(Edited Excerpts)
The group of eight sessions cases p...
Even violent mobs, with deadly weapons in the hands of
each member, were there. The pol...
9) The translated version of ICR No. 100/02 which is ...
10) As stated earlier, a joint charge was framed against
all the 62 ac...
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Background - Naroda Patiya Judgement

Naroda patiya judgement - background
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: Law      

Transcripts - Background - Naroda Patiya Judgement

  • 3. 6 COMMUNALISM COMBAT NOVEMBER 2012 COMMON JUDGEMENT A.BriefFactsandHistoryaboutthecase The group of eight sessions cases popularly known as the ‘Naroda Patiya case’ came about after the occurrence of the killing of kar sevaks at Godhra in the Sabarmati Express on 27.02.2002 while the train coming from Ayodhya halted at Godhra. 1) As is known, the Godhra train carnage triggered wide- spread, large-scale communal riots in Gujarat but the stam- pede at Naroda Patiya took the highest death toll, which was of about 96 human lives, including many missing per- sons. In addition to many other offences against the human body, property, relating to religion, etc in which 96 persons were done to death and 125 were injured, property worth crores of rupees was also damaged, destroyed and ransacked at Naroda Patiya. 2) All these victims are of the Muslim community, who mainly hailed from Gulbarga-Karnataka, Maharashtra and some of them from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Most of them are very poor, struggling for bread for their families, and are labourers who were not even able to speak the regional lan- guage and did not understand the Gujarati language thor- oughly. 3) The complaints related to the Naroda Patiya massacre started being filed at Naroda police station from the night of 28.02.2002 itself. About 26 different complaints came to be filed, in addition to the complaint vide ICR No. 100/02 which was filed by the police subinspector [PSI], then Shri Solanki (he has now changed his surname to Delvadiya) of Naroda police station. Different complaints came to be filed, which were then merged into some of these complaints. Vide Ex- hibit-2004 dated 29.04.2002, ICR No. 238/02 and vide Exh- 2128 dated 01.05.2002, the remaining 25 complaints were ordered to be merged, as the police commissioner of the city of Ahmedabad had passed necessary orders to merge all these 26 main complaints wherein about 120 complaints had been merged, which all merged into ICR No. 100/02. Thus, in all, about 120 complaints were merged into these 26 complaints which were again merged into ICR No. 100/ 02. All these complaints, viz 120 complaints, have been treated as part of the complaint filed at Naroda police sta- tion, ICR No. 100/02. 3-A) The gist of different complaints and different testi- monies about different occurrences that took place through- out the day of 28.02.2002 is as under: The occurrence took place on 28.02.2002 near Noorani Masjid and at the Muslim chawls opposite Noorani Masjid, the entrance to which faces the long ST [State Transport] workshop wall. The call for a bandh was given by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad [VHP] and the riotous mobs comprised of volunteers of the VHP, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [RSS], Bajrang Dal, led by leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP], etc. Somewhere between about 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and thereafter riotous mobs of thousands of Hindus with deadly weapons came from all sides, making an uproar; clamour was all around. Severe disturbances started from 10:00 a.m. onwards when the Hindu mobs unduly entered Muslim chawls and barged into the Muslim houses; the infuriated mobs started a massive onslaught by burning dwelling houses and created violent disorder all around. The entire day was a day of horrendous carnage, stone-pelting on Muslims was common, stone-pelting on Noorani Masjid was done, there were gas cylinder blasts at the Masjid; everyone in the mob had some or other deadly weapon, including guptis [swordsticks], tridents, scythes, spears, swords, etc. Kerosene, petrol and even burning rags were thrown; they set on fire Muslim houses in the Muslim chawls, killed and burnt Muslims; slogan shouting was also all around, they were mainly shouting “Slaughter, Cut”, “Not a single Miya should be able to survive”, “Jai Shri Ram”, etc. They were shattering the property of Muslims into pieces; they were ransacking the property of Muslims; they were outraging the modesty of Muslim women; they were torching even women, children and cripples, burn- ing them alive. The men of the mob wore khaki half- pants and saffron headbands. The police were not active in protecting the Muslims. Different chawls in the area are mainly known as Hussain Nagar or Hussain Nagar-ni-Chawl. All the chawls situated at the beginning of the road opposite Noorani Masjid and there- after are popularly known as Hussain Nagar and after those chawls comes Jawan Nagar. Adjoining Jawan Nagar is Gangotri Society beside which is Gopinath Park; Gokul So- ciety was under construction then. The khaada (pit) of Jawan Nagar was near Jawan Nagar; Jawan Nagar had no direct access from the highway because of a wall that lay between Jawan Nagar khaada and Jawan Nagar. Damage and destruction was also done to the houses of Muslims and to Noorani Masjid by bursting gas cylinders and by throwing inflammable substances. The police resorted to lathi charge and firing wherein many Muslims were killed. Private firing by the accused is also alleged. The State Re- serve Police [SRP] quarters stood adjoining to Jawan Nagar but the Muslims were not allowed inside. Hence many were beaten while attempting to enter the SRP quarters. How- ever, some Muslims did secure shelter at the SRP quarters, which might have happened in the morning and may there- after have been prohibited. The violent mobs were marching inside the Muslim chawls. They were burning Muslims alive and torching Muslim dwell- ing houses; unforgettable damage was caused to the Mus- lims. The atmosphere was surcharged with fear, anxiety and tension; aware of the tribulations on the frontal side, the Muslims could not go towards Noorani Masjid, since the police were firing and bursting tear-gas shells on that side. JUDGEMENT: NARODA PATIYA CASE
  • 4. COMMUNALISM COMBAT NOVEMBER 2012 7 Even violent mobs, with deadly weapons in the hands of each member, were there. The police were doing a lathi charge and asking Muslims to go back inside their houses which had become very insecure, unsafe and sure-to-die sites hence the Muslims were not inclined to go inside. Having no option, the Muslims then went to the rear of the Muslim chawls, towards the Hindu societies. Some of them went to the Jawan Nagar pit, some of them went first to Hussain Nagar and then to Jawan Nagar. Then, upon in- crease of tension and further marching and attacks by the mobs, they moved further and further back and some took refuge on the terraces of closed bungalows in a Hindu soci- ety i.e. Gangotri Society. In a nutshell, every Muslim was running here and there in search of shelter for that entire day and ultimately, at night, they were taken to relief camps under police protection, where they had to stay for months together. Most of them could not return to their houses at Naroda Patiya after that but have rather shifted to houses given by the Islamic Re- lief Committee. 4) The National Human Rights Commission had filed a writ petition before the Supreme Court of India against the state of Gujarat and others, which came to be decided on 01.05.2009 by the Supreme Court (coram: Dr Justice Arijit Pasayat, Mr Justice P. Sathasivam and Mr Justice Aftab Alam). The Special Investigation Team (SIT) came to be consti- tuted under directions given by the apex court, for speedy trial of riot cases, including the case on hand. 5) By virtue of the notification dated 01.04.2008 of the government of Gujarat, which is on record vide Exh-2332, the SIT came to be constituted. 6) The investigation, which began under police inspec- tor [PI] Shri KK Mysorewala of Naroda police station, was passed on to assistant commissioner of police [ACP] Shri PN Barot and then passed on to the Crime Branch, DCB police station, Ahmedabad, and was handed over to the SIT on 10.04.2008. As has been mentioned at para 8 hereinbelow, differ- ent first information reports [FIRs] came to be filed. As the charge sheets were filed, the criminal cases were lodged in the court of the learned metropolitan magis- trate, court No. 11, which were then committed to the sessions court… 7) All the eight sessions cases were tried by this court. Vide the order passed below application Exh-22, all the eight sessions cases were consolidated to frame a joint charge and to have a joint trial of all the cases. All the evidence has been recorded in common for all the eight cases, form- ing part of the record of sessions case No. 235/2009, it being the main case. By virtue of the said order, all the said eight sessions cases have been tried jointly as one case and all the accused have therefore been shown as continuous accused without changing their numbers upon change of the sessions cases. B.ListofComplaints 8) The following complaints had been registered, all of which have been merged into ICR No. 100/02: ** In all three cases, as has been declared in the pursis, Exh-1776 by PW-263, the production witness, the summary papers, including the complaint and accompanying materials, have not been found in the court of the learned metropolitan magistrate, court No. 11. All the above 120 complaints have then merged into ICR No. 100/02 of Naroda police station. BACKGROUND
  • 5. 8 COMMUNALISM COMBAT NOVEMBER 2012 C.TranslatedVersionofICRNo.100/02 9) The translated version of ICR No. 100/02 which is on record in the regional language at Exh-1773, filed by pros- ecution witness PW-262, Mr VK Solanki, is as below: “Date: 28.02.2002 “I, VK Solanki, PSI, Naroda police station, Ahmedabad city, do complain in person that: “Recently, when the kar sevaks, who had gone with re- spect to the issue relating to the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya, UP, were returning by train, which had started from Godhra railway station, it was stopped by a mob of the Muslim community which brought down the driver and then assaulted the kar sevaks, and other passen- gers who were sitting in the railway compartments, with deadly weapons and breaking the compartments, set fire to the compartments. Due to this, some women, men and chil- dren had died, pursuant to which the VHP had given a call for “Gujarat Bandh” today. “Today, on 28.02.2002, at 7:00 a.m., police points were fixed in the police station area. You and the second PI, Shri VS Gohil, and myself, in our respective vehicles, had gone for patrolling in the police station area. Along with me were ASI [assistant subinspector] Dashrathsinh Udesinh, police constable [PC] Ashoksinh Lakshmansinh, PC Bharatsinh and PC Deepakkumar Govindram, etc in the requisite vehi- cle. During the “bandh” the situation was found to be tense in the city area. Therefore myself, you, the second PI and other requisitioned vehicles had continued patrolling. “Between 11:00 and 11:30 a.m. mobs of people had started turning up at several places in the police station area, which were attempted to be dispersed during the course of patrolling. But in a little while, violent incidents of set- ting ablaze the shops, dwelling houses, carts, etc had started. At that time police persons posted at the point of ST Patiya, opposite Noorani Masjid in the police station area, namely ASI Ramabhai Parshottambhai, ASI VT Ahari, PC Pradeepsinh Ratansinh, PC Chandrawadan Ramjibhai and Kirankumar Parshottambhai, as well as the police personnel posted at the point of ST workshop, namely ASI Ajitsinh Jaswantsinh, PC Vinubhai Harjivandas and PC Jitendradan, were present at the respective points. A mob of around 15,000 to 17,000 people had gathered at the entrance of Hussain’s Chali, near the ST workshop, opposite Noorani Masjid, ST Patiya. “At that time you, deputy commissioner of police [DCP], Zone IV, and the ACP, G Division, had also arrived and about 22 tear-gas shells were deployed by Chhababhai of your ve- hicle but the mob had become uncontrollable and the mem- bers of the mob were shouting “Attack – Kill”. At that time mobs of people from Krishna Nagar Crossroads, Saijpur Fadeli Tower, Kuber Nagar, Bungalow area and Chhara Nagar had come. The leaders of such mobs were active members of the VHP and BJP, namely Kishan Korani, PJ Rajput, Haresh Rohera, Babu Bajrangi and Raju Chaumal, who were shout- ing “Attack – Kill” and instigating members of the mobs. It was found that it was impossible to control the mobs hence the mobs were warned to disperse and if they did not dis- perse, firing would be done. “In spite of such repeated warnings, the members of the mobs, becoming uncontrollable, started to break shops and houses of members of the Muslim community residing near Noorani Masjid and its vicinity. Thereupon, I had fired five rounds from my service revolver and two rounds from a Mus- ket-410 at the instructions of the DCP and you had also fired eight rounds one after the other and other police per- sonnel and officers had also fired bullets and shells. But there was no effect on the members of the mobs and, be- coming more violent, the members of the mobs divided themselves into small groups and started breaking Noorani Masjid and set it on fire. They also broke shops and houses of Muslim people situated in the nearby area and looted goods lying in the shops and committed acts of arson. On the other hand, mobs of Muslim people and mobs of Hindu people confronted each other at Hussain’s Chawl, near the ST workshop, and started fighting each other with iron pipes and sticks and it has come to my knowledge that due to the acts of arson, in all, 58 persons, including men, women and children, were killed. “At the time of the said riots, as per the information gathered by me, some members of the mobs had reached the Thakkar Nagar area and, joining other persons who had gath- ered there, the members of the mobs had broken Bhagyoday Hotel situated near Thakkar Nagar Crossroads and the shops of Muslim people situated in the surrounding area and com- mitted acts of arson. It also came to my knowledge that the shops of Muslims situated in and around the Saijpur Tower area were broken and they were also set on fire. “Therefore I am filing this complaint against the active members of the VHP and BJP, namely Kishan Korani, PJ Rajput, Haresh Rohera, Babu Bajrangi and Raju Chaumal, who were leading the mobs of about 15,000 to 17,000 per- sons and shouting “Attack – Kill” and for instigating mem- bers of the mobs today, on 28.02.2002, during the course of a “Gujarat Bandh” in connection with the recent inci- dent of carnage at the Godhra station and in respect of breaking shops of the Muslim community situated in areas under the Naroda police station i.e. ST Patiya, Noorani Masjid and its surrounding Muslim residential areas, Hussain’s Chawl situated opposite Noorani Masjid and near the ST workshop and the Saijpur Tower area and for breaking Bhagyoday Ho- tel situated near Thakkar Nagar Crossroads and other shops situated in its vicinity and looting the said shops and for scuffling with others and thereby causing the death of, in all, 58 persons, including men, women and children, with a request to investigate the same. My witnesses are police persons who accompanied me at the relevant time, persons posted at the points and the victim residents and owners of houses and shops, etc.”… JUDGEMENT: NARODA PATIYA CASE
  • 6. COMMUNALISM COMBAT NOVEMBER 2012 9 D.AbouttheCharge 10) As stated earlier, a joint charge was framed against all the 62 accused being tried (during the trial A-35 had died hence abated qua him) along with the deceased ac- cused, the absconding accused and the unidentified accused, vide Exh-65. According to the charge, the date of this offence was 28.02.2002, the time of the offence was 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on the said date and since the call for a bandh had been given by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to express rage against the Godhra carnage, to take revenge on the Muslim community, to strike terror and fear amongst the Muslims and with the intention to ransack, destroy and damage the properties of the Muslims and to kill the Muslims, the oc- currences took place. All the acts and omissions were charged as offences committed under Sections 143, 144, 145, 147, 148, 153, 153A, 153A(2), 186, 188, 201, 295, 295A, 298, BACKGROUND 302, 307, 315, 323, 324, 325, 326, 332, 395, 396, 397, 398, 427, 435, 436, 440, etc read along with Section 120B and/or Section 34 and/or Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code [IPC]. The charge has also been framed under Section [u/s] 354 read with [r/w] Sections 376 and 376(2)(g) r/w Section 34 of the IPC and Section 135(1) of the Bombay Police Act. The plea of each of the accused was recorded. All of them have pleaded not guilty and have claimed their innocence and prayed for trial. 11) The accused who sought free legal services were so provided by the order of the court and thus learned advo- cates Mr GS Solanki and Mr HS Ravat were appointed to render free legal services to the needy accused. 12) During the trial accused No. 35 had died and therefore the case against the said accused was ordered to be abated…

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