Skip to main content

2002 Gujarat riots: Despite many extreme cases of gender violence, so far just one conviction in Naroda Patiya

Survivors pay homage to those killed at Naroda Patiya
By Rajiv Shah
Although 32 accused – including a minister in the Modi government – were in 2012 found guilty of “murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, spreading enmity and communal hatred” during the 2002 Gujarat communal violence in Ahmedabad’s Naroda Patiya area, so far, just in one case there has been conviction for gruesome acts of sexual violence there, regrets a new American study.
The University of California, Berkeley, study, “Conflicted Democracies and Gendered Violence: The Right to Heal”, says, this happened even though “10 of the 62 defendants were charged with crimes of sexual violence, including rape, ‘assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty’, and an ‘act done with intention of preventing child from being born alive’.”
The study, based on interviews with victims and a plethora of documents, says, “The solitary conviction was premised upon the confession of a defendant, who raped a Muslim girl and killed her by throwing her from a roof.”
Pointing towards failure of the Gujarat government to provide any healing touch, especially to the victims of sexual violence during the riots, the study says, just in one case a gang-rape victim-survivor was ordered “compensation of Rs 500,000”.
Even this victim, the study says, “did not receive the compensation until months later, following several visits from the victim’s lawyers to the state Social Welfare Department and an additional court order.”
The study says, “Police merged the 120 reports filed by victim-survivors of sexual violence into 26 official complaints two to three months following the massacre. These ‘omnibus’ FIRs did not identify individual perpetrators but attributed the violence to anonymous ‘mobs’.”
The study approvingly quotes a victim-survivor as saying, “I am not a ‘mob,’ I am a woman who was gang raped by three men. How can I hope for justice when they don’t even register my complaint properly?”
It notes, this shows how “the prosecutor was unable to bring charges of rape without information about the identities of the perpetrators of sexual violence”, and why “the court was unable to determine criminal liability for the crimes.”
Quoting victims, the study says, “Most of the women victims—girls and women— were raped before they were murdered and burned.”
It adds, “Several victims observed an attacker slice open the womb of a pregnant Muslim woman with a sword, extract her fetus, and subsequently throw both the woman and her fetus into a nearby fire; the woman was at or near full term in her pregnancy.”
“Members of fleeing Muslim families were detained, stripped, raped, and then murdered”, the study says, adding, “One woman recalled seeing ‘a naked girl running from twenty-five men’. Another survivor testified that four men cut off the string of her petticoat, sliced her hand with a sword, and gang raped her.”
“There is evidence that, during the investigation, police mistreated and re-traumatized victim-survivors of sexual violence”, the study notes, adding, “In Gujarat, investigators systematically refused to register complaints from Muslim women victims of gender-based violence.”
While many a time women were themselves reluctant to file complaint, according to the study, “Police officers denied women survivors the right to file FIRs or omitted details about rape and murder victims in recording the FIRs.” It quotes the National Commission of Woman to say that the “number of FIRs registered was much less than the incidents of violence against women reported to the NCW.” In all, 96 persons were killed at Narodiya Patiya, of whom 35 were women and 25 were children.
The 402-page study, which is based on gender violence in four Indian states – Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Odisha and Gujarat – and has a foreword by Navyanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (2008-14), is based on contributions by 10 scholars.
Published by the Center for Social Sector Leadership, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, those who have contributed in the research are Angana P Chatterji, Mallika Kaur, Roxanna Altholz, Paola Bacchetta, Rajvinder Singh Bains, Mihir Desai, Laurel E Fletcher, Parvez Imroz, Jeremy J Sarkin and Pei Wu.
---
Download the study HERE

Comments

TRENDING

What's behind public sector banks showing huge profits in 2nd quarter of 2022-23?

By Thomas Franco*  The quarter two results of the public sector banks (PSBs) appear to be noteworthy compared to a few years ago. All these banks showed good profits in the financial year 2021-22. Twelve PSBs made a net profit of Rs 25,685 crore in quarter 2 of FY23 and a total of Rs 40,991 crore in the first half of 2023. The combined profit of 12 banks in March 2022 was Rs 66,539 crore which was 110% more than 2021 – Rs. 31,816 crore. The Asset Quality Review of 2015 saw a surge in NPAs of PSBs jumping to Rs 8.96 lakh crore in March 2018 from Rs 2.17 lakh crore in March 2014. This was simply because the norms for NPAs were changed from 180 days to 90 days, and all restructuring of even genuine accounts was done away with. In 2018 NPA of SBI was 5.73% which has come down to 0.8% in Q2 of FY23. The NPA of Canara Bank has come down to 2.19% from 7.48% in Mar 2018. The same trend is seen in all public banks. Now SBI has seen a jump of 74% in its net profit, while Canara Bank’s profit is

World Toilet Day 2022: Will new schemes usher in safe cities for India's sanitation workers?

By Sameer Unhale, Dr Simi Mehta, Dr Arjun Kumar, Kushagra Khatri*  World Toilet Day is held every year on November 19. It has been an annual United Nations observance since 2013, which celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 3.6 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. It is about taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: Water and Sanitation for All. The SDG 6.2 is the world’s promise to ensure safe toilets for all by 2030. This year, the theme is "Let’s make the invisible visible." India, in its endeavour to achieve health, hygiene, and cleanliness along with universal sanitation coverage, launched the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) (SBM-U) or Clean India Mission in 2014 on the birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation – Mahatma Gandhi (October 2), as a national movement. To ameliorate urban sanitation infrastructure, the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (A

Odisha dolphin tourism victim of climate change, prawn farming, infra projects

By Sudhansu R Das*  Nature has blessed Odisha with a vibrant natural sector economy. The forestry, handicraft, handloom, fishery, agriculture, animal husbandry, tourism, pilgrim tourism and horticulture sectors etc can create huge employment and revenue in the state on a sustainable basis. The state needs to develop a sound economic vision to harness the benefits from the natural sectors. Construction of infrastructure projects with investment though generates revenue and ticks the GDP growth; there is no guarantee that it would create inclusive employment opportunities. Today infrastructure projects are like consumer items which are being marketed by middlemen and global traders across the world. Many countries have been ruined due to their obsession with infrastructure driven growth illusion. Recently, the Sri Lankan economy has collapsed due to this illusion. It has created a heavy loan burden on the country whose interest the country can’t repay in the next 50 years. Many infra

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Business back to normal? IIM-A survey says, sales expectations have sharply improved

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management’s Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES), which polls a panel of business leaders to find out their perception of slack in economy, including their inflation expectations, year-ahead cost expectations and the factors influencing price changes, such as profit and sales levels, etc., has said that the cost perceptions data indicates signs of moderation in price pressures. Carried out for September, the survey says, the cost pressure of the reporting firms has shifted from “very significant increase (over 6%) to moderate increase (3.1% to 6%).” It adds, “The percentage of firms perceiving over 10% cost increase y-o-y has declined. Over 21% of the firms in September 2022 round of the survey perceive that costs have increased very significantly (over 10%) – down from 26% recorded in August 2022.” Claiming to be a unique survey, in that it goes straight to businesses -- the price setters -- rather than to consumers or household

Innovative, Hrishikesh Mukherjee's movies often banked on excessive sentimentalism

By Harsh Thakor*  Late Hrishikesh Mukherjee more popularly known as Hrishi Da, whose birth centenary was celebrated recently, ranks amongst India’s most progressive and innovative film makers, exhibiting mastery in craft of making socially relevant themes. Mukherjee knitted plots together with great visualisation and sensitivity, be it in comedy, pathos, anger or romance, weaving every ingredient in proper proportion.  Melodrama was restrained and scripts dissected with surgical skill. Without over romanticisation, Mukherjee would do complete justice to the role of the character. He did not champion art films, but gave commercial films an artistic touch. Rarely have artists transcended the medium of cinema to project the real essence of their cultural values so or film directors who narrate a simple tale of regular families that have characters of unique shades, characters which are bound to touch human emotions universally. His characters frequently underwent life-changing journeys

GoI's productivity linked incentives to corporates 'without independent analysis'

Counterview Desk  Wondering how prudent is the Government of India's (GoI's) Productivity Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, EAS Sarma, former secretary, GoI, in a representation to Nirmala Sitharaman, Union finance minister, has said it appears to be nothing more than subsidy to the private sector without any responsibility. Giving a specific example against the backdrop of announcement of 50% subsidy covering the project cost of the Vedanta Group's decision to set up a semiconductor fabrication plant in Gujarat, in collaboration with Foxconn, Sarma says, "The total cost of this project is reported to be Rs 1,54,000 crore. 50% of this works out to Rs 77,000 crore." Stating that this creates the impression that the entire subsidy allocation for the semiconductor manufacturing sector would be appropriated by this company, Sarma says, "The Gujarat government did not lag behind in liberally announcing similar incentives for the Vedanta-Foxconn project. It offered 7

Parivarnama: A story of love, challenges, sorrow of family 'devastated' by Partition

By Aditya Mukherjee*  “Parivarnama” by Shehla Hashmi Grewal is a riveting account of a family of Delhi from the late 19th century to the present. Through the story of this family, we are taken on a journey through the atrocities of British rule and the resistance against it by the Indian national movement and the left stream within it, the traumatic events leading to the virulent spread of religious communalism and the partition of the country and the destruction of lives and livelihoods, the challenges and travails of building a new life after the old was destroyed, trying to build a secular society in India after independence, the struggles for social and economic justice in independent India leading to the martyrdom of a very distinguished young member of the family and much more. It is not only a very sensitively written history of a family, it is a social and political history of India through some of its most turbulent periods. “Parivarnama” combines what one gets from meaningfu

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.