State and Police Participation and Complicity
State support of the bandh also sent a message to the police. A reporter for the Hindu observed that, "In such a situation, the police would always be hesitant to act lest it hurt the interests of the political bosses. And the saffronised police also found a common cause with the criminals to `punish' the minorities."53 The same reporter wrote that, "insiders in the Bharatiya Janata Party admit that the police were under instructions from the Narendra Modi administration not to act firmly."54
By the afternoon of February 27, retaliatory attacks had already begun, including the stabbing of a Muslim man in Vadodara railway station as crowds gathered awaiting the arrival of the Sabarmati Express.55 Starting on the morning of February 28, Hindu mobs unleashed a coordinated attack against Muslims in many of Gujarat's towns and cities.56 Despite the state's claims that police were simply overwhelmed by the sheer size of the Hindu mobs-often numbering in the thousands-evidence collected by the media, Indian human rights groups, and Human Rights Watch all point to state sponsorship of the attacks. Eyewitness accounts cited throughout this report, as well as the history of police and political recruitment demonstrate the state's partisan role. In a matter of days, over 850 people are known to have been killed-although unofficial estimates are as high as 2,000. Violence continued as of this writing and has quickly spread to poorly protected rural areas. Accounts of politicians directing the violence are also commonplace. Furthermore, in many cases, police posts and police stations were in close proximity to affected sites.57
After allowing thirty-six hours to pass without any serious intervention, the first of several contingents of army troops were deployed into Ahmedabad, Rajkot, and Vadodara on March 1.58 Many had to be flown in from reserves' stations in south Indian as the bulk of Indian forces are stationed along the India-Pakistan border.59 Though the army arrived in Gujarat soon after the Godhra carnage,60 the state government refused to deploy the soldiers until twenty-fours hours after they arrived and only once the worst violence had ended.61 The army's inability to rapidly intervene was also hindered by the state government's failure to provide requested transportation support and information regarding areas where violence was occurring.62 Speaking on why the army took so long to quell the violence, an Indian army source stated, "We are ordered to be deployed only when such incidents happen. And once we are there it is up to that state administration how they use us."63
In Ahmedabad, Gujarat's commercial capital and the site of Human Rights Watch's investigations, many attacks took place within view of police posts and police stations. Human Rights Watch viewed several police posts less than fifty feet from the site of burnt Muslim-owned restaurants, places of businesses, and hotels in Ahmedabad. Without exception, the Hindu-owned establishments neighboring the destroyed structures were unscathed. The same pattern was observed by India's National Human Rights Commission during its fact-finding mission in March (see below).
Attacks in Ahmedabad on February 28 also began at precisely the same time, around 10:30 in the morning. Muslims living in "mixed communities," that is alongside Hindus, were hit the hardest while those concentrated in Muslim enclaves following a history of state communal riots fared only marginally better.
According to an article in The Week, a weekly Indian news magazine, 1,679 houses, 1,965 shops, and twenty-one godowns (warehouses) were burnt, 204 shops looted, and seventy-six shrines were destroyed in Ahmedabad. The great majority of them belonged to Muslims.64
Dozens of witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch described almost identical operations. The attackers arrived by the thousands in trucks, clad in saffron scarves and khaki shorts, the signature uniform of Hindu nationalist, or Hindutva, groups. Shouting slogans of incitement to kill, they were armed with swords, trishuls, 65 sophisticated explosives, and gas cylinders. Guided by computer printouts listing the addresses of Muslim families and their properties, information obtained from the Ahmedabad municipal corporation among other sources, they embarked on a murderous rampage. In many cases, the police led the charge, aiming and firing at Muslims who got in the mobs' way (see below).
According to the preliminary report of SAHMAT, a Delhi-based nongovernmental organization, its fact-finding team found graffiti left behind on the charred walls of a burnt madrassa in Sundaramnagar, Ahmedabad boasted of police support:66
Yeh andar ki bat hai
Jaan se mar dengey
Andar ki bat hai... was also the war-cry used to terrorize Muslim residents in Vadi in the city of Vadodara as they burnt Muslim-owned shops that ironically sold kites, bindis, and bangles for Hindu festivals.68
Human Rights Watch interviews with eyewitnesses to the attacks revealed that that the attackers were carrying voter lists as well as listings of Muslim businesses, along with cell phones and water bottles "so as to be fully prepared for a long day's work."69 According to a report in Outlook magazine, attempts to pinpoint the exact location of Muslim businesses began months before the attacks:
Professor Keshavram Kashiram Shastri, ninety-six-year-old chairman of the Gujarat unit of the VHP denied the charge that the VHP prepared lists in advance of Muslim shops to loot. To the contrary, he said "the list of shops owned by Muslims in Ahmedabad was prepared on the morning of February 28 itself."71
Voter lists were also reportedly used to identify and target Muslim community members.72 A senior police officer told rediff.com, a leading Internet news site on India, on conditions of anonymity that, "[The attackers] hardly failed to lay hands on their targets, thanks to documents like the voters' list.... The mission was accomplished with clinical precision."73
In many cases the leaders of the attack, who communicated with one another on cell phones, receiving instructions in seemingly well-coordinated and planned operations, have been identified by name in police reports as members of the BJP and the VHP. Few, if any, of the leaders have been arrested (see below).
As the state offers one excuse after another-that the police were outnumbered, overwhelmed, did not receive orders to respond, or that their own feelings could not be "insulated from the general social milieu" -no excuse proves sufficient to explain the direct participation of police in the attacks.74
Press reports and eyewitness testimonies, including those collected by Human Rights Watch, abound with stories of police participation and complicity in the attacks. Their crimes range from inaction to direct participation in the looting and burning of Muslim shops, restaurants, hotels, homes, and the killing of Muslim residents. Worse still, officers who tried to keep the peace or act against murderous mobs have been transferred or have faced the wrath of their superiors.75
A key state minister is reported to have taken over a police control room in Ahmedabad on the first day of the carnage, issuing directions not to rescue Muslims in danger of being killed:
Many people testified that the police led the mobs directly to their homes and places of business. In many instances, the police also fired upon Muslim youth, crushing any organized self-defense against the mobs. (See below).
A human rights activist who has been visiting relief camps in Ahmedabad on an almost daily basis since the attacks and documenting in detail the nature and methodology of the violence provided valuable insight into the patterns that emerged:
Twenty-six major towns and talukas (sub-districts) in Gujarat were affected in the first week of violence. Attacks had also spread to rural areas. In Halad village in north Gujarat, for example, hotels and businesses belonging to Muslims were attacked when the dead body of a Hindu activist killed in the train attack in Godhra was brought to the village.78 The patterns of violence in the worst-hit cities, where the majority of people killed were Muslim, were remarkably similar, lending further support to the notion that the attacks were planned and not the result of spontaneous riots. An interim report on violence in Vadodara submitted to the NHRC by the nongovernmental People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), for example, documents in meticulous detail the selective burning and looting of Muslim homes and places of business, the destruction of mosques, the killing, beating, and maiming of Muslims, the extent of police participation in the attacks, and the role of the local media in inciting the violence. The report also documents the spreading of hate propaganda leading to economic boycotts.79 A separate report by PUCL outlines the impact on women (see below).
At this writing, attacks were being reported on an almost daily basis, over six weeks after the state government's claims that the situation had been brought under control. On March 24, for example, thirty-year-old Mumtazbano was stripped in public and stabbed to death by a mob in the Vejalpur area of Ahmedabad after being dragged off her husband's scooter.80 On April 6, at least five people were killed in Ahmedabad. Two were stabbed to death and three were killed by police gunfire as police reportedly fired to disperse clashing groups of Hindus and Muslims.81 On April 17, three people were stabbed to death and fifteen were injured in Hindu-Muslim clashes in Ahmedabad.82
Numerous eyewitnesses to the attacks in Ahmedabad told Human Rights Watch that police gunfire paved the way for the violent mobs. Marching in front of the mobs, the police burst tear gas shells and aimed and fired at Muslim youth seeking to defend their families and their homes. According to a report in The Week, a weekly Indian news magazine, in the month following the Godhra massacre, 120 people had been killed in police shootings throughout the state, many of them Muslim.84 At this writing, the numbers were climbing. Hindus were also killed in police shootings, some in response to shoot-on-sight orders issued by Chief Minister Modi on March 1 to stop those participating in rioting and arson, and others in the weeks that followed as police tried to contain outbreaks of violence.85
During the first two days of violence, Chief Minister Modi defended the actions of his police stating that they had "mowed down people" to quell the violence. According to the Indian Express, "one such incident he was referring to occurred on February 28 and March 1 near the Bapunagar police station, where 40 were killed in firing. Now, according to a batch of FIRs filed last week and post mortem reports, it has come to light that all 40 were Muslims, most of them shot in the head and the chest. And 36 of them were between 20 and 25 years old."86
A resident of the Chartoda Kabristan camp in the Gomtipur area told Human Rights Watch: "We were able to handle the crowd but when the police joined in then we couldn't stop them. Our spirit was broken. They were shouting, `Kill them, cut them, look for Miyabhai [Muslim man].' The police burned the houses with their own hands. They also looted. Now everyone is afraid of the police; they were only firing on Muslims. They were not firing for riot control."87
According to the Chartoda Kabristan camp organizer:
Twenty-five-year-old Abdul Aziz, a resident of Panna Lal ki Chali, near Chartoda Kabristan, witnessed the killing of his brother by police gunfire. He told Human Rights Watch:
Julamasul Abdul Bhai Kureishi, of Danzi ki Chali near Chartoda Kabristan, lost his son to police gunfire. He told Human Rights Watch:
Another resident of Danzi ki Chali told Human Rights Watch: "The police grabbed me and hit me with a sword and a lathi [baton]. They also shot my seven-year-old son. He spent eleven to twelve days in the hospital."
Twenty-two-year-old Mohammed Salim from Bara Sache ki Chali told Human Rights Watch that most of the deaths in his neighborhood were caused by police shooting. He described a pattern testified to by many interviewed by Human Rights Watch:
A fifteen-year-old boy named Sanu from the Riyaz Hussain ki Chali was also killed. According to residents of the Chartoda Kabristan camp, "The police caught him from inside the Masjid, took him to the Hindu area and shot him at close range."91
Mass Gravesites and the Collection of Bodies
Human Rights Watch visited a gravesite in the Shahibaug area of Ahmedabad. According to gravediggers there: "The state government has not given one paisa [one cent]. No one asks. One police car would accompany a truck full of bodies. Our young would go around and look for the bodies. We use our own trucks."93 When asked about the events of the last several weeks, eighty-five-year-old gravekeeper Abdul Kadir simply said: "I cannot even talk about it." Another gravekeeper added, "New incidents are happening so more bodies keep coming."94 Gravekeepers claimed to have already buried close to three hundred bodies at the gravesite. Human Rights Watch was shown a metal leg brace that survived the burning of its owner to illustrate the story of a handicapped person's murder. A resident of the Chartoda Kabristan camp in Gomtipur told Human Rights Watch: "We ourselves collected and buried the bodies. The military came with us for protection."95
Tragically consistent with the longstanding pattern of attacks on minorities and Dalits (or so-called untouchables) in India, and with previous episodes of large-scale communal violence in India, scores of Muslim girls and women were brutally raped in Gujarat before being killed.97
A resident of Jawan Nagar, Naroda, Ahmedabad told the Citizens' Initiative that only four out of his eleven family members had survived. His daughter was raped and burned, succumbing to her injuries in the hospital:
Even pregnant women were not spared. In some cases, their bellies were cut open and the fetus was pulled out before the women were killed.99 A gravedigger at a mass grave site next to the Dariyakhan Ghummat camp in the Shahibaug area told Human Rights Watch: "There were at least three pregnant women and one of the fetuses was partially hanging out. We had to stick it back in before burial. If the fetus was completely removed then we left it out but still buried it with the mother."100
A woman who washed the bodies of female victims before burial at the same site told Human Rights Watch about the conditions of the bodies upon arrival:
Some of the cuts down the middle of the bodies may have been a consequence of official autopsies, though not all.
A report sponsored by the Citizens' Initiative dated April 16, 2002 and titled "The Survivors Speak" presents over thirty pages of testimony from female victims and eyewitnesses to the violence in Gujarat. The report is based on investigations conducted at the end of March by a fact-finding team of prominent women's rights activists. Among the report's most significant findings is the fact that crimes against women, in both urban and rural areas, have been grossly underreported and under-recorded by the police. The report states:
Among the testimonies documented in the report is that of Saira from Panchmahals district, Gujarat. Her name has been changed by Human Rights Watch:
The report also cites the extent of Bajrang Dal and VHP participation in the attacks, adding that members of these organizations were distributing arms in rural areas as early as six months before the violence began.104
An interim report by the People's Union for Civil Liberties on "women's experiences and perspectives" on the communal violence in Vadodara, based on data collected between February 27 and March 26, 2002, states:
On April 24 India's National Commission for Women (NCW) added its voice to those of the National Commission for Minorities and the National Human Rights Commission (see below) and accused the Gujarat government of "failing to perform its constitutional duty." NCW expressed concern over the state of fear and insecurity in the state, particularly among women, adding that much more needed to be done for the relief and rehabilitation of women, particularly those that had lost family members or were victims of sexual violence.106
The Effect on Children and Young People
Nineteen-year-old Sheikh S. from Mehndi Kuva, Shahpur, slum quarters in Ahmedabad, explained the long-term consequences of the attacks on children's education and on the livelihood of affected families:
Sheikh added that in the looting and burning of his home, his education certificates and other valuables were also destroyed: "All my education certificates and medical reports that were in a suitcase were also destroyed. I have a blood disease and need those reports."111
In addition to destruction of educational records, students have been attacked while going to school. An eighteen-year-old student in Bharuch was pulled off a rickshaw and hit on the head and killed while returning home after taking a board exam.112 In Modasa, the college-aged son of a police inspector was stabbed and killed.113 The violence has also led to school exams being postponed in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bharuch, and Modasa.114 In addition, at Gujarat University, exams have not yet been completed because mobs have been successful in disrupting exams. The school plans on completing exams by having police vans stationed in sensitive areas.115 There are also disturbing reports that the same groups which collected information on Muslim shops and residences in preparation for attacks, are now openly collecting information on the number of Muslim children in each school in order to intimidate Muslim children from attending.116 Principals of English-medium schools in Gujarat have also been threatened with violence by VHP members if they did not expel Muslim students from their institutions. According to one report, parents are being told by school officials to remove their children from these schools on the grounds that their safety could not be guaranteed. The tactics are helping to ensure that Muslim children are confined to madrasas, or Muslim-run religious schools, where education is imparted in Hindi or Urdu-limiting severely the students' career prospects.117
Destruction of Mosques and Dargahs
More problems and possibly violence may ensue in deciding how and whether to reconstruct the shattered mosques on these the new religious sites.
A fifty-year-old woman named Fatu Bhen from Sanjay Nagar Nanachiloda, an area just outside of Ahmedabad, told Human Rights Watch, "When they attacked we ran into the fields. For one day and one night we hid in the fields. Then we walked to Gandhinagar. My brother brought me here. We didn't even have a chance to lock our doors. My brother went back to see and found that everything had been burned and looted."122
Jinat A., a forty-year-old woman from Naroda Patia, told Human Rights Watch:
Thirty-year-old Noorjehan belonged to a relatively affluent Muslim family and lived in the government quarter of Mehndi Kuva. Out of a total of thirty-six homes, only three belonged to Muslims. The rest belonged to Hindus. Noorjehan suffered severe head injuries but survived the attack after being left for dead. Visibly in pain and with fresh bandages around her head, she told Human Rights Watch:
After Noorjehan and her family left for the camp they learned that their home had been looted:
Noorjehan believed her neighbors were involved in the attacks and had long been participating in meetings to plot attacks against Muslims:
Noorjehan and her family arrived at the camp on the evening of March 1: "We left even without our shoes on. No one has come to ask us anything about who attacked us or how much was taken. On March 2 or 3 we filed a complaint. My mother went back on March 16 to see what had become of our home."127 Her mother added: "I went to see if any of my animals were left. There was nothing left. The people were still roaming the area with swords."128
Unlike residents of Naroda Patia, Noorjehan very much wanted to return to her home but lamented that it was too unsafe. "If we got security then at least we could go back home," she said.129
Rehman Pata, Noorjehan's twenty-year-old brother described the reaction of the police when he approached them for help during the attack on his home:
Nineteen-year-old Sheikh S., also from Mehndi Kuva, lived in a slum quarter adjacent to the government quarter. He told Human Rights Watch that his neighbors were involved in the attacks and that police gave them their blessing to loot Muslim shops and homes:
Sheikh listed the names of those involved in the attacks, many of whom he recognized. He then added:
Sheikh also sustained head injuries during the attacks and still wore a dressing on the wounds at the time of the interview three weeks later: "At one point they surrounded me and started shouting, `Miya, Miya' [Muslim, Muslim]. They started throwing stones and I ran upstairs.133
The Role of the Media
On April 5, 2002, the People's Union for Civil Liberties and Shanti Abhiyan, both nongovernmental organizations, issued a comprehensive analysis of the role of the media during the violence in Gujarat. Among the papers analyzed is the Vadodara edition of Sandesh, a Gujarati newspaper. The report concludes that the major effort of Sandesh for the period under review "has been to feed on the prevalent anti-Muslim prejudices of its Hindu readership and provoke it further by sensationalizing, twisting, mangling and distorting news or what passes for it."134
Sandesh published especially inflammatory headlines, pictures, and stories the day after the Godhra attack. For example, a front page report on February 28, 2002, read: "AVENGE BLOOD WITH BLOOD."135 Another headline during the first week of March, when Gujarati Muslims were returning from their pilgrimage (Haj) to Mecca, stated: "HINDUS BEWARE: HAJ PILIGRIMS RETURN WITH A DEADLY CONSPIRACY."136 In fact, most Muslims returning from Haj were so terrified of being attacked that they sought and received escorts home by army officials.137
Attacks on the Media
According to the Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), some twenty journalists and media workers were attacked by the police on April 7, 2002, in Gandhi Ashram, Ahmedabad while two peace demonstrations were disrupted by members of the Gujarat Yuva Morcha, a youth section of the BJP. A cameraman for the private television station NDTV was told by a deputy police superintendent to stop filming. When he asked why, he was struck on the head and later was admitted to the hospital's intensive care unit. Witnesses say police then attacked the journalists, seriously injuring several others.140 RSF adds that a journalist for the Asian Age was beaten up by the Gujarat police while interviewing Muslim women who had complained of police atrocities.141
The Government of Gujarat's Response
The Gujarat government's official report of the events, presented to the National Human Rights Commission, includes the following accounts, as reported in the Hindu:
Tellingly, the report does not once mention the role of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad or the Bajrang Dal, whose members have been named as leaders of the violence in police reports (FIRs), and grossly undercounts the number of mosques and dargahs destroyed and makeshift Hindu temples erected in their place.145
The appointment of retired high court judge K. G. Shah to head a Gujarat state commission of inquiry into possible police inaction or direct complicity and administrative failure during Godhra and its aftermath has also raised concern. Shah's close association with the BJP government, including his participation on a panel of lawyers representing the state government before the Supreme Court, has left many questioning his ability to conduct an impartial investigation. Dr. Shakeel Ahmed of the Cell for Legal Help and Guidance for the Islamic Relief Committee told the Times of India: "It's better if someone from outside is appointed. The state government is involved and is a party to what happened."146 Even if the Shah commission's investigations are impartial, his perceived partiality will likely influence victims' willingness to come forward. The history of government-appointed commissions of inquiry in the state, and the country, also raise doubts as to whether the commission's recommendations will be followed.147 The recommendations of two commissions of inquiry established following the 1969 and 1985 riots have yet to be implemented.148
50 "Time Line," Hindustan Times, March 3, 2002.
51 Sujan Datta, "When guardians of Gujarat gave a 24-hour license for punitive action," Telegraph, March 9, 2002, http://www.telegraphindia.com/archive/1020310/front_pa.htm#head1 (accessed April 9, 2002).
53 Manas Dasgupta, "Saffronised police show their colour," Hindu, March 3, 2002.
55 "Violence Spreads Like Wildfire in State," Times of India, February 28, 2002.
56 Muslims make up about 10 percent of Gujarat's fifty million-strong population. Praveena Sharma, "Woman stripped and stabbed, Indian rights watchdog slams Gujarat for riots," Agence France-Presse, March 24, 2002.
57 A Muslim hotel was burnt right across from the police commissioner's headquarters. Human Rights Watch visit to Ahmedabad, March 22, 2002.
58 Sujan Datta, "Where had all the soldiers gone?", Telegraph, March 2, 2002.
59 Ibid. The long delay in deploying the army in Gujarat is strikingly similar to the failure to immediately deploy the army after mobs began attacking New Delhi's Sikh population after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination. Asia-Pacific Human Rights Network, Gujarat riots point to need for police reform, (a joint initiative of the South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre and the Human Rights Documentation Center), March 13, 2002, http://www.hrdc.net/sahrdc/hrfeatures/HRF53.htm (accessed April 10, 2002).
60 Rajart Pandit, "Centre Delayed Deployment of Paramilitary Forces," Times of India, March 3, 2002.
61 Beth Duff-Brown, "India's Religious Violence Spreads to Rural Villages in Gujarat," Associated Press, March 2, 2002.
62 Rahul Bedi, "Soldiers `held back to allow Hindu revenge,'" Telegraph, April 4, 2002.
63 Rajart Pandit, "Centre Delayed Deployment of Paramilitary Forces," Times of India.
64 Anosh Malekar, "Silence of the Lambs," The Week, April 7, 2002.
65 A three-pronged spear often carried as weapons by militant sangh parivar activists. Trishuls also feature prominently in the depiction of some Hindu gods.
66 SAHMAT, or the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust, is a collective of artists, intellectuals, and others working to promote the idea of a secular, democratic, Indian state.
68 Barkha Dutt, "Opinion: Covert Riots And Media," Outlook, March 25, 2002.
69 Human Rights Watch interviews with eyewitnesses (names withheld), Ahmedabad, March 22-23, 2002.
70 Ranjit Bhushan, "Thy Hand, Great Anarch: The overriding theme of the riots: surprisingly systematic targeting, little state intervention," Outlook, March 18, 2002. District administrations in Gujarat, Delhi, and Orissa were also conducting surveys to assess the activities and whereabouts of minority community members and leaders. Human Rights Watch, World Report 2001: Events of 2000 (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2000), p. 198.
71 "Riots in Ahmedabad, India-`It Had to be Done,'" rediff.com, March 13, 2003, http://www.ncmonline.com/content/ncm/2002/mar/0313riots.html (accessed April 9, 2002).
72 "Misuse of voters list in Gujarat riots alleged," Press Trust of India, March 12, 2002.
74 Ahmedabad Commissioner of Police P.C. Pande as quoted in Reuters: Sanjay Miglani, "Hindu mobs rampage in India, army called out," Reuters, February 28, 2002. State Director General of Police K. Chakravarty said that his forces were overstretched and given the simultaneous and large-scale nature of the violence added that, "available forces may not have been able to do justice." Bhushan, "Thy Hand, Great Anarch."
75 Basant Rawat, "Minority hole in Gujarat police force," Telegraph, March 26, 2002, http://www.telegraphindia.com/archive/1020327/front_pa.htm#head7 (accessed April 9, 2002).
76 Praveen Swami, "Saffron Terror," Frontline, March 16 - 29, 2002. Bhatt is also facing murder charges in the killing of a police constable during anti-reservation riots in the state in April 1985. "Contempt, perjury proceedings sought against Bhatt," Times of India, November 8, 2001.
77 Human Rights Watch interview, Ahmedabad, March 23, 2002.
78 Uday Mahurkar, "Godhra: Horror on 9618 DN," India Today, March 11, 2002.
79 People's Union for Civil Liberties, "An Interim Report to the National Human Rights Commission," March 21, 2002, http://www.pucl.org (accessed April 13, 2002). In Rajkot, the police chief reportedly switched off his cell phone and vanished as mobs took to the street burning one Muslim shop after another on February 28. Sudhir Vyas, "Police chief vanishes as Rajkot burns," Times News Network, March 1, 2002; Muslim truck drivers were also killed by Hindu gangs manning the roadblocks on the national highway leading to Bombay. Luke Harding, "Police took part in slaughter," Observer, March 3, 2002.
80 "Woman stripped, Fresh violence in Gujarat," Asian Age, March 25, 2002; "Woman stripped and stabbed, Indian rights watchdog slams Gujarat for riots," Agence France-Presse, March 24, 2002.
81 "Five killed as fresh violence hits India's Gujarat," Channelnewsasia, April 6, 2002.
82 "Fresh Violence in Gujarat," BBC News, April 17, 2002, http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/english/world/south_asia/newsid_1934000/1934669.stm (accessed April 17, 2002).
83 Human Rights Watch interview with forty-five-year-old female resident of Chartoda Kabristan camp, March 23, 2002.
84 Malekar, "Silence of the Lambs," The Week.
85 See for example, "Seven Hindus killed in Udhampur attack," Press Trust of India, April 8, 2002; "3 Killed in India Mob Violence," Los Angeles Times, March 11, 2002. In Ahmedabad, 249 bodies had been recovered by the night of March 5. Thirty were of Hindus; thirteen were shot by the police, while several others died in attacks on Muslim-owned establishments. Praveen Swami, "Saffron Terror," Frontline, March 16 - 29, 2002.
86 Janyala Sreenivas, "Who shot them point blank?" Indian Express, April 7, 2002.
87 Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Ahmedabad, March 23, 2002.
88 Human Rights Watch interview, Chartoda Kabristan camp organizer, Ahmedabad, March 23, 2002.
89 Human Rights Watch interview, Abdul Aziz, Ahmedabad, March 23, 2002.
90 Human Rights Watch interview, Mohammed Salim, Ahmedabad, March 23, 2002.
92 "212 bodies buried in Ahmedabad graveyards," Press Trust of India, March 6, 2002.
93 Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Ahmedabad, March 22, 2002.
94 Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Ahmedabad, March 22, 2002.
95 Human Rights Watch interview, eighteen-year-old male resident of Chartoda Kabristan camp, Ahmedabad, March 23, 2002.
96 Harsh Mander, "Cry, the Beloved Country: Reflections on the Gujarat massacre," South Asia Citizens' Web, March 13, 2002, http://www.mnet.fr/aiindex/Harshmandar2002.html (accessed April 15, 2002). Harsh Mander spent twenty years in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), and currently heads Action Aid India, a nongovernmental poverty prevention organization.
97 See Human Rights Watch, Broken People: Caste Violence Against India's "Untouchables" (New York:
98 Describing the role of the police during the attack, the witness added: "The SRP [State Reserve Police] beat us. Said they did not have orders (to protect us). An employee of the ST [state transport] depot provided oil and diesel to burn. The phone lines were snapped." Citizens' Initiative, "Sub: Asking for appropriate action."
99 See sections on Naroda Patia and Gulmarg Society.
100 Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Ahmedabad, March 22, 2002.
101 Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Ahmedabad, March 22, 2002.
102 Citizens' Initiative, "The Survivors Speak," April 16, 2002.
106 "Women Commission indicts Gujarat Govt," Press Trust of India, April 24, 2002.
107 See "Gujarat inching towards normalcy," Times of India, March 6, 2002. See also, "One killed, curfew imposed in Ahmedabad, about 20,000 arrested," Press Trust of India, March 15, 2002; Rupak Sanyal, "Volunteers Bury 186 Unclaimed Bodies of Muslims in Mass Burial," Associated Press, March 6, 2002; Kim Parker, "Common Scars Can't Heal Hatred in India," Chicago Tribune, March 8, 2002; Beth Duff-Brown, "Residents offer shelter from `shameful' riots-Courageous Hindus harbour Muslims as death toll tops 540," Toronto Star, March 5, 2002.
108 Rupak Sanya, "Unrecognizable bodies of Indian children go unclaimed in morgues," Associated Press, March 11, 2002.
109 Citizens' Initiative, "The Survivors Speak."
110 Human Rights Watch interview, Sheikh S., Ahmedabad, March 22, 2002.
112 "4 Killed in Police Firing in Bharuch, Modasa," Times of India. March 22, 2002.
114 "Board Exams Continue Amid Tension," Times of India, March 22, 2002.
115 "Police to Help Conduct GU Exams," Times of India, April 8, 2002
116 Vinay Menon, "Muslim School Kids Targeted in Gujarat," Hindustan Times, April 6, 2002.
117 S.N.M. Abdi, "Hindu hoodlums warn school heads to remove Muslims," South China Morning Post, April 9, 2002.
118 Barkha Dutt, "Opinion: Covert Riots And Media," Outlook.
119 Bose, "Ethnic Cleansing in Ahmedabad."
121 Harsh Sethi, "Frayed at the Edges," Hindu, March 16, 2002.
122 Human Rights Watch interview, Fatu Bhen , Ahmedabad, March 22, 2002.
123 Human Rights Watch interview, Jinat A., Ahmedabad, March 22, 2002.
124 Human Rights Watch interview, Noorjehan, Ahmedabad, March 22, 2002.
128 Human Rights Watch interview (name withheld), Ahmedabad, March 22, 2002.
129 Human Rights Watch interview, Noorjehan, Ahmedabad, March 22, 2002.
130 Human Rights Watch interview, Rehman Pata, Ahmedabad, March 22, 2002.
131 Human Rights Watch interview, Sheikh S., Ahmedabad, March 22, 2002.
137 "Indian State Pledges Safe Return for Haj Victims," Reuters, March 18, 2002.
138 Rupak Sanyal, "Police beat up journalists as Hindu activists disrupt aid meeting," Associated Press, April 8, 2002.
142 "Gujarat used as Hindutva laboratory," Asian Age, March 25, 2002.
143 Scott Baldauf, "Indian government struggles to maintain order; Continuing riots test Hindu-led coalition's credibility," Christian Science Monitor, March 4, 2002. On March 17 the RSS passed a resolution warning Muslims that their safety lay in the goodwill of the majority. The resolution, titled "Godhra and After," justifies the post-Godhra violence as "natural and spontaneous." Echoing statements made by the chief minister, RSS Joint General Secretary Madan Das Devi, in explaining the resolution, added that, "there will be a reaction to any action." "Hindu goodwill key to Muslims' safety: RSS," Hindustan Times, March 18, 2002.
144 Anjali Mody, "Gujarat report-whitewashing reality?" Hindu, April 5, 2002.
146 Shyam Parekh, "Riots probe panel faces credibility crisis," Times News Network, March 11, 2002. Chief Minister Modi has also reportedly requested a list of judges in Gujarat who have a "track record" of giving "anti-government" verdicts. Deepal Trevedie, "Gujarat CM now targets judges," Asian Age, April 7, 2002.
147 State governments in India share a common history of appointing judicial commissions of inquiry to quell public outcries against police excesses during large-scale communal and caste clashes. Although these commissions do serve a political function, their findings, if and when released to the public, are frequently in favor of the state. Those that criticize the state are rarely implemented. See, for example, the BJP government's refusal to adopt the Srikrishna Commission's recommendations on the 1992-1993 Bombay riots in Chapter VI. The report of the commission singled out various state officials for their role in inciting violence against Muslims. See also the history of Tamil Nadu government-appointed commissions of inquiry into attacks against Dalits in Human Rights Watch, Broken People: Caste Violence Against India's "Untouchables," Chapter V.
148 Anil Pathak, "Traditional hot-beds of strife remain relatively quiet," Times of India, March 5, 2002.