Skip to main content

Verdict on Gulberg Society massacres: No ‘conspiracy’ has been found; this will not go unchallenged

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
The long-awaited verdict on the Gulberg Society massacres is finally out today.
Thirty-six of the accused have been acquitted and 24 have been convicted; of the latter, only 11 have been charged with murder and the remaining 13 for lesser offences. The quantum of punishment for those convicted is expected to be pronounced on June 6.
The Gulberg Society massacres was one of the most gruesome acts of the Gujarat genocide of 2002 in which 69 innocent persons (including former MP Ahsan Jafri) were brutally killed, burnt alive on February 28, 2002.
The verdict needs to be respected: At least 24 people have been convicted. There is some justice which has been done, but the fact is that is not enough.
For Zakhia Jafri and her family, Rupa and Dara Mody, Sairaben and Salimbhai and the many other victim-survivors, who have lost a loved one, their kith and kin-there is naturally a feeling of dissatisfaction.
These heroic persons, have demonstrated sheer grit and determination – for more than fourteen years now, in their struggle for truth and justice. They have had to brave all hostilities, attempts at co-option and even betrayals- but they have stood resolute in their stand- as witnesses of what actually happened.
For them, when key BJP functionaries and a police official (who has also destroyed evidence) are let off, there is the expected feeling of unbelief and disappointment;like many others, they wonder how could only 11 persons be responsible for the murder of 69? Why have the big ones been allowed to go scot-free?
Whilst the judgement needs to be studied – media reports inform there no ‘conspiracy’ has been found. This will certainly not go unchallenged, when it is an established fact that around 20,000 people had attacked Gulberg Society –on that fateful day.
The mob was led, knew where to go, and some were completely armed for this heinous crime. As Teesta Setalvad says, “The option of appeal is still open”.
In the meantime, victim-survivors, human rights defenders and many others will continue their relentless pursuit of Truth and Justice- till the biggest perpetrators of the Gujarat Genocide are brought to book. Still a long way to go!
---
*Human rights activist

Comments

TRENDING

Did Modi promote Dholavira, a UNESCO site now, as Gujarat CM? Facts don't tally

By Rajiv Shah  As would generally happen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet – that not only was he “absolutely delighted” with the news of UNESCO tag to Dholavira, but he “ first visited ” the site during his “student days and was mesmerised by the place” – is being doubted by his detractors. None of the two tweets, strangely, even recalls once that it’s a Harappan site in Gujarat.

How real is Mamata challenge to Modi? Preparing for 2024 'khela hobey' moment

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  Third time elected West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee is on a whirlwind tour of Delhi, meeting everyone who matters within and beyond the government, the Prime Minister, the President, some Cabinet ministers, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, several other opposition leaders, et al.

Labelling a Jesuit a Marxist? It's like saying if you use a plane, you become American

Jesuits: Cedric Prakash, Stan Swamy By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* A thirteen- fourteen-year-old has many dreams! That's an impressionable age; at the cusp of finishing school. It is also a time when one tastes a different kind of freedom: to go for camps with boys of your own age (not with ones family). Such camps and outings were always enjoyed to the hilt. The ones, however, which still remain etched in my memory are the mission camps to the Jesuit missions in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

Giant conglomerates 'favoured': Whither tribal rights for jal-jungle-jameen?

Prafull Samantara By Mohammad Irshad Ansari*  The struggle for “Jal, Jungle and Jameen” has been a long-drawn battle for the tribal communities of India. This tussle was once again in the limelight with the proposed diamond mining in the Buxwaha forest of Chhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh). The only difference in this movement was the massive social media support it gained, which actually seems to tilt the scale for the tribal people in a long time.

UP arrest of 'terrorists': Diverting attention from Covid goof-up, Ram temple land scam?

By Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, Sandeep Pandey* That corruption is rampant in police department is a common experience. However, there is another form of corruption which devastates lives of individuals and their families. It has now emerged as a common phenomenon that police more often than not register false cases because of which individuals have to spend number of years in jail.

If not Modi, then who? Why? I (an ordinary citizen) am there! Main hoon naa!

By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  The number of women ministers is doubled in early July from the first term after cabinet reshuffle by the present government led by Narendra Modi. While there were 06 women ministers in the previous term, this term there are 11. The previous two governments led by Dr Manmohan Singh had 10 women ministers in each tenure. Are these number of women ministers something to rejoice in the near 75 years of independence? Yes maybe, if we think that things are slowly improving in the patriarchal system. This change is less likely to achieve gender balance in the parliament otherwise we require more than 11 as per the 33% reservation . This change is also less likely because the men politicians’ inability to handle the country’s mess is becoming more and more evident and especially during the corona crisis. Seems, the addition of more women ministers may be a result of the recent assembly elections where women played a decisive role in the election results. For example

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Effluent discharge into deep sea? Modi told to 'reconsider' Rs 2275 crore Gujarat project

Counterview Desk  In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, well-known Gujarat-based environmentalist, Mahesh Pandya of the Paryavaran Mitra, has protested against the manner in with the Gujarat government is continuing with its deep sea effluent disposal project despite environmental concerns.

Gujarat govt gender insensitive? Cyclone package for fisherfolk 'ignores' poor women

By Our Representative A memorandum submitted to the Gujarat government by various fisherfolk associations of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat under the leadership of Ahmedabad NGO Centre for Social Justice's senior activist Arvind Khuman, who is based in Amreli, has suggested that the relief package offered to the fishermen affected by the Tauktae cyclone is not only inadequate, it is also gender insensitive.