Monday, May 21, 2012

2002 & Narendra Modi - Part-5

The above gentleman believes that Narendra Modi is guilty for the riots we discussed in the last 4 parts. I guess it would be safe to assume that he (and his ilk) assume they are holding Narendra Modi guilty of murder or atleast an accomplice to murder (because of perceived inaction of the state government). 

And what is that they want him to do? Say sorry. Yep, that's right. Just say sorry. Just say sorry and we will not hound you. They keep asking him, "arre, atleast he should should some regret?". How strange is it that all you seek from a person you think is guilty of murder is a mere sorry? 

Recently Indian Express reported this:

Congress general secretary B.K. Hari Prasad told reporters: "The fact that around 3,000 people died in the communal riots needs no proof.

If that is how these people want the law to function, I have nothing else to add! So what is the correct number?

On May 11, 2005, the central government informed Rajya Sabha that 1044 people were killed in the Godhra and post-Godhra violence. 790 of them were Muslims and 254 were Hindus. 223 people were reported missing and 2548 people were injured. In 2008, six years after being reported missing, the 223 people were also declared dead. Wikipedia also says that about 20,000 preventive arrests were made too. 

On November 9th, 2011, a special court convicted 31 people for murdering 33 Muslims in a village.

Below is a snapshot from Nov. 10, 2011

I was genuinely surprised when I first read the news item. "First case in which a large number of people were convicted" - Till that point of time, I was generally assuming that people have been punished for umpteen number of riots that happened in our country since Independence. It was truly depressing to note that this was "first case in which a large number of people were convicted". Also please note that the above convictions are not the first in these particular riots.  Some instances of earlier convictions are here (some go back to 2003 too).

I tried digging up information on how many people were convicted during the 1990 Hyderabad riots (specifically looked for these because I am from Hyderabad. Vividly remember the curfew for days together in the entire city, and 300 people were killed). Couldn't find any. Many such riots like these never saw a good conviction rate, which is sad and reflects the poor state of our justice delivery system. 

And then, something else caught my eye in another report based on the same verdict. 

In this particular case, there was such a big delay because the Supreme Court ordered stopping of investigation in 2003 only to resume it in 2008. And in about 3 years, we have had 31 people convicted of murder. I had mentioned in one of the earlier posts in this series - This blog post by Vijay details well, the chronology of how Teesta and co. delayed the proceedings (including seeking the appointment of an Amicus Curiae). 

According to the same report -

Some survivors of the 2002 Sardarpura carnage in Mehsana district of Gujarat said they were “happy” with the verdict by a special court given on Wednesday (awarding life term for 31 accused), but would have appreciated it if more accused had been convicted.

I don't know why The Hindu chose to put happy in quotes though. The victims were content with the verdict.

The verdicts did not stop there. On April 9, 2012

The reports also detail how police were trying their best to control a 1500 strong mob (by firing, and even getting injured).

More convictions followed in the same case later in May.

Earlier too, there were convictions on the Godhra train burning case.

Which brings us to a curious question - if 31 were convicted here, then why is the other verdict hailed as landmark? Anyways, that's not the main point we wish to discuss here too.

My point is very simple- those who are guilty needs to be punished. And for that their guilt needs to be proved in a court of law. Narendra Modi himself has said (in a TV interview to Headlines today during 2009 elections) "punish me if I am guilty, why are you merely asking for an apology". Rajdeep Sardesai recently wondered why no big politician was arrested in 1984 and 2002 riots cases (it's another matter that only 13 people have been convicted in the entire Sikh massacre. Just 13).

Fair question - but where is the proof? NDTV tom toms about bringing the truth of the riots to the country - have they bothered to submit their video recordings to a court of law? Do the recordings contain evidence of "big politicians" leading the mobs and resorting to murder? Planning murder? If so, please place them in the court. Let natural justice be meted out. 

Let's not spare anybody if we have the evidence. But please do not sugar coat your fight against Narendra Modi with a "justice for victims" tag. And if there is proof of Narendra Modi's guilt too - please punish him (he himself has said this).

Justice for the victims would mean the perpetrators of the ghastly crimes be punished. The wheels of justice for the victims of riots in 2002 have finally begun to move - evident from the recent court rulings. If the likes of Teesta don't put further spokes, we might see more convictions soon. It has obviously not been a smooth ride to get this justice too, but unfortunately so is the plight of the umpteen number of riot victims over the years across the country. 

Let's not get carried away by the "secular lokbudhi" of demanding an apology. That amounts to doing injustice to the victims, not justice. 

So far, we have discussed about 2002. What has happened since 2002? We will discuss that in the next (and the last in this series) post. Meanwhile,  Part-1 is here, Part-2 is here and Part-3 is here. Part-4 is here


Anonymous said...

Thanks sir for sharing the entire case in simple words for the common man to understand. I am sure you would come up with many more of the inside stories.

Anonymous said...

Sudhir Sir, this guy Nikhil is not Secular Lok Buddhi but a DUR BUDDHI...!

Post a Comment