Action Alert: IndiaAction Alert: India - The Supreme Court of India has ordered a fresh investigation by the SIT the involvement of Narendra Modi and other state officials to Gujarat Massacre

Islamic Human Rights Commission
 
05 March 2010
 
Action Alert: India - The Supreme Court of India has ordered a fresh
investigation by the SIT the involvement of Narendra Modi and other state
officials to Gujarat Massacre
 
Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letter
 
1. Summary
 
The Supreme Court of India has launched an investigation on the eight major
trials related to the Gujarat Massacre. The previous trials examined the
roles of the suspects in the massacre, allegations of police involvement and
state complicity in the mass murder. However, campaigners and human rights
groups have accused the Special Investigation Team (SIT) for serious
failures and misconduct. They filed a petition and submitted it to the
Supreme Court of India almost two years ago. The petition expressed serious
concerns over the proceeding of the trials and SIT's handling of the
investigation. The petitioners alleged that SIT conducted a superficial
investigation and failed to maintain its impartiality when it examined the
involvement of the state actors in the massacre including Narendra Modi, the
Chief Minister of Gujarat.
 
The Supreme Court of India eventually took the allegations seriously and
ordered SIT to re-investigate the Gujarat Massacre cases and respond to the
allegations before the next hearing that is scheduled for March 15.
 
2. Background
 
On 27 February 2002, a Muslim mob allegedly attacked and burnt a group of
Hindu activists at the Godhra Train station. The attack left 58 people dead.
Allegations raged that Muslims were behind the attack. Consequently,
provocations led to  the abhorrent violence against Muslims of Gujarat.
Hindu mobs systematically sought out Muslim men, women and children and
massacred them brutally.
 
Sixteen of Gujarat's 24 districts were engulfed in the organized armed mob
attacks between 28 February and 1-2 March 2002. Sporadic attacks continued
to took place until the mid March. The attacks showed very similar patterns;
Hindu mobs armed with swords, trishuls and agricultural instruments attacked
Muslim mosques, businesses and houses, burnt Muslims, raped Muslim women and
children. Eyewitnesses and survivors gave harrowing accounts of gang rapes,
mass slaughters, brutal mutilations and burning of bodies. Consequently,
over 2000 Muslims were killed, 150,000 displaced and over 800 women and
girls raped.
 
Findings of Human Rights Watch (HRW), Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC)
and various Indian human rights organizations revealed that the attacks were
pre-meditated and planned by the senior political figures of Gujarat State
including the Chief Minister of Gujarat Narenda Modi, long before the Godhra
incident. Additionally, the police and senior members of Bharatiya Janata
Party (Indian People's Party, BJP) were intimately involved in the planning
and the execution of the massacre.
 
One of the pressing arguments about Narenda Modi's involvement in the
massacre is the transfer of Godhra carnage victims to Ahmadabad .Before the
massacre a controversial decision was taken by Narenda Modi. It was
documented by Nanavati-Shah Commission of Inquiry that Narenda Modi ordered
all the 58 bodies of the Godhra carnage victims to be transferred to
Ahmadabad.  Since, only 26 of the victims were from the city, this decision
was considered to be a major provocation. On 27 February 2002, immediately
after the bodies of the victims were brought to the Sola Civil Hospital in
Ahmadabad, the violence broke out.
 
Reports indicated that instead of protecting the Muslim victims the police
were passively and actively involved in the massacring of Gujarati Muslims.
With regard to involvement of police HRW goes as far as to claim that:
 
"In almost all of the incidents documented by Human Rights Watch the police
directly implicated in the attacks. At best they were passive observers, and
at worse they acted in concert with murderous mobs and participated directly
in the burning and looting of Muslim shops and homes killing and mutilation
of Muslims. In many cases, under the guise of offering assistance the police
led the victims into the hands of their killers. Many of the attacks on
Muslim homes and places of places of business also took place in close
proximity to police posts." (Narula: 2002, p.5).
 
Victim groups and NGO's have been campaigning against the failures of the
police and CIT investigation as well as the Court cases. They have asked for
transparency and accountability for the SIT investigations and argued that
crucial evidences that would reveal the involvement of the state actors to
the atrocities have been deliberately overlooked. Thus the key perpetrators,
especially Narendra Modi have not been brought to justice.
After assiduous efforts of victim groups and NGO's- the Supreme Court of
India took the allegations seriously and ordered SIT to re-investigate
Gujarat Massacre cases and respond to the allegations against SIT's conduct
of the investigation. The Court expects SIT to report in before the next
hearing that is scheduled for March 15.
 
For further background information, please refer our in-depth report below:
 
22 January 2003
Gujarat: Ongoing Genocide Report
http://www.ihrc.org.uk/activities/alerts-archive/8918-gujarat-ongoing-genoci
de-report-now-available-to-download
 
3. Action required
 
Write to the Supreme Court of India urging them to guarantee that the new
investigation will be transparent, and also to further investigate the
involvement of the state actors to the massacre thus fulfilling the long
denied justice to the victims of the sate sponsored genocide.
 
4. Sample letter

A sample letter is given below for your convenience. Please note that model
letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further
details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to
send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This
is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to
our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is
preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.
 
[Your name]
[Your address]
 
[Date]
 
The Registrar,
Supreme Court of India,
Tilak Marg,
New Delhi-110 001 (India)
PABX NOS.23388922-24,23388942-44,
FAX NOS.23381508,23381584,23384336/23384533/23384447
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Dear K. G. Balakrishnan, Chief Justice of India,
 
Re: SIT's investigation of the Gujarat Massacre
 
I am pleased to hear your recent decision on the allegations of SIT's
mishandling of the Gujarat Massacre investigation and the re-examination of
the previous court cases.
 
The existence of overwhelming evidence in relation to the involvement of
state actors to the Gujarat Massacre is undeniable. The numerous  witness
testimonies, reports of international NGO's, (i.e.Human Rights Watch (HRW),
Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC)) and media coverage have revealed
that the attacks were pre- meditated by senior political figures of Gujarat
State including Chief Minister of Gujarat. Further, they also pointed out
the police, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were intimately involved in the
planning and execution of the massacre.
 
One of the pressing arguments about Narenda Modi's involvement in the
massacre is the transfer of Godhra carnage victims to Ahmadabad .which
Nanavati-Shah Commission of Inquiry documented that before the massacre,
Narendra Modi ordered all the 58 bodies of the Godhra carnage victims to be
transferred to Ahmadabad. Since, only 26 of the victims were from the city,
this decision was considered to be a major provocation. On 27 February 2002,
immediately after the bodies of the victims were brought to the Sola Civil
Hospital in Ahmadabad, the violence broke out.
 
Reports also indicated that instead of protecting the Muslim victims the
police were complicit in the massacring of Gujarati Muslims. With regard to
involvement of police, HRW goes as far as to claim that:
 
"In almost all of the incidents documented by Human Rights Watch the police
directly implicated in the attacks. At best they were passive observers, and
at worse they acted in concert with murderous mobs and participated directly
in the burning and looting of Muslim shops and homes killing and mutilation
of Muslims. In many cases, under the guise of offering assistance the police
led the victims into the hands of their killers. Many of the attacks on
Muslim homes and places of places of business also took place in close
proximity to police posts." (Narula: 2002, p.5).
 
I believe that the Gujarat Massacre stands as one of the most flagrant
crimes committed against humanity and the Indian Justice System is under a
colossal responsibility to bring the perpetrators of this egregious
violation of human rights to justice. Therefore, I urge your office to
guarantee that the new investigation will honour the principles of
impartiality and transparency. Since the previous trails failed to provide a
fair investigation taking into account all the evidence provided by victim
and human rights groups,  this is the only way to convince the international
community regarding the implementation of the principle of "rule of law" in
the Indian Justice System.
 
I look forward to hearing back from regarding these urgent matters.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email
below
 
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For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email
below.
 
"And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and
of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who
say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are
oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a
helper."
Holy Qur'an: Chapter 4, Verse 75
 
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Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Wembley
HA9 7XH
United Kingdom
 
Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183
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