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New revelations about the Hindu nationalist pogrom of Muslims in Gujrat in 2002

Kallada Hamza

Almost six years after the deaths of over 3,000 Muslims in a genocidal operation by Hindu fundamentalists in the state of Gujarat that began on 28 February, 2002, new information has emerged about the incident that began it. At the end of October two major Indian television channels, seen around the world by cable and satellite, broadcast the findings of a six-month investigation by Tehelka, a weekly news magazine: journalists secretly recorded senior members of Hindu organisations speaking about their roles in the attacks, as well as the role of the state government of the time, led by chief minister Narendra Modi. This is just the latest damning revelation about the true nature of Hindu nationalism in India, confirming the findings of an earlier investigation by Human Rights Watch, that concluded that the riots had been planned before the burning of a train at Godhra railway station that supposedly provoked it.

Fifty-eight Hindu karsevaks (volunteers) were killed, and many injured, when coach no.6 of a train, the Sabarmati Express, caught fire at Godhra railway station while returning from Ayodhya. The circumstances of the fire are disputed. According to official sources, it was torched by Muslims after a dispute between Hindus on the train and Muslim vendors at the stations. Some reports state that the Hindus had refused to pay for anything until the vendors chanted “Jai Shri Ram” (“praise lord Ram”). Other reports say that the Muslims were trying to recover a vendor's teenage daughter, who had been pulled into the carriage by the karsevaks. Investigations into the blaze have concluded that it was begun inside the carriage, and that the story of the carriage having been set alight from outside is untrue.

Immediately the Hindus, who immediately started attacking almost all the Muslim-populated districts in Gujarat. Narendra Modi notoriously refused to condemn the pogroms, saying only that for every action there would be an equal and opposite reaction, and saying that the root-cause of the riot was the Godhra-train carnage which, according to him, was the work of Muslim extremists. The Human Rights Watch report has confirmed local accounts that the local police did nothing to help the Muslims, instead standing by, watching, and saying only that they had not been ordered to do anything.

Now more light has been shed on the train carnage, confirming that it was deliberately designed and executed by agents provocateurs who had been hired by Hindu extremist organisations such as the Vishawa Hindu Parishad (VHP: the World Hindu Council) and its youth wing, the Bajrang Dal (devotees of the monkey god Hanuman). The Tehelka investigation included operations in which journalists secretly recorded conversations with a number of Sanior Parivar leaders, including the BJP MLA Haresh Bhatt and Shiv Sena leader Babu Bajrangi. It transpires that Narendra Modi and his senior police officials had an active role in the Gujarat riots of 2002. The horrifying truth about the Gujarat pogrom was brought to light by journalists, led by one Aashick Kehtan, an expert in filming and recording with the help of hidden cameras, who caught the culprits describing in their own voices and words the atrocities initiated or committed by them. Millions of viewers across the globe watched the Tehelka expose, which was telecast on October 25 by Aaj Tak and Headlines channel.

Haren Pandya, then a cabinet minister in the Modi government, revealed that Modi had convened an urgent meeting at his residence on February 27, 2002 (the eve of the state wide riots) in which cabinet colleagues, senior police officials and high-level bureaucrats took part in making plans to implement the genocide of Muslims. Modi asked them to “allow people to vent their anger and not come in the way of a Hindu backlash”. Haren Pandya testified later that the senior most police officials were told by Modi that they should expect a Hindu reaction and that they should do nothing to contain this reaction. The cabinet minister, Haren Pandya was murdered on March 26, 2003, apparently by hooligans of Modi's for his speaking about the secret meeting to the press and the Concerned Citizens Tribunal in May 2002.

An innocent Muslim, one Asghar Ali, was arrested under POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) in connection with the murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. There are a number of Muslim youths being held in prisons in Gujarat under POTA because they were allegedly involved in the riots, whereas little or no action has been taken against Hindu rioters who boasted on television that they dismembered a human being, slit open the stomach of a pregnant woman, and roasted alive a number of people in fires. Hindus also wantonly destroyed Muslims' properties, and killed women and children mercilessly, all with the tacit connivance and complicity of the Modi government in Gujarat. Modi systematically subverted the rule of law in Gujarat; now another assembly election in Gujarat is due and Muslims are apprehensive because society has been so heavily communalised that justice has degenerates to the point that it is effectively unavailable to Muslims.

In the past, Hindu extremist organisations have provoked and ignited communal clashes in Muslim-populated localities. Their inflammatory speeches in public meetings have often admitted this fact. A well-documented 70-page report by Human Rights Watch has stated that riots were planned before the Godhra-train disaster. The Ahmadabad Forensic Laboratory has also proved that the train’s carriages were set on fire from inside, although the government's story is that the fire was set from outside by Muslim arsonists. So it is now an undeniable truth that the train-accident was the result of a conspiracy hatched by the majority community to create a communal holocaust in the state. A few days ahead before the Godhra incident, businesses, buildings, mosques, shops and educational institutions belonging to Muslims had been marked to identify them easily for attack by Hindu thugs and bullies.

Hindu fascist organisations such as the Rashtriyia Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS, the Association of National Volunteers), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal are playing an active role in bringing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) into power in order to establish a Hindu Rashtra (‘Hindu nation') in India by abolishing the present secular democratic political system. Hindu extremist elements perceive Muslims as an obstacle to the achievement of their cherished ambition. They have been drawing inspiration from Hagana, a zionist terrorist organisation, and Mossad, Israel's secret service and spy network, which are committed to a “Greater Israel” in fulfiment of an alleged Biblical promise that the Jews could rule from the Nile to the Euphrates.

The Israel connection of the Modi government was a closely guarded secret that came out when Narendra Modi visited Israel before being appointed chief minister. Hundreds of Hindu youths from Gujarat had been sent to Israel for militant training, ostensibly to learn modern techniques of agriculture and irrigation. Under Mossad and Hagana these youths were imparted special training in handling explosives and dangerous chemicals that could be used to demolish Muslims' buildings and houses. Some packets of dangerous chemicals used by Hindu gangsters to attack Muslims in Gujarat were recognisably made in Israel. They learned the same tactics of operation and execution in attacking Muslims which zionists apply in the Jewish-occupied territories in Palestine.

Zionism and Hindutva have a common agenda against Islam and Muslims. When Congress, India's main political party, ruled the country, New Delhi was very cautious about diplomatic relations with Israel. It was during the BJP's rule in 1990s that Indo-Israel relations were strengthened; BJP's anti-Muslim proclivities made them very interested in having Israel as an ally. When the foreign minister of Israel visited India in 1993, he was accorded a warm welcome by the BJP's leaders and provided Israeli expertise for use in countering the insurgence in Kashmir. Shimon Peres, Israel's foreign minister when he visited New Delhi, put a plan to the BJP leader, L. K. Advani, about containing the insurgence in Kashmir, suggesting a demographic change; he clearly meant increasing the population of Hindus and reducing the Muslim population, which would be brought about by evacuation of the latter from the Kashmir valley by force or by frightening them away by means of terrorist acts. Furthermore, he openly questioned the patriotism of Muslims living in India. Ever since Peres' visit, Mossad agents have been frequenting Kashmir as tourists on the basis of a clandestine understanding between the governments of India and Israel. There are striking similarities between the intifada in Palestine and the insurgence in Kashmir, and in governmental responses to them.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that Hindu radical extremists are hell bent on targeting Muslims in India. Muslims in North India are suffering badly at the hands of Hindu zealots, who treat them as second-class citizens. Marginalising Muslims and other minorities is visible in almost all urban areas, where they live in terrible conditions because of lack of amenities like drinking water, sanitation, health-clinics and schools. A committee appointed by the Supreme Court has found that 4,545 Muslims families (comprising around 30,000 persons affected by the post-Godhra riots) are still living in deplorable conditions in 81 relief-colonies in Gujarat.

And yet there is no sign that the Indian government, any Muslim government, or any international Islamic organisation, is doing anything serious or effective to alleviate their plight or address the reasons for it.

Article from

Crescent International Vol. 36, No. 10

Dhu al-Qa'dah 20, 14282007-12-01

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