation
(Mumbai Blast)

 

SC judgment
Re-trial of Best Bakery Case
outside Gujarat

(April 12, 2004)

Media Archive

Dateline

Backgrounders

  List of Prosecution,    
  defence witnesses
(pdf)
  Chart for the
  identification of
  the accused
(pdf)
  Chart for the
  identification of
  the weapon
 (pdf)
  List of accused  (pdf)
  Contradictory statements  
  by Zahira and family
(pdf)
  Zahira Speak  (pdf)
  Hostile witnesses:    (pdf)
  Criminal consequences
 
  Modi on NHRC, CJ  (pdf)
  Pending petition for  (pdf)
  re- investigation, transfer
  No appeals  (pdf)
 Partisan prosecutors (pdf)
 Partisan Investigation (pdf)
 Vadodara witnesses (pdf)
  Case History
 Supreme court  
  judgement
(Mar 8, '06)
  Mazgaon (Mumbai)
  session court
 
  judgement
 
(Full Judgement)  
 ( Feb 24, '06)
  Mazgaon (Mumbai)
  session court
 
  judgement
 (Feb 24, '06)
  SC Judgement: transfer
  and  retrial in Mumbai
 
 
(April 12, '04)
  SC order expunging
  remarks against
  Teesta, Mihir
  Gujarat HC order
  Dec. 26, '03/Jan 12, '04
  CJP and Zahira file
  SLP in SC
(Aug. 8, '03)
  Zahira/CJP press  
  conference in Mumbai

  (July 7, '03)
  Sessions Court
  Judgement, Vadodara

  (June 27, '03)


News Letter March 2006

Crime Against
Humanity

Gujarat Riots
 Concerned Citizens Tribunal Report

 

Crime Against
Humanity

( Abridged Version)

 

Genocide:
Gujarat 2002

           

Only Partly True

Two Rival US Based Reports and the Coverage they Get

123 words of temperate praise for “perhaps India’s best example of effective governance” for Gujarat in a US Congressional report released on September 1, 2011 had the leading Indian television channels/electronic media salivating as this was timed perfectly with the Supreme Court Verdict ordering Zakia Ahsan Jafri and Citizens for Justice and Peace’s complaint to be forwarded to a Trial Court for charge sheeting of chief minister Narendra Modi and 61 others…

 530 words, two days later,  in a US Freedom of Religion Report dated September 13 2011 that raised serious questions about the Gujarat Government’s Failure to protect religious freedom and ensure justice, was subjected to the tokenism of scrolls while Modi’s much televised fast got him 24X 7 free publicity and coverage.

Does this amount to embedded Journalism? 

Excerpts from the Two Reports that appeared Back to Back

 
US Congressional Report India Sept 11 2011

Notable State-Level Developments

Perhaps India’s best example of effective governance and impressive development is found in Gujarat (pop. 60 million), where controversial Chief Minister Narendra Modi has streamlined economic processes, removing red tape and curtailing corruption in ways that have made the state a key driver of national economic growth. Seeking to overcome the taint of his alleged complicity in deadly 2002 anti-Muslim riots, Modi has overseen heavy investment in modern roads and power infrastructure, and annual growth of more than 11% in recent years. The state has attracted major international investors such as General Motors and Mitsubishi and, with only 5% of the country’s population, Gujarat now accounts for more than one-fifth of India’s exports.193

Another positive example in 2011 has been Bihar (pop. 104 million), one of India’s poorest states, where Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has won national attention through his considerable success in emphasizing good governance over caste-based politics; he is credited with restoring law and order across much of the state, as well as overseeing infrastructure and educational improvements of direct benefit to common citizens projects.194 Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) party, in alliance with the main national opposition BJP, won an overwhelming reelection majority in November 2010 state elections.

The examples set in by Chief Ministers Modi and Kumar may have inspired the popular leader of India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh (pop. 200 million). Chief Minister Mayawati, who is widely believed to maintain national political ambitions and was at the forefront of a nascent  “Third Front” in 2009, has shifted her own focus much more toward infrastructure projects such as road-building and improving the state’s poor energy grid.195

An ongoing movement to carve a new state out of Andhra Pradesh (pop. 85 million) has caused sometimes major public disturbances. The UPA government had first committed to form the new state in late 2009, but has since deferred, causing protests. Because the new state would include the important high-technology hub of Hyderabad, the movement could have both domestic and international economic implications. In March 2011, 100,000 proponents of a new Telangana state were detained by police and another 50,000 rallied in defiance of an unofficial curfew. In July, a statewide protest strike disrupted business and transportation, and nine Congress party Lok Sabha members resigned over their party’s failure to take a stand on the issue.196

In the key eastern state of West Bengal (pop. 91 million), the group of communist parties that had ruled the state for 24 years met with an historic reversal in 2011 state elections, falling from 235 assembly seats to only 61. The big winner was the Trinamool Congress of Mamata Banerjee, a federal cabinet minister in the Congress-led national coalition (her party had in the past allied with the BJP). As West Bengal’s new Chief Minister, Banerjee is faced with repairing one of India’s poorest states.

In Tamil Nadu (pop. 72 million), the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a major Congress Party ally in the national coalition, was routed and lost power in June state assembly elections, winning only 30 seats after having won 160. Their rivals, sometime BJP allies All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), now enjoy an overwhelming majority in that state. Finally, Jammu and Kashmir (pop. 13 million) held local Panchayat (village-level) elections from April to June, described by the state’s chief minister as the first “real” such poll in 33  years (the 2006 round was deferred due to security circumstances and the 2001 round was not considered credible by most observers). More than five million voters representing more than three-quarters of the electorate cast votes in the largely peaceful election. New Delhi urges the state government to move quickly on a devolution plan that would transfer more power to the more than 4,000 newly elected village leaders.197


Notes/References
 

189 “India’s Prime Minister Shuffles Cabinet,” New York Times, January 19, 2011.

190 “Will Singh’s Understatement Become His Undoing?,” Time, January 26, 2011; Sadanand Dhume, “Corruption on

Singh’s Watch” (op-ed), Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2011; “India PM Manmohan Singh Denies ‘Lame Duck’

Charge,” BBC News, June 29, 2011.

191 “Congress’ Tough Talking With DMK Yields Results,” Hindu (Chennai), March 10, 2011.

192 “Rahul Gandhi: A Leader in Waiting for World’s Largest Democracy,” Reuters, June 29, 2011.

193 “A Glimpse at India, Minus the Red Tape,” Wall Street Journal, January 14, 2011.

194 “Turning Around an Indian State,” New York Times, November 23, 2010.

195 “Highway in India Offers New Solution to Land Fights,” New York Times, February 22, 2011.

196 “India: Arrests Before Telangana ‘Million-Man’ Rally,” BBC News, March 10, 2011; Strike Grips India State, Piles

Pressure on Government,” Agence France Presse, July 5, 2011.

197 Ajit Kumar Singh, “Democracy and Its Discontents,” Outlook (Delhi), July 4, 2011
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 US RELIGIOUS FREEDOM REPORT

SEPTEMBER 13 2011

In January six Muslim women from Godhra, Gujarat, wrote to the chief justice of the Gujarat High Court requesting him to take up the case of alleged physical and sexual assault by the Godhra police in December 2009, during a police operation in INDIA 11

the Muslim sections of the city in the wake of rioting and a stone-throwing incident. The Godhra superintendent of police said the allegations were fabricated to prevent the police from entering the area, "which is a known hub of illegal animal slaughter." The magistrate in Godhra initiated a query based on the complaint filed by the women. A three-person team from the National Commission of Women visited the city to investigate the allegations and found that some compensation had been provided, but their findings have not been publicized.

There was continued concern about the Gujarat government's failure to arrest those responsible for the communal violence in 2002 that killed over 1,200 persons, a majority of which were Muslim. Media reports indicated some Muslims still feared repercussions from Hindu neighbors as they waited for the court cases to be resolved.

The Gujarat government appointed the Nanavati-Mehta Commission in 2002 to investigate the violence. The term of the commission was extended for the 15th time, with the final report on the 2002 Gujarat communal violence now due on June 30, 2011, when the term of the commission ends. The Commission has received over 50,000 affidavits and supporting documents from various witnesses, and has stated that it is in the process of writing the final report. Several victims have accused the Special Investigation Team (SIT), appointed by the Supreme Court in March 2008, of pressuring them to dilute its earlier testimony before the Nanavati-Mehta Commission. In many of the cases tried in Gujarat's lower courts, the accused were acquitted due to lack of evidence or changes in testimony.

By the end of January, the Gujarat government had paid additional compensation to the next of kin to all victims, including those of 228 missing persons declared dead in February 2009. However, the amount disbursed to persons was disputed between the state and central governments. A case filed by an NGO for full housing compensation was pending in the Gujarat High Court at the end of the reporting period.

During the year Citizens for Justice and Peace, a group advocating for justice for victims of the 2002 violence, raised doubts about the work of the SIT in investigating 10 major cases. Several victims voiced concern that the SIT intimidated eye witnesses and produced additional witnesses to foil the prosecution. In February the Supreme Court appointed an additional and senior lawyer to review the SIT reports. Also in February, the public prosecutor in the Gulberg Society Massacre case resigned, citing a lack of cooperation from the SIT in bringing the perpetrators to justice. On March 15, the Supreme Court halted the Gulberg trial after allegations of SIT bias in favor of the alleged perpetrators and also ruled that other special trial courts would not pronounce judgments in the other cases until the Supreme Court gave its verdict about the SIT. On April 6, the INDIA 14

Supreme Court ordered the removal of two high level officers from the SIT and ordered the appointment of two new officers to the SIT on May 14.

On March 27, at the request of the Supreme Court, the SIT questioned Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi regarding the complaint filed by Zakia Jafri, a survivor of the Gulberg Society killings who had tried since 2006 to register a complaint against Modi and 60 other high-level state officials for their alleged role in the violence. The SIT submitted its final report on the Jafri complaint to the Supreme Court on May 14. At years end, media reported the SIT inquiry report stated that there was insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges against Modi and other high-ranking officials in the Gujarat state government. The SIT gave no public comment regarding the leak. A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court is due to convene on March 3, 2011, to determine the next steps into the investigation.

In October 2009, ten days before Prashanth Bhushan was to submit his report on the SIT report, the Government of Gujarat accused him of bias against Chief Minister Modi. Bhushan then recused himself from the investigation. The Supreme Court approached several noted lawyers, and in November lawyer Raju Ramchandran was appointed to review the SIT reports. As of December 6, neither Subramaniam nor Ramchandran had submitted a report on the SIT investigation to the Supreme Court.

In 2007 the newsweekly Tehelka published secretly recorded interviews in which many of the accused admitted their roles as well as police and BJP leadership complicity in the 2002 violence. In 2008 the NHRC requested an inquiry by the CBI into the Tehelka tapes; the CBI concluded in November 2009 that the tapes were authentic. The media reported the conclusion that the tapes were genuine and, on March 22, Tehelka and Citizens for Justice and Peace released the authenticated tapes in the public domain.

Hundreds of other court cases stemming from the 2002 violence (which were not in the purview of the SIT) remained unsettled.

The situation for many persons displaced by the 2002 violence remained difficult. In September, the Norwegian Refugee Council's Internal Displacement Monitoring Center reported that approximately 19,000 persons remained displaced eight years after the violence, living in 86 relief colonies that lacked adequate infrastructure and typically were not connected to city centers. INDIA 15

At the end of the reporting period, more than 80 Muslims accused in the Godhra train-burning case remained in jail despite various rulings by the central government's Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act (POTA) Review Committee and the Gujarat High Court that POTA charges against them should be dropped, and that they should be granted bail. The bail issue remained before the Supreme Court.

Trials in several other high profile cases that the Supreme Court had ordered in 2009, including the Gulberg case, were continuing at the end of the reporting period. Former Gujarat BJP minister Maya Kodnani, and VHP leader Jaydeep Patel, accused in the Naroda Patiya case, were questioned by the SIT in August. Kodnani and Patel remained on bail while the trial continued in special court at year's end.

In March 2006 the commission appointed by the Indian Railways, the Justice Banerjee Commission, concluded that the Godhra train incident, which sparked the 2002 Gujarat violence, was an accident. In September 2008 the Nanavati-Mehta Commission concluded that the Godhra incident was a conspiracy. At the end of the reporting period, the Supreme Court had not ruled on the dispute between the Indian Railways and the Gujarat government about the release of the Banerjee report to the public."

 


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