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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

How Modi escaped accountability for terrorism against Muslims

During his regime as the Chief Minister, Modi trashed the laws of India and its Constitution and got away. To help him in this huge work of manslaughter, the RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, and many other groups were involved - writes Mustafa Khan from Maharashtra, India.

PM Narendra Modi’s pet bete noire is the Congress party. He has never missed maligning it, challenging and taunting Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi to try her for the murder of Soharabuddin Sheikh and of course her friends like Tulsiram Prajapati.

The gravamen is Modi trashed the laws of India and its Constitution. He got away with all this. To help him in this huge work of manslaughter the RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, and many other groups were involved in murder, loot, and arson. Even the Geneva-based human rights group chief Mrs. Mary Robinson was prevented from visiting India and especially Gujarat. She was the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) of the UNO.

Even the legal luminaries of the day failed to demystify the concept of terrorism in the regime of Modi as CM. Attorney General of India Soli Jahangir Sorabjee and JS Verma (Chairman, National Human Rights Commission), were rushed to New York to forestall the UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson from condemning the violence of human rights in post-Godhra Gujarat.

Read more: What is Kashmir’s legal status under Modi regime?

But, was not the carnage in Gujarat “terrorism”? Modi even turned down the request of the President K R Narayanan of India who pleaded for sympathy that Muslims deserved for being killed, driven out of their houses into refugee camps, and killed and wounded all over in Gujarat 2002 genocide.

According to an analysis issued by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) poll rights group, at least 42 percent of the 78 ministers in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Union cabinet following the massive reshuffle in July 2021 had criminal charges against them. As per the research, four of these ministers were involved in attempted murder cases. In this, the Government of India under AB Vajpayee was directly involved.

In a meeting with the terrorism expert supercop KPS Gill the Gujarat cops told him that they were given clear instructions to go soft on Bajrang Dal and VHP activists. The IPS officers also told him that the directive to this effect was given to them by Modi at the meeting of top officials on the night of February 27.

Modi had thought that as he was in the wing and so he was not visible but the drama on the stage was scripted by him and those who took pains to see, saw him gesturing and whispering that it was genocide!

Classic cases of subverting justice

It took a whole decade to pinpoint this and bring it on the official record. He had told Sanjiv Bhatt, his intelligence officer in charge of the security of the CM himself on April 9, 2002 to pay ten lakh rupees to subvert justice vis-à-vis the Naroda Patiya massacre case in which nearly 800 Muslims were burnt alive.

Bhatt had waited full ten years to get it on record, the first ever that Modi had tried to bribe the defense lawyer of his bête noire Mallika Sarabhai. She had filed a petition against the massacre. Why should Modi bribe a lawyer Krishnakant Vakharia to undermine a petition on the post-Godhra carnage? The bribing of Zahira Sheikh, in the Best Bakery pogrom case too is a classic act of suborning and subverting justice that made her spend time in prison for turning hostile as a witness in a case in which her own relatives were killed.

Read more: Is it possible to survive the aggressive Hindutva reign of terror?

Similarly, the High Court of Gujarat took a whole decade to declare that the police were thoroughly discredited and hence the fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan should be handed over to CBI. Fake encounters had begun right in the midst of the throes of the genocide.

Another monumental case that waited a whole decade was Zakia Jafri’s ten years endeavor to register a case of the pogrom in which her husband and scores of others sheltering in her house were brutally killed and the police and even the High Court had refused to entertain her petition to register a First Information Report.

A decade in the life of a nation is a minuscule period but a whole life in the case of a woman whose world was destroyed along with her near and dear ones including her husband and children. There were thousands of such women who saw how life had plunged them into the darkness of hell on earth just because the “problem from hell” traversed the space and reached their world.

Mustafa Khan holds a Ph.D. on Mark Twain. He lives in Malegaon Maharashtra, India. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.