Monday, April 30, 2012

Citizens for Justice and Peace

April 11, 2012

The Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) expresses its acute disappointment at the intentions of the SIT in filing a complete closure report in the mammoth criminal complaint dated 8.6.2006 filed by Smt Zakia Ahsan Jafri against chief minister Shri Narendra Modi and 61 others. The CJP has assisted the victim survivor and widow of the late Shri Ahsan Jafri and was also co-petitioner in SLP 1088/2008 in the Supreme Court.  Though this conclusion by the SIT was not unexpected, given the SIT's postures in the Supreme Court (the Supreme Court had remarked on March 15 2011 "your inferences [to RK Raghavan Chairman] do not match the findings") we had expected the SIT to re examine and revaluate its own interpretations following the Amicus Shri Raju Ramachandran's report. Unfortunately this has not happened and now we will have to battle this closure report through a cogently drafted protest petition relying on voluminous evidence that we are convinced shows prosecutable evidence. It has been widely reported that the independent assessment made by Shri Ramachandran found, contrary to the SIT, that there was evidence to prosecute not just Shri Modi but senior policemen.
The CJP welcomes the decision of the Magistrate’s court to make available to the complainant the SIT report, along with all statements and all evidences including the Amicus Raju Ramachandran report. This is a first step to collating our arguments to contest SIT suggestion to close the investigation.

The CJP would like to take this opportunity to emphasise that while a setback, the SIT closure report by no means signals the end of the legal battle aimed at booking criminal culpability for conspiracy to commit mass murder and subvert evidence in reprisal killings in 19 districts of the state of
Gujarat in 2002. Judicial interpretations of the investigating agencies assessment have still to be undertaken and the fact that the Supreme Court posited its own Amicus against the SIT appointed by it suggests some serious points of contestation. The CJP believes that however long and hard, the battle to book criminal culpability for mass crimes in Gujarat in 2002 will eventually be won.

The investigation of political crimes of the magnitude alleged in the complaint dated 8.6.2006 need the skills of a sharp investigator, the understanding of communal violence and its fallout (how it can or can't be controlled) and most of all, exceptional courage and unimpeachable integrity. A vast majority of senior bureaucrats and policemen in India -- comfortable with the record of impunity enjoyed by those in charge as also the political bosses --would like to peddle, the theory that the convulsions of 2002 in Gujarat (that claimed 2,500 innocent lives and included daylight gang rape and murder) were crimes of omission and not commission. While the SIT has bought into this mindset, the fact is that the exemplary evidence supplied by former Director General of Police, Gujarat, RB Sreekumar and DIGP Arms Unit, Rajkot, Gujarat, Rahul Sharma apart from now dismissed police officer Sanjeev Bhatt suggests to the contrary. All this and more will be relied upon by us in the protest petition to be filed by us over the next few months.  
The unique complaint filed by Smt Zakia Jafri outlines evidence of the chief minister masterminding a criminal conspiracy by first allowing the bodies of the victims of the Godhra tragedy being handed to VHP general secretary Jaideep Patel, parading these in a blatant fashion, making inflammatory statements, not giving command instructions to the army (who was patrolling the streets) to proactively intervene; of not only holding a meeting where senior police officers and administrators were told not to perform their lawful and constitutional duties, but following this up with the posting of two ministers in the Gujarat state and Ahmedabad control rooms to ensure help did not reach hapless victims of reprisal killings in 19 farflung districts of the state. Following this the subversion of justice
(false truncated FIRs, saving formerly named accused etc) and defying constitutional bodies was equally serious; destroying and concealing evidence and appointing public prosecutors sympathetic to the ideology of the rioting accused, not following the NHRC and Supreme Court orders are some others. State Intelligence reports given to the chief executive of the state by then ACS Home Ashok Narayan were deliberately ignored by him as were those by former ADGP RB Sreekumar. Officers like Sreekumar and others who followed the law were penalised and those who broke the law were rewarded. For the past decade the chief minister has also held the cabinet portfolio for law and order (home).
Charges against the chief executive of the state in the complaint relate to actively planning a criminal conspiracy [Conspiracy and abetment to commit multiple offences of murder (Section 120-B, 114 r/w 302 IPC)], Furnishing false information (Section 177 IPC), Disobeying law with intent to cause injury to any person (Section 166 IPC), False statement as evidence (Section 199 IPC), Giving false information about offences committed (Section 203 IPC), Injuring and defiling place of worship (Section 295 IPC), Outraging religious belief (Section 295-A IPC), Criminal intimidation (Section 506 IPC), Obstructing public servant in discharge of duties (Section 186 IPC), Promoting enmity between peoples on grounds of religion (Section 153-A IPC), Omission to assist public servant (Section 187 IPC), Uttering words to wound religious feelings (Section 298 IPC).

The CJP would also like to point out that until 2009 when on its petition before the Supreme Court, the SIT was first appointed, key accused in the complaint PC Pandey DGP Chakravarty, then cabinet minister  IK Jadeja, then minister Maya Kodnani, VHP general secretary Jaideep Patel, police officers  KK Mysorewala, MK Tandon and PB Gondia and VHP/Bajrang Dal member Babu Bajrangi had not been made accused in the pending trials related to the Gulberg and Naroda Patiya incidents. Today, among those mentioned above Kodnani, Jaideep Patel, Erda, and Bajrangi are accused in the two ongoing trials.
The Smt Zakia Ahsan Jafri complaint pertains to the wider conspiracy in 19 of Gujarat's 25 districts and is not related just to the Gulberg trial as is being reported in sections of the media. Details of this battle can be accessed at and
The CJP would like to list below some key articles that have appeared over the last two years that give a comprehensive picture of this intense, unique and complicated struggle.

Teesta Setalvad

Other Trustees
I.M. Kadri                                Arvind Krishnaswamy                       Javed Akhtar
Cyrus Guzder                         Alyque Padamsee                            Anil Dharker
Nandan Maluste                    Javed Anand                                     Rahul Bose               
Cedric Prakash                     Ghulam Pesh Imam

Media Landmarks

Amicus report lays the ground for chargesheeting Narendra Modi
New Delhi, October 23, 2011

2002 riots: Another police officer blames Modi
Jun 06, 2011 at 08:58am IST

The Indian EXPRESS, Ahmedabad: 17-05-11, Daily Eng. News

“Told Modi Gulbarg attack was coming, he kept mum”
 IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt deposes before Nanavati-Mehta Commission, says he also attended two other meetings CM held on Feb 28, 2002

'Destroyed' Guj riots records suddenly resurface
Apr 23, 2011

TOI, Mar 23, 2011
SIT cuts short key testimony against Narendra Modi

Gujarat EDN
23MAR2011, AM
Gulbarg case: SIT continues questioning Sanjeev Bhatt

Your inferences don't match SIT report, court tells Raghavan

From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 8, Issue 6, Dated February 12, 2011
The Artful Faker

From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 8, Issue 6, Dated February 12, 2011
Here’s the smoking gun. So how come the SIT is looking the other way?

Friend of court says Modi not in the clear yet
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 12, 2012

Gujarat top cop may be paying for his ‘initiative’

TOI, 28 March 2010

After SIT, will FIR be filed against Modi?

Modi and 61 others face investigation for mass murder

Villain of the piece    Accused No 1
Accused number one: Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat

SIT clean chit is wrong. DGP told me Modi said let Muslims die.

This is simply not true. As far back as 2004, I had formally written to a judicial commission that investigated the killings of Muslims, disclosing that the then DGP Chakravarthy had told me that at the meeting at his home on the night of February 27, 2002, Modi instructed the police officers to allow the Hindus to kill Muslims.
To validate my testimony, I offered to undergo a narco-analysis test or the brain fingerprinting test or the polygraph test anywhere in India. But neither the SIT nor the Nanavati Commission took action on my information. Perhaps because then they would have had to also run the tests on the police officers who attended Modi’s meeting that night, and that would without doubt have incriminated Modi.

-R. B. Sreekumar, Former DGP, Gujarat 

SIT clean chit is wrong. DGP told me Modi said let Muslims die.
By R. B. Sreekumar, Former DGP, Gujarat4/17/12

On April 11, a metropolitan magistrate in Ahmedabad disclosed that a Special Investigative Team (SIT) set up by the Supreme Court has found no evidence that on the night before the anti-Muslim violence began in Gujarat on February 28, 2002, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi told his top police brass they should not stop Hindu mobs from killing Muslims. Modi’s supporters welcomed the magisterial pronouncement as a vindication of their long-held view on Modi’s innocence.
The allegation against Modi relates to a meeting he held with then Gujarat Director-General of Police, K. Chakravarthy, and other top police officers at his official residence in Gandhinagar on the night of February 27, 2002. As we know, earlier that morning, 59 people were burnt to death after two coaches of Sabarmati Express caught fire near Godhra railway station in an area adjacent to a Muslim locality.

Many among those who died in the train fire were kar sevaks, or volunteers, of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) coming back from Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh where they had participated in a VHP event around its campaign to build a Ram temple. Within hours of the fire, the VHP called a state-wide protest the next day, February 28. Modi called that night’s meeting to discuss the law and order preparation.

Headed by former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director R. K. Raghavan, the SIT spoke to the various police officers who were present at Modi’s meeting that night to investigate the charge. It was widely reported in the news that the SIT based its conclusion that Modi did not tell his police officers to allow the VHP mobs to kill Muslims on denials from the police officers who attended Modi’s meeting. Then DGP Chakravarthy, too, reportedly told the SIT that the allegations are false and that Modi did not order the police to stand by while the Muslims are killed.

This is simply not true. As far back as 2004, I had formally written to a judicial commission that investigated the killings of Muslims, disclosing that the then DGP Chakravarthy had told me that at the meeting at his home on the night of February 27, 2002, Modi instructed the police officers to allow the Hindus to kill Muslims.

Here are the facts of the case.
As an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the Gujarat cadre, I was posted as Additional Director-General of Police (Intelligence) with the State Intelligence Branch (SIB) from April 9, 2002 to September 18, 2002. During my tenure, I sent numerous reports to the DGP and to the state government about the culpability of the Sangh Parivar – the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliates – in the (1) Genocide of Muslims, (2) Subversion of the criminal justice system, and (3) denial and delay of the justice delivery system to the survivors of the violence.

The Central Election Commission postponed the 2002 assembly elections on the basis of my letter to that detailed the extent and intensity of the violence. Its order of August 16, 2002 acknowledged this. Further, I submitted nine affidavits running into 660 pages to the Justice Nanavati Commission that probed the violence. Four affidavits were submitted while I was still serving and five after I retired in February 2007. The state government never challenged the contents of those affidavits. I provided the copies of those affidavits to Mr. Raghavan’s SIT, too.

In my fourth affidavit submitted to the Nanavati Commission in September 2004, I narrated the revelation DGP Chakravarthy made to me about Modi’s meeting with senior officers on February 27, 2002, at his residence in Gandhinagar, the state capital. Chakravarthy informed me that at the meeting, the chief minister directed the officers that the revengefulness of the Hindus, aggrieved by the Godhra train fire, should be given a free play and the police should not act against the Hindus.

To validate my testimony, I offered to undergo a narco-analysis test or the brain fingerprinting test or the polygraph test anywhere in India. But neither the SIT nor the Nanavati Commission took action on my information. Perhaps because then they would have had to also run the tests on the police officers who attended Modi’s meeting that night, and that would without doubt have incriminated Modi.

Earlier, my third affidavit had given verbatim details of the Home Department’s attempt in August 2002 to tutor me to support the government in my cross examination at the Nanavati Commission. I also submitted to the Commission and the SIT the audiotapes of the tutoring session. But they did not initiate action against the officials who attempted to intimidate me into committing perjury, acts punishable under Sections 193, 509 and 153(a) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

I also submitted to SIT a copy of the register that I had maintained in which I had meticulously written down all the illegal verbal orders that various authorities, from the chief minister to the DGP, had given to me with the objective of preventing me from revealing the truth to the Nanavati Commission and also to force me to illegally send false reports, tap phones and organise fake encounters of Muslims.

The Home Department and the DGP committed a culpable offence under Section 166 of the IPC by failing to initiate remedial measures on my intelligence assessment reports, which led to the denial of justice to the victims of the 2002 violence. It must be said that the Supreme Court has passed many remarks on the illegal role of the Modi government in the many cases related to the anti-Muslim violence of 2002.

In April 2004, the Supreme Court said the Gujarat Administration had acted as Emperor Nero during the violence, working to save the culprits of the killing of the innocent people. Later, the Supreme Court ordered a reinvestigation into some 2,000 cases that the Gujarat Police had illegally closed. It transferred the trials of two cases outside Maharashtra (both of which led to the conviction of the accused), and entrusted one riot case investigation to the CBI.

The Supreme Court constituted the SIT to reinvestigate nine major case of the violence. This included the case brought against Modi and 62 others by Zakia Jafri, the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who a mob burnt to death with three dozen others in his house. Last month, Supreme Court Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Desai entrusted retired Supreme Court judge H. S. Bedi with a full inquiry into the fake encounter cases of Gujarat. Had the Gujarat Government acted on my intelligence assessment reports and initiated remedial measures the higher judiciary would not have needed to pass such strictures at this stage.

The SIT also did not act on my many suggestions.
I had suggested that the SIT should record the statements of Uttar Pradesh policemen accompanying the kar sevaks who were killed in the train fire. But the SIT did not do so perhaps because such testimonies would have upset the conspiracy theories Modi and then Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani floated on February 27 about the Muslims’ involvement in the Godhra fire. Even the case papers of the Godhra incident do not indicate any evidence that early.

I had also suggested that officials of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), and Central paramilitary forces and the Indian Army be questioned as they had a lot of information on the violence and the nature and quality of the response of the state police to distress calls from the violence-affected. Lastly, I had suggested that the SIT probe the misuse of government funds for undermining public lawsuits.
On the whole, the SIT travelled on the road map given to it by the Gujarat government in investigating the 2002 anti-Muslim violence cases and Zakia Jafri’s complaint against Modi and 62 others. Consequently, the SIT practically became a ‘B’ team of Gujarat Police cleverly building a defence for Modi and his collaborators in planning and executing the massacre of Muslims in 2002 and their extensive subversion of the criminal justice system.

That is why the victims were not surprised with the SIT’s closure report on Zakia Jafri’s complaint. From the beginning, the SIT was solely dependent on Gujarat Police in its investigations of the cases before it. SIT chief Raghavan did not care to verify the statements of the complainants, leave alone those of the witnesses.
Let us remember that the SIT arrested only two police inspectors for the Gujarat killings. It kept the complicity levels of police officers and executive magistrates as low as possible, so that the senior officers and political leaders – from the Deputy Superintendents of Police to the chief minister – were immune from prosecution.
In view of the SIT’s partisan line, I propose that a team of criminal lawyers and seasoned police officers should examine its closure report and analyse its mechanics of appreciation of the evidence. Such a team should also critically study the merit of the evidence the SIT presented to the magistrate and thereafter give an independent opinion. The civil society should wide circulate and discuss this expert opinion so that the common citizens are made aware of the bias in the SIT report.
Gujarat EDN
DNA 27APR2012

Witnesses want convicts to be tried for conspiracyThey claim the massacre was pre-planned to kill members of the minority communityl Sardarpura riot case
DNA Correspondent | Ahmedabad
Witnesses of Sardarpura massacre case have demanded sentencing of convicts in the case under charges of conspiracy. Talking to media persons on Thursday, the witnesses alleged that it was a pre-planned conspiracy to kill people of the minority community in Sardarpura village in Mehsana district. 

Gulam Ali, one of the witnesses, claimed that on the eve of February 27, 2002, while working near Jain temple, he had heard two accused, Maganlal and Becharbhai, passing a remark that they would kill Muslims.

Another witness, Bashirabibi Shaikh, claimed that when she had gone to the shop of one Dahyabhai, he allegedly told her that she would be killed. Other witnesses also claimed that the streets lights of Sheikh Mohalla, where the massacre happened, were repaired and switched on a day before the incident. 

Teesta Setalvad of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), an NGO fighting for communal riots, said, "We have moved a petition challenging the verdict of the Sardarpura riots in which the lower court has not upheld the theory of conspiracy." 

She further said, "There are many witnesses who came on record and gave statements and testimony in the court that established the fact that the killing at Sheikh Mohalla was pre-planned. The SIT will establish the theory of conspiracy in the appeal filed before the HC." 

The petition before the HC cited statements of many witnesses. Sabirmiya Akhumiya Pathan, one of the witnesses, stated that Haresh Bhatt, a leader of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, had come to the village and held a meeting at Mahadev Temple (the place from where the crowd came on the night of the event). "A meeting of Patel youth was held where Bhatt gave an instigating lecture," Pathan said. 

In November last year, the designated court had awarded life imprisonment to 31 accused while acquitting 42.
Gujarat EDN
TOI 27APR2012

Sardarpura massacre case witness alleges boycott TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Ahmedabad: A Hindu witness in Sardarpura massacre case has complained that villagers have boycotted him and even targeted him for speaking against the rioters. 
    During a media briefing on Thursday, Mangabhai Raval said he testified against the rioters and many of those whom he had named were convicted. Raval said he was running a tea stall, but people stopped coming to his shop and he had to close it. 
    “Before I was to depose, they told me not to speak against them. After conviction, they pressurized me to leave the place. There are systematic efforts on part of the authorities for eviction,” he said. He has filed a complaint before the higher authorities in this regard. 
    Other witnesses of the case claimed that they had cited specific instances that showed that there was a conspiracy behind the attack in which 33 persons were killed on March 1, 2002. The special court refused to believe that it was a conspiracy and held that the attack was a spontaneous reaction of Godhra carnage. 
    Social activist Teesta Setalvad said the witnesses have appealed against the trial court’s decision that it was not a conspiracy though the SIT and state government do not press hard on this aspect. The Gujarat high court is likely to hear the appeals on Friday for admission.
Witnesses to insist on conspiracy angle
Thursday, 26 April 2012 23:55
Rathin Das | Ahmedabad
Survivors and witnesses of the Sardarpura massacre, for which 31 people have been sentenced to life imprisonment, have decided to insist on the charges of conspiracy against the convicted.
During the retaliatory riots following the killing of 58 kar sewaks in the Sabarmati Express fire at Godhra on February 27, 2002, violent mobs had burnt 33 people to death at Sardarpura in Mehsana district of north Gujarat.
A Special Court had last year sentenced 31 convicted to life imprisonment on charges of murder, arson and rioting while 31 others were acquitted due to benefit of doubt.
While an appeal challenging the Special Court order has been filed in the High Court, the witnesses have said that the charges of pre-planned conspiracy too should be pressed against the convicts.
At a Press conference organised by the Mumbai-based Citizens for Justice and Peace, several eyewitnesses narrated their experiences to prove that the violence against the community was very much pre-planned.
Shabir Miyan Pathan, the then borewell pump operator of the village, said that Bajrang Dal leader Haresh Bhatt had come to the village few days earlier and distributed ‘trishuls’ after holding a meeting at the temple.
The Sarpanch of the village, a Patel, too took away the keys of the borewell from him the day prior to the riots, Shabir Miyan said.
One widow, Basheera Biwi said the Patel owner of the shop took away the accounts book her husband used to handle and the groceries shop keeper commented “What to do with these, you people wouldn’t live to see tomorrow”.
Various incidents put together indicate a well-planned conspiracy, pointed out advocate Yusuf Sheikh. which the Special Court in Mehsana has not taken note of,
The lone Hindu witness in the massacre case, Mangabhai Rambhai narrated that a tractor with containers full of kerosene and petrol were brought by the Patels who have since boycotted his shop for deposing in this case.
Another witness Iqbal Miyan Sheikh alleged that the then BJP MLA from Unjha, Narainbhai had said, “It is our Government, we can do anything we want.”
All these Similarly, in the Ode massacre too, in which appeal has not yet been filed in the High Court, there are tell-tale evidences of a pre-planned conspiracy said the lawyers of the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP).