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COMMUNAL VIOLENCE C 2006 Powered By Docstoc
					                COMMUNAL VIOLENCE – 2006
                                                                                  Compiled By
                                                                                      K. SAMU
                                                                 Human Rights Documentation,
                                            Indian Social Institute, Lodi Road, New Delhi, India

Communal Violence Bill will not disturb federal structure: Patil (7)
BANGALORE: Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Tuesday said the Communal Violence
(Prevention, Control, and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill 2005 will not disturb the federal structure
and it provides for adequate compensation to the victims. Mr. Patil said: "The Bill will strike a
balance between the powers of the State and Union governments. Let us not disturb the federal
structure." The Union Minister was addressing a "Southern Region Conference on Communal
Violence" to discuss the pros and cons of the Bill and elicit public opinion. The seminar is the
second in the series of six such events to be held in the country. Mr. Patil said there was no law
that defined the rights of survivors of communal violence for rescue, relief and rehabilitation. The
Bill has made a provision for setting up Communal Disturbance Relief and Rehabilitation Councils
at the national, State and district levels for planning relief and rehabilitation measures and their
coordination, monitoring and implementation. It has powers to facilitate speedy prosecution of
cases relating to communal violence. The Centre and the States will draw up guidelines for the
assessment of compensation for losses suffered during communal violence and contribute the
amount, he said. The Bill envisages immediate distribution of at least 30 per cent of the
compensation. "Funding is not going to be a problem and adequate compensation will be given."
(The Hindu 11/1/06)

Complaint filed against riot victims' relatives (7)
AHMEDABAD: The Lunavada municipality has filed a police complaint on Monday against Raees
Khan and 10 others, mostly relatives of the "missing" communal riot victims, for "illegal digging" at
a burial ground which the State Government authorities claimed was an "official grave." Eight
skulls were recovered from a grave last week which was dug up by Mr. Khan, the Ahmedabad-
based supporter of Teesta Setalvad, the convener of the Citizens for Justice and Peace, and
relatives of some of the "missing persons." The skulls, they said, were that of the victims of the
Pandarvada riots, in which 21 persons were still believed to be "missing." The police, however,
had earlier dismissed the case, claiming the skulls were of those whose deaths were taken into
account, post-mortems performed and were "officially buried." On a petition filed by Amina Bibi,
the mother of one of the victims, the Gujarat High Court on behalf of the Citizens for Justice and
Peace, has ordered DNA testing of the skulls at the Hyderabad forensic science laboratory under
the supervision of the CBI. The single judge bench of justice C. K. Buch had ordered State
Government representatives and relatives of the victims to be present during the collection of
bones from the grave for sending for DNA testing. Mr. Khan said the case filed by the Lunavada
municipality was aimed at delaying the process under the court order so that he and other victims'
relatives would not be present when the bones were collected, as ordered by the High Court.
(The Hindu 3/1/06)

Rights activists among 12 booked for exhuming bodies (7)
VADODARA, JANUARY 2: Raees Khan of the Citizens for Peace and Justice (CPJ) was among
12 persons booked on Monday by the Panchmahals police. The charges were allegedly
‘instigating’ Muslims and carrying out unauthorised digging at the spot where the bodies of 28
Muslims from Pandervada village, killed during the 2002 riots, had been buried by the
administration. No arrests have so far been made. While district collector Dinesh Brahmbhatt
confirmed the registration of the First Information Report (FIR) in the Lunavada police station,
Panchmahals Superintendent of Police J K Bhatt was not available for his comment on the
matter. The FIR, lodged by Lunavada municipality sanitary inspector Subhashchandra Pandya,
states that Khan, accompanied by some Muslims from Pandervada village, exhumed and then
reburied the victims’ remains on December 27, without permission from Lunvavada municipality
or the Panchmahals police. The next day, a writ was filed in the Gujarat High Court. The FIR says
Khan and his accomplices committed a serious offence by trying to influence proceedings going
on in court by exhuming the bodies and tampering with evidence. The FIR adds that CPJ
chairperson Teesta Setalvad also visited the site and instigated Muslims in Pandervada village.
Pandya states in the FIR that the administration buried the bodies because no one had claimed
them. In October 2002, eight bodies were exhumed and handed over to relatives who
approached the administration. No one subsequently made any claim, said the FIR, attempting to
contest claims of the activists and of Muslims of Pandervada that the administration had not
released the bodies. (Indian Exp. 3/1/06)

Narayanan’s letters: Riots panel wants fresh explanation (7)
AHMEDABAD, JANUARY 2: Not convinced with replies from Rashtrapati Bhawan and the
Centre, the Riots Commission has sought a fresh explanation from the Centre on its refusal to
submit correspondence between the President and the Prime Minister of that time. The Nanavati-
Shah Commission on Monday told Additional Solicitor-General Mohan Parasharan to clear the
government’s stand and furnish valid reasons for the refusal. A fresh affidavit is to be filed by
February 4. Earlier, A.N. Tiwari, a secretary in the Ministry of Personnel & Public Grievances,
had filed an affidavit seeking privilege for the correspondence, owing to which it could not be
made public. The Commission is not convinced. It says privilege is being sought on a matter
which the former President (the late K.R. Narayanan) had made public through an in interview to
a magazine. How, the Commission asks, can privilege be sought on what’s already public
knowledge, and says the only inference that can be drawn is that the government is trying to hide
something. It asked Parasharan to give ‘‘valid reasons’’ for withholding the letters. Advocate Dr
Mukul Sinha of Jan Sangharsh Manch requested the commission to issue summons. Later,
Parasharan said: ‘‘There’s nothing to hide. It’s a matter of propriety...we have claimed privilege
under Article 74 of the Constitution.’’ He said in the earlier affidavits the government had sought
privilege under evidence law, and that the letters ‘‘were unpublished official records relating to the
affairs of the state and those documents contain communication made in strict official confidence
(Indian Exp 3/1/06)

Modi’s US friend gets Pravasi award (7)
New Delhi: The "secular" Congress-led UPA government has selected the Vishwa Hindu
Parishad’s pointperson in the United States, Dr Sudhir Parekh, who is also a close friend of
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, as one of the 12 recipients of the Pravasi Bharatiya
Samman awards. These will be presented at a glittering ceremony in Hyderabad on January 9. Dr
Parekh was the key organiser of the finally-aborted visit of Mr Modi to the US to start what he had
termed the "Gaurav Yatra" from New York to Los Angeles after the violence in Gujarat had
claimed over 2,000 lives. Dr Parekh, an allergist in the US, had extended the invitation to the
Gujarat chief minister at a function in Ahmedabad in what was projected as a repeat of Mr Modi’s
Gaurav Yatra undertaken just before the December 2002 Assembly elections in the state. An
intense campaign by US-based human rights groups against the visit eventually persuaded the
US government not to grant a visa to Mr Modi. Dr Parekh, however, has remained consistent in
praising the chief minister and applauding his many "achievements." He is widely recognised as
an influential Sangh supporter in the United States. The UPA government has selected Dr Parekh
as one of the recipients for this prestigious award, which will be presented by President A.P.J.
Abdul Kalam to select Persons of Indian Origin at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations in
Hyderabad next week. January 9 is a date carefully selected by the ministry of overseas Indian
affairs as it was on this date in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi had returned to India from South
Africa. Dr Parekh, who felicitated Mr Modi at a time when he was under attack for the communal
violence in the state, is now amongst the handful of PIOs selected from different parts of the
world to be honoured by the President of India on this date. (Asian Age 5/1/06)

"Six skulls missing from Lunavada grave” (7)
AHMEDABAD: The CBI team which has completed the exhumation of the Lunavada grave found
the remnants of at least 20 bodies, but is said to have found at least six skulls "missing." The pit
was originally dug up by some relatives of the riot victims under the aegis of the Mumbai-based
voluntary organisation, the Citizens for Justice and Peace. Source said the recovery of the bone
samples came close to the police's original claim that it was an "official grave" where the police,
after due post mortem, had buried 21 bodies of the Pandarvada communal riot victims. Refuting
the police claim, the victims' relatives had said the skulls in the grave were of the "missing"
persons who were not accounted for in the riots and were dumped in the pit by killers. The
relatives secretly dug up the site last month after a sweeper of the Lunavada municipality
reportedly informed them about the burial of some bodies there. They also contacted the Citizens
for Justice and Peace Ahmedabad convenor, Raees Khan, who was present during the op-
eration, before the police and the media were informed about the recovery of eight skulls. On a
petition filed by one Amina Bibi, the relative of one of the victims, the Gujarat High Court had
ordered DNA tests of bone samples, which were to be recovered from the grave in the presence
of the CBI, the relatives and the representative of the Citizens for Justice and Peace. However,
when a five-member CBI team launched the sample collection operation earlier this week, neither
Mr. Khan nor the relatives of the alleged "missing" persons was present because of a police
complaint lodged by the Lunavada municipality on Monday against them for "illegal digging" of
the grave without seeking the permission of the authorities. (The Hindu 9/1/06)

White paper on ’89 riots soon (7)
Patna, Jan. 16: The NDA government in Bihar has decided to come up with a white paper on the
communal riots at Bhagalpur that had rocked the nation in 1989. The white paper will inform the
people about the cases relating to the 16-year-old riots that claimed the lives of more than 12,000
people and also on the steps taken by the previous RJD government to rehabilitate the affected
family members. The move gains significance in the backdrop of allegations that the previous
governments led by Mr Lalu Prasad and Ms Rabri Devi had stopped compilation of the list of
affected family members. Also, it has been alleged, the files related to the riot cases went missing
from government records as it pointed fingers at a few powerful politicians of the state. "We do
not want to malign anybody or, for that matter, the previous governments. Our motive is to inform
people about what had happened during and after the riots," chief minister Nitish Kumar said. The
JD(U) had promised in its election manifesto to mete justice to the Bhagalpur riot victims and Mr
Kumar said his party will not backtrack on that. Hinting at reopening riot cases and action against
the officers responsible for the incident, Mr Kumar has also announced to "identify" the riot
victims and introduce a rehabilitation policy for them. The then RJD government had stopped the
process of making a list of the victims for compensation who had been left out. Mr Lalu Prasad
has dismissed claims that any fresh probe or reinvestigation of riot cases could trouble him. "Why
should we fear when our government had done all to ensure justice to the riot victims? It is foolish
to believe that a fresh probe into the riot cases will anger Muslims against us," he said. (Asian
Age 17/1/06)

Communal violence hits Indore (7)
Bhopal/Indore: The police was compelled to fire 10 rounds in the air and lob teargas shells to
prevent a communal flare-up in the Toda area of Indore on Tuesday. Sources said tension had
been brewing since Monday night between two groups over urination rights near a paan shop.
Matters worsened after the attempted intervention of a local Congress MLA, Mr Ashwin Joshi.
(Asian Age 18/1/06)

Communal clash in Indore politicised (7)
Bhopal : The communal clash that took place in Indore two days ago has taken a political turn.
The Congress has taken it as a challenge and decided to take out a procession in the city on
Thursday protesting against the false FIR registered against its MLA. The Congress leaders
would submit a memorandum to the Divisional Commissioner in this regard. Congress MLA Mr
Ashwin Joshi at a press conference alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers were involved in fanning communal riots in the city. "I will
not tolerate such fundamentalist activities in my constituency," he added. On Wednesday, two
groups pelted stones at each other over a dispute that took place at a chemist's on Tuesday night
forcing the police to resort to firing in the air in order to control the situation. A group went on
'chakka jam' to protest against the dispute, when the other group appeared. Soon stones were
being pelting began from both sides. As the situation worsened, the police opened fire in the air
and lobbed tear gas to disperse the mob.People in both camps were injured in the stone pelting.
Congress MLA Ashwini Joshi and BJP MLAs' Mahendra Hardia and Usha Thakur intervened in
the matter taking opposite sides. BJP workers staged a sit-in demanding the arrest of the
Congress MLA and other culprits. The police registered a case under section 307 of the IPC
(murderous assault) against Mr Joshi on a complaint by BJP leaders Kamal Vaghela, Nanda Bai
and Hemlata Ahirwar. Surprisingly, the action was taken without medical evidence. However,
Superinten- dent of Police Adarsh Katiyar has said that the case would be investigated on the
basis of the evidence. (Pioneer 19/1/06)

Victims of Mau riot recall their pain and loss (7)
Lucknow, Jan. 20: The flames of communal riots in Mau district may have died down but the
embers still burn brightly. At least on bed No. 17 in ward No. 23 of Balrampur hospital in
Lucknow. On this bed lies 45-year-old Mohammed Murtaza, a victim of the Mau riots, with
multiple fractures in his right arm and injuries in his leg, hip and back. Murtaza's wife Laila Kha-
toon stares blankly at everyone around even as she huddles her six-month old daughter
Rukhsana close to her chest. Mohammed Murtaza, Laila and their family are just one among the
hundreds of faceless victims of the Mau riots — victims who have neither been treated for their
injuries nor have they received compensation from the government. They have been left
homeless and penniless to fend for themselves with a future that is dark and a past that is--
darker. "It was on October 15, a day after the riots broke out. My shop was demolished and set
on fire by the mob and a truck containing plastic scrap was also set on fire. I locked up my house
in Badi Kot locality and was about to flee the township with my family when they rioters caught
hold of me. They beat me with iron rods and sticks and I fell unconscious. After that I do not know
what happened but after several hours when I regained consciousness, I found myself in my
house," says Mohammed Murtaza. Murtaza's wife Laila recounts the horror that unfolded after
her husband fell unconscious. "They were four men and they caught hold of me and my 12-year-
old daughter Ashia and gangraped us. (Asian Age 21/1/06)

Communal violence bill faces heavy opposition (7)
New Delhi, Jan. 27: The Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims)
Bill, tabled in the Parliament in December last year is facing strong opposition from anti-
communal groups, human rights organisations and women's groups. Earlier drafts of the bill were
rejected by these citizen groups, who claim that their concerns remain unaddressed in the bill
which they allege was hurriedly tabled in the Rajya Sabha on December 5, 2005. "The basic
problem with the bill, is the very objectives on which its entire edifice is constructed," says
Anhad, an NGO committed to working for communal harmony. Expressing disappointment and
anguish over the bill tabled by the UPA government, the critique report of Anhad states, "The
preamble of the bill itself states that the bill aims 'to empower the state governments and the
Central government to take measures to provide for the prevention and control of communal
violence.'" Explaining that the demand for the bill was made in light of a growing atmosphere of
communalisation across the country, representatives of Anhad stated," The immediate context for
the bill is the 2002 Gujarat massacre and its aftermath, Nellie in 1983, Delhi in 1984, Bhagalpur in
1989 and Mumbai in 1992-93 besides others. "But on neither front does the bill deliver," they
critiqued. "In these episodes of national shame and trauma, it were the democratically elected
state administrations who were openly partisan, neglectful or even active participants in the
massacre," they added. (Asian Age 28/1/06)

Communal violence in UP village, Muslim homes torched (7)
FAIZABAD, JANUARY 27: COMMUNAL violence erupted late last evening in Pure Thakur
Kadanpur village in Faizabad district's Milkipur tehsil when a mob attacked a Muslim locality and
burnt down at least 10 houses, a day after five persons were arrested on the charge of cow
slaughter. Seventeen people have been taken into custody for participating in the attack. SSP
Faizabad Avinash Chandra told The Indian Express that four platoons of the PAC had been
deployed in the village and four policemen, including police station officer of Inayat Nagar, Alok
Varma, had been suspended. Residents alleged that the mob attack took place in the presence of
local policemen. At least 15 people were injured in the incident. According to the SSP, Shah
Mohammad of the village was arrested on Wednesday with four others—Chand, Meraj, Najeeb
and Ram Surat Upadhyay— on the charge of slaughtering a cow. Upadhyay, the SSP said, used
to deal in skins and did business with shoe-manufacturing units. But last evening, a mob,
allegedly led by the husband of the village pradhan attacked Muslim homes, the SSP said.
Following the incident, most men of the locality have fled. Resident Anisa Bano, one of the
victims, said: "We have no connection with Shah Mohammad yet the mob attacked us. They tried
to kill my father." Mubarak Ali, seriously injured in the attack, told The Indian Express: "We were
asleep when the mob came. They were shouting, telling us to leave the village. What had we
done?" (Indian Express 28/1/06)

Letters cannot be disclosed in public interest: Centre (7)
New Delhi : The Centre on Tuesday reiterated that the correspondence between the former
President, K.R. Narayanan, and the former Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, on the steps taken to
control the 2002 Gujarat riots could not be made available to the Nanavati-Shah Commission in
the public interest. In a fresh affidavit filed before the Commission, probing the Godhra riots, in
Ahmedabad, the Centre said: "Each of the documents contains several important contents which,
if produced, would seriously prejudice and affect the public interest in a variety of ways,
consequently affecting the national interest as well." Also, "there cannot be a selective disclosure
of some contents of the letters and correspondence. The documents, which are unpublished
official records relating to the affairs of the State, would, if produced, cause great injury to the
public interest." The Commission sought production of the letters from the President's Secretariat
after an advocate, representing a section of the riot-hit families, said these could hold vital clues
to the Government's "inaction" in controlling the riots. The President's office referred the matter to
the Centre and it filed an affidavit claiming privilege. (The Hindu 1/2/06)

Bhojshala: Spring festival tests communal spirit (7)
BHOPAL, JANUARY 31: Basant Panchami, the spring festival has brought tension this year to
the disputed Bhojshala shrine in Madhya Pradesh, where both Hindus and Muslims worship. With
the Hindus considering the shrine a Saraswati temple and the Muslims calling it the Kamal Maula
Masjid, the Archaeological Survey of India had worked out a compromise allowing Hindus to
worship at the temple on Basant Panchmi while the Muslims congregate here for prayers every
Friday. The problem is: this year Basant Panchmi falls on February 3, a Friday. The ASI has
come up with a formula: Hindus can worship at Bhojshala from sunrise to 12.30 pm and then from
3.30 pm to sunset, while Muslims can offer prayers from 1 pm to 3 pm. However, the Hindu
Jagran Manch has rejected the formula, saying that the auspicious festival comes only once a
year and they had the right to pray at the temple the whole day. The Manch also plans to
organise a Dharam Rakshan Sangam at the disputed shrine. ‘‘There are 52 Fridays every year
and it’s not mandatory for Muslims to pray only at Bhojshala,” says the Manch’s Ashish Basu.
“For the Hindus, however, there is no option because Basant Panchmi has been celebrated at
this place for ages,’’ he claimed. The HJM’s regional convenor Radheshyam Yadav said that
though no religious function would be organised at the shrine after 1 pm, it would still be
impossible to vacate the premises as over one lakh devotees are expected to take part in the
ceremonies. Yadav said a similar situation had occurred in 1999 but admitted that the scale of
awareness among Hindus wasn’t high then. ‘‘It’s not that we don’t want Muslims to pray, but
given that thousands of Hindus will descend here on Friday it will be difficult to control the mob,’’
he said. (Indian Exp 1/2/06)

Hindu-Muslim row over prayers in Bhojshala (7)
Bhopal, Feb. 2: Tension has been brewing at the Bhojshala (an ASI protected monument) in Dhar
district over the Basant Pan-chami celebrations on February 3. Standing cheek by jowl at the 11th
century structure is a Saraswati temple and a mosque. While Muslims have been offering namaz
at the adjacent Kamal Maula Mosque every Friday, Hindus had been allowed to enter the
disputed premises once a year on Basant Panchami since May 1997. However, since February
28, 2003, Hindus were permitted to offer oblations of flowers and rice every Tuesday at the altar
of the goddess on the specific orders of the ASI after the BJP-VHP kicked up a huge row over the
grant of prayer rights to the Hindus. This year, Basant Panchami falls on a Friday, and therein lies
the rub. Such a co-incidence had occurred in 1998 too during the tenure of Mr Digvijay Singh.
Tackling it had proved quite a headache. The Bhojshala issue was among the several issues
which had created the climate for the BJP landslide in the 2003 Assembly polls. The structure,
according to scholarly research, was a Sanskrit school built up Raja Bhoj in 1034 AD. A mosque
came up at the same place a few centuries later. Dhar collector Ram Kinkar Gupta told this
newspaper that Muslims had refused to give up their right to conduct their Friday prayer.(Asian
Age 3/2/06)

Tension in Meerut over eve-teasing (7)
MEERUT: Tension gripped the congested old Meerut city on Friday as people from different
communities clashed and indulged in stone-throwing over an alleged incident of eve-teasing here
on Thursday night, police said. Police and PAC contingents were deployed in the communally
sensitive town in view of Friday prayers, Senior Superintendent of Police Rajiv Sabharwal said.
The police have arrested some suspects and cases were registered against them, he said. The
incident took place when some youths of another community tried to harass women in a marriage
procession in the Mehmoodnagar locality of Lisani Gate area. The scene turned ugly as groups
from both the communities clashed with each other and pelted stones. Senior police officials
rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control. Meanwhile, as some people were
being rounded up today, an agitated mob clashed with the police protesting the arrests, the SSP
said. Police lathi-charged, fired rubber bullets and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the mob, in
which four people were injured. (The Hindu 4/2/06)

Lathicharge near Bhojshala (7)
BHOPAL: Police burst teargas shells and resorted to a mild lathi-charge at Dhar in Madhya
Pradesh on Friday afternoon when Muslims started entering the historic Bhojshala to offer
Jumme-ki-Namaz (Friday prayers), where Hindus had converged in large numbers on the
occasion of Basant Panchami. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had said that the Hindus
would be allowed to perform Saraswati Vandana at Bhojshala till 12.30 p.m. and the place should
then be vacated for Muslims for the Friday namaz between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. There was tight
security and the police had cordoned off the area. To allow the Muslims to enter the premises as
per ASI's orders, a two-hour curfew was imposed in the afternoon. A senior police spokesman
told The Hindu that at this stage there was confusion as a particular television news channel
began telecasting news that devotees were being thrown out and the Muslims brought in to offer
prayers. This led to commotion, protest and some stone pelting. The police resorted to a mild
lathi-charge. A few teargas shells were also used to disperse the crowd. Some persons were
injured, including the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Pramod Phalnikar, who was hit on the
eye. The situation was soon brought under control and people continued to offer prayers. Though
in small numbers, the Muslims offered the Friday namaz, which was conducted by the Naib
Quazi. The Hindus were again allowed entry into the premises and at 5.30 p.m. Over 6,000
devotees offered prayers at the monument. (The Hindu 4/2/06)

Protest against BJP Government's 'communal policies' (7)
JAIPUR: Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee on Saturday held a one-day dharna at the
Gandhi Circle here against the "communal policies" of the Bharatiya Janata Party Government in
the State and the "official patronage" being accorded to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
activities. The partymen, led by PCC president B.D. Kalla, later presented a memorandum to
Governor Pratibha Patil. Though initially slated as a protest against the communal policies, the
memorandum contained an updated version of events in the State, including the Friday's Special
Court (sati prevention) order against a member of the State Council of Ministers and the alleged
attempts of the State Government in grabbing the credit for the newly-launched Central scheme
under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in six districts of the State. The Congress
delegation sought the Governor to put a curb on the "communal agenda" pursued by the
Vasundha-ra Raje Government and the utterances of a few Ministers, which were proving
detrimental to the peace and harmony in the State. The norms for allocation of MLAs'
development fund were being tampered with to suit RSS affiliated organisations while a
Vaishnava temple and its properties in Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh were being given away to a
hitherto unknown trust, they charged. The delegation sought the dismissal of Social Welfare
Minister Madan Dilwar for his speech on Republic Day in Ko-ta in which he spoke more about
Hindutva agenda than about the significance of the day. The memorandum mentioned misuse of
government machinery during the recent two-day "Chintan shivir" (introspection camp) organised
by the RSS at an ethnic five star hotel in the outskirts of Jaipur involving all the Chief Ministers of
the BJP ruled States. (The Hindu 4/2/06)

Narayanan could have sent Army to Gujarat: Antulay (7)
New Delhi, Feb. 4: Minority affairs minister A.R. Antulay said that the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat
(in 2002) could have been controlled if then President K.R. Narayanan had sent in armed forces
in his capacity as the Supreme Commander. "I believe as per my reading of the Constitution of
India and putting the true interpretation of the relevant article, it is clear that the President of India
is Supreme Commander of the armed forces. Therefore, K.R. Narayanan could have himself sent
in the armed forces, who would have controlled the situation and brought peace to the state and
given a sense of security to the citizens," Mr Antulay told this newspaper in reply to a question.
"Anyway... what has happened has happened. It is now mandatory for all of us to take a lesson
for the future," he said. But, according to a PTI report, Mr Antulay, in an interview to a news
magazine, said, "What could you say if you see the country’s President become so helpless that
he has to write a letter to the Prime Minister but then again there is no action on it as well?" He
was referring to Mr Narayanan’s communication to then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee after
riots had erupted in Gujarat in the wake of the Godhra carnage. "Narayanan could have sent the
Army to Gujarat," the new minister remarked. Mr Antulay also blamed the Gujarat riots on chief
minister Narendra Modi, saying riots can never erupt if the state government remains alert. "In so
far as the Gujarat violence is concerned, I believe riots cannot occur if state governments remain
alert. And state governments and chief ministers are not two separate entities," he said. Asked if
he would take action against Mr Modi, the Union minister remarked he is yet to understand the
jurisdiction of his ministry, as per the agency report. (Asian Age 5/2/06)

Religious tension in Leh, Kargil (7)
Srinagar, Feb. 6: An alleged act of sacrilege led to spontaneous closure of marketplaces and
heightening of tension in Leh and Kargil on Monday. Prominent residents and representatives of
various political and religious organisations have following an emergency meeting appealed to
the people to maintain calm and communal harmony. In order to defuse the situation, the meeting
also decided to send a joint delegation of Muslims and Buddhists to Bodh Kharbu, a township 140
km short of Leh on the Srinagar-Leh highway, to verify the facts about the reported incident. The
Muslims of Bodh Kharbu alleged that someone took out a copy of Holy Quran from the local
mosque that was found "torn apart and desecrated" outside at dawn on Monday. Soon, Muslims
held protests in the area and when the news reached Leh, angry traders brought their shutters
down. A report from Kargil said that a strike over the alleged sacrilege was also observed there.
Another report said that at Bodh Kharbu, an irate local Muslims roughed up some Buddhists
suspecting them to be behind the desecration. Buddhists, however, have denied the charge
saying that they have been living in harmony with each other in the area for centuries. (Asian Age

Gujarat Riots: Govt re-opens 1,242 cases on SC order (7)
Gandhinagar : The Gujarat Government has reopened 1,242 cases pertaining to the 2002 riots,
acting on the Supreme Court directions on a writ petition filed by the National Human Rights
Commission. The Supreme Court on August 17, 2004, directed the Narendra Modi Government
to set up a high-level police team headed by the director general of police to examine which of
the over 2,000 or so riot cases closed on the ground that the accused could not be traced
required fresh investigations. Of the 4,252 riot cases registered, approximately half had been
closed by the police which expressed its inability to trace the accused.According to the action
taken report submitted by the State Government to the apex court, the 2002 riot cases review cell
set up on the orders of the court had by October 31, 2005 taken up a review of 1772 cases of
which 1242 were reopened and following investigations 523 persons were arrested and 13 new
cases were filed. Thirty nine police officers and men who had carried out the initial investigations
are facing departmental proceedings for dereliction of duty in relation to these cases while action
against another 41 is being contemplated. The report has stated that the law department referred
332 judgments of the lower courts ordering the release of those arrested in riot offences, had
been referred to the State advocate general who recommended going in appeal in only 13 cases.
The report submitted before the apex court through an affidavit shifts the blame for the
Government not going in appeal on the State's advocate general. After reviewing the judicial
process and judgements, he should give an independent, impartial opinion to the Government.
(Pioneer 9/2/06)

Curfew imposed in Leh after clashes (7)
Srinagar: Curfew was imposed on Thursday in Leh and the Army staged a flag march following
clashes between Muslims and Buddhists triggered by reports of desecration of the Quran at a
mosque in Kargil. Thirtyone persons have been arrested, Inspector-General (Kashmir Range) K.
Rajendra told PTI over phone from the Ladakhi capital. Mr. Kumar said curfew had been imposed
and the Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police were deployed as a precautionary measure. A
defence spokesman said the civil administration had sought Army assistance in maintaining law
and order in Leh. The Army was rushed to conduct a flag march in the afternoon. In Kargil, two
houses of Mohmd Ramzan were torched and three vehicles damaged by angry mobs. Kashmir
Divisional Commissioner, Basharat Ahmad Dhar, who is camping in Leh, said the situation was
under control. The clashes erupted at Bodh Kharboo in the Kargil area on Monday after some
persons allegedly tore off pages of the holy book in a mosque there. Civil administration officials
accompanied by community elders went round the town and appealed to people to maintain
peace and amity. (The Hindu 10/2/06)

Public interest plea does not hold water, Nanavati tells Centre (7)
AHMEDABAD: The G.T. Nanavati and K.G. Shah Commission on Wednesday reserved orders
on the Centre's refusal to produce a copy of correspondence between the then President and the
then Prime Minister on the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat. The judicial Commission, probing the
train carnage and the post-Godhra riots, virtually made it clear that it was not impressed with the
Centre's claim of "privilege" not to submit the documents even "in camera" for it to decide whether
the correspondence it sought was classified and could be granted immunity from disclosure. "I do
not understand what public interest it will serve by not placing before the Commission the copy of
a letter written by the then President, K.R. Narayanan, to the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari
Vajpayee, advising the Government to control the communal riots," Justice Nanavati told
Additional Solicitor-General Mohan Parashar, who appeared for the Centre, here. "Are you trying
to tell the Commission that Mr. Narayanan was an irresponsible President, who himself disclosed
some of the contents of the letters in a media interview? Had the content been sensitive and
against the public interest, he would not have made it public."Rejecting Mr. Parashar's arguments
quoting Supreme Court judgments on the issue of privilege, Justice Nanavati said the realm of
inquiry by the Commission to fix the Government's responsibility in handling the communal riots
was "totally different" and the objectives were "totally different." It required a "totally different
approach and new solutions." The apex court's earlier judgements were "irrelevant" in the new
situation. The Commission had asked the Centre to "properly apply its mind" before claiming
privilege under the Constitution and the Evidence Act, he said. (The Hindu 9/2/06)

Communal tension rises in Alappuzha (7)
Alappuzha: COMMUNALISM AND arms training are rearing their ugly heads in the district of
Alappuzha in Kerala. The recent police action in Mannancherry, near Alappuzha, points to the
fact that communal intolerance is rising. According to a police special branch report, several arms
training camps are active in the district and weapons are being transported to Alappuzha from
other places, including Tamil Nadu. A few organisations are sponsoring the training, a special
branch officer said. There are over 30 such camps functioning on the outskirts of Alappuzha, he
said. The district, which once witnessed several struggles for social justice and equality, has now
become a hotbed for communal strife as a result. Poverty, illiteracy and unemployment among
the youth are some of the factors that make it easy for communal organisations to influence
people of the region. In Alappuzha, export of coir products and marine products is a monopoly of
some communities and this is the chief cause of severe financial imbalance in the area, a local
resident said. The managements of the two sectors — coir product exports and marine product
exports — are only keen on employing people belonging to their respective communities, he said.
This has led to large-scale unemployment among the youth. Remittances from NRIs have also
contributed to intolerance among a section of people, the police officer said adding weapons are
brought in from outside the district almost daily. Since over 300 lorries reach Alappuzha daily
from other parts of Kerala and outside, it is easy to smuggle in weapons. The special branch
officer said they do not have the facility to check every vehicle and the weapons smugglers also
get protection from the politicians. (Pioneer 10/2/06)

Tension throws life out of gear in Meerut (7)
Meerut: ANTI-SOCIAL ELEMENTS once again tried to disturb the communal harmony of the city
on Saturday. Stone pelting between members of two communities was witnessed after a clash
between two families on a financial matter in Patte Wala locality of the city. All senior police
officials reached the spot with heavy police force and controlled the situation. Though anti social
elements spread many rumours but the police deployed heavy police force and managed to avoid
communal tension. The case concerned Abid, who lives in Pattewala locality along with his family
members and runs a whole sale business of vegetables. Gaurav, who owns a vegetable shop in
the same locality, had bought potatoes from Abid on credit about one month back. Though Abid
reminded Gaurav time and again to pay him back, the latter kept delaying the payment. Abid
even brought the matter before Gaurav's mother Kalavati but to no avail. On Sunday evening,
Abid met Gaurav. The latter again denied giving back the money. As a result, both entered into
an altercation on the issue and Abid allegedly slapped Gaurav. Gaurav rushed to his house and
told his neighbors that Abid had attacked him along with some people of his community. The
neighbours and other persons of Gaurav's community rushed to the spot and the angry mob
started shouting slogans and pelting stones over the house of the people of the other community,
located just across the crossing. Meanwhile those of Abid's community also gathered there and
started shouting slogans and pelting stones over the houses of people of Gaurav's community.
Abid's cousin Ashrat got injured in this clash. It was, however, rumored that people of both the
communities were attacking each other with knives and a communal riot had started in that area.
(Pioneer 13/2/06)

Nanavati panel seeks information (7)
AHMEDABAD: The G.T. Nanavati and K.G. Shah Commission, probing the Godhra train tragedy
and the post-Godhra communal riots in Gujarat, has asked the State Government to file its reply
by March 1 on the analysis of a compact disc listing the mobile phone numbers of the calls made
on February 28, 2002, the crucial "Gujarat Bandh" day. The State Government has also been
asked to make available various relevant papers and documents, including press statements
issued by Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders on the Godhra
train tragedy. The advocate for the riot victims, Mukul Sinha, had sought the analysis of the CD
and the government documents in an application filed before the commission earlier this month.
The commission's sitting on Saturday was adjourned after it was informed that the State
Government sought more time to submit the analysis of the CD and other relevant documents.
The CD was submitted to the commission by the then Bhavnagar district superintendent of police,
Rahul Sharma, after he was shifted to the State intelligence bureau. The commission is
scheduled to meet again on March 4. The commission, however, is yet to issue an order on the
Centre's refusal to make available a copy of the letter of the former President, K.R. Narayanan, to
the then Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, on the Gujarat riots. It reserved its order after
virtually rejecting the Centre's counsel, Mohan Parashar's arguments seeking privilege under the
Constitution and the Indian Evidence Act against the production of the classified letter. (The
Hindu 19/2/06)
All-party meeting to evolve consensus on bill to tackle communal violence (7)
NEW DELHI: Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president Ajit Singh on Monday called for an all-party
meeting to evolve a consensus on the need for a bill to tackle communal violence in the country.
He made this suggestion at a seminar organised here. Mr. Singh's Private Member's Bill, the
Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Act, which was introduced
in the Lok Sabha on March 14, 2005, is listed for discussion during the ongoing session of
Parliament. The Bill, which has exactly the same title as the Union Home Ministry's Bill on
communal violence introduced in Parliament in the winter session, seeks to establish a `National
Commission on Inter Community Peace and Justice' headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or
a retired Chief Justice of a High Court. The proposed commission will have the authority to
investigate reasons behind communal crimes and the power to punish public servants who do not
take appropriate action with imprisonment of a term of up to two years. Speaking at the seminar,
former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court A.M. Ahmadi said that the main defect of the Home
Ministry's bill was that it did not give the Central Government enough power to intervene in
situations where the State Government fails to act. He pointed out that the Government's bill and
the proposed Private Member's Bill did not address the question of whether the Central
government has the legislative competence to intervene to control or prevent situations of
communal violence. He suggested that the Home Ministry enact provisions related to genocide
and model its Bill on the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. (The Hindu 21./2/06)

On eve of trial, punish Zaheera is Muslim prayer (7)
VADODARA, FEBRUARY 23: A day before the Best Bakery case verdict, Muslims in Vadodara
are praying fervently — praying for a suitable punishment for Zaheera and her family. An unlikely
prayer, but the community believes that it would set an example for others. ‘‘May Zaheera and
family be punished. We want the accused to be punished but more than that it is the family that
should learn a lesson,’’ said Razak Memon, who headed the Baroda Relief Committee during
post-Godhra riots. Even as television channels and media mount vigils at Hanuman Tekri, where
the Best Bakery massacre took place, Thursday saw both the families of the accused and the
Muslim community of the city praying — albeit for different blessings. ‘‘At least a minimum
conviction has to be there for this family, setting an example so that none dares to make mockery
of the judiciary in future,’’ said Memon. In the walled city area as well as Muslim-dominated areas
of Vadodara, the community is bracing for the worst on Friday, when a special sessions court in
Mumbai will deliver the verdict. While the community believes that there will be some conviction, it
is the lot of Zaheera and the family that is uppermost in their minds. What seems to hurt the
community more than the family’s turnaround is its brazen support to the BJP. ‘They might not
have taken the responsibility of the entire community but greed too has its limit. A punishment
should be an example for all,’’ observed Pervez, a youth who has been following the case. (Indian
Express 24/2/06)

Best verdict: 9 get life for massacre (7)
Mumbai, Feb. 24: A special court in Mumbai hearing the Best Bakery case of 2002, in which 14
persons were murdered by a mob, on Friday sentenced nine persons to life imprisonment and
acquitted eight of the 17 persons who were tried. The judgment is seen as significant and could
have an effect on many other cases. The verdict, according to the special public prosecutor, was
delivered on the basis of the same chargesheet that had been filed in Gujarat. The Best Bakery
massacre took place in Baroda during the riots that followed the Godhra train carnage of 2002.
Additional sessions judge Abhay Thipsay, hearing the case since 2004, first announced the
acquittal of eight persons accused of being part of the mob that attacked the Best Bakery on
March 1, 2002 since there was no evidence against them. Those acquitted are Mahendra Jadav,
Harish Gosai, Yogesh Verma, Pratap Chauhan, Tulsibhai Tadvi, Kamlesh Tadvi, Ravi Chauhan
and Yasinkhai Mhokar. The court then summoned the nine persons convicted. They were asked
whether they had anything to say regarding the trial. Sanjay Thakkar, one of the accused, broke
down in court and pleaded for mercy while most of the others said they had nothing to say. All
nine of them were then sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and voluntarily causing hurt.
They have also been convicted of charges of sedition, rioting, unlawful assembly. Those
sentenced to life imprisonment are Rajubhai Baria, Pankaj Gosai, Sanjay Thakkar, Bahadursinh
Chauhan, Jagdish Rajput, Dinesh Rajbher, Shanabhai Baria, Shailesh Tadavi and Suresh
Vasava. The court ordered that they begin serving the lesser sentences first, following which they
would have to serve their life imprisonment terms. (Asian Age 25/2/06)

Bhagalpur probe (7)
Patna, Feb. 24: The Nitish Kumar government today announced that a new single-member
judicial commission will probe the 1989 Bhagalpur communal riots and its aftermath. The
commission, which will submit its final report in six months, overrides all earlier investigation,
prosecution and rehabilitation attempts made by the government. The state cabinet approved the
setting up of the new commission and the chief minister made a request to the Patna High Court
chief justice to suggest the name of a judge—sitting or retired —to head the same. Previous
Rashtriya Janata Dal governments headed by Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi have faced constant
criticism for adopting a lackadaisical approach towards investigation, prosecution and
rehabilitation of the pogrom victims. "Victims of the Bhagalpur riots did not get justice and the
matter needs to be revisited. Despite evidence, 27 riot cases were closed and final report
submitted by the earlier governments. These cases will be reopened. Those guilty of hushing up
the cases will also be identified by the commission," Nitish said after the cabinet meeting.
(Telegraph 25/2/06)

Best news for other riot victims (7)
Ahmedabad, February 25: FOR FOUR years now, they have lived with memories of women
being raped and set afire, of screaming mobs burning down their houses. But Friday's conviction
of nine people in the Best Bakery carnage has made victims of the post-Godhra riots hope that
the butchers of Naroda Patiya, Gulbarg Society and other massacres that shamed the nation in
2004 will be brought to book. Most victims are now pitching for a transfer of the cases outside
Gujarat, as was done in the Best Bakery case — the distrust against the Narendra Modi
government being total. Lawyers handling the cases of the killings in Naroda Patiya, Gulbarg
Society, Sardarpura and Kidiyad — currently pending before the Supreme Court for transfer
outside Gujarat — are optimistic that the guilty can be convicted if the cases are pursued
vigorously and honestly. What turned the tables in the Best Bakery case once it was taken out of
Gujarat, NGOs       and lawyers point out, was that the prosecution did its job. The Vadodara fast
track court acquitted all the accused because a weak prosecution let the witnesses turn hostile.
As Jan Sangharsh Manch lawyer Mukul Sinha pointed out, the prosecution counsel willfully
weakened the case by not producing five key witnesses — the same people who testified before
the Mumbai court and led to the conviction. (Hindustan Times 26/2/06)

Communal tension grips West UP (7)
Muzaffarnagar : It seems that some unidentified persons are wanting to disturb the communal
harmony of Western Uttar Pradesh. Unidentified persons are visiting localities of both the Hindu
and Muslim communities and spreading rumours. It is also seen that reading material, inscribed
with messages of communal feelings, is being circulated in the town and neighbouring districts
like Meerut. Senior police officials are aware of these activities of the anti-social elements and
claim that nobody would be allowed to disturb the communal harmony of the district. According to
sources two youth reached Khalapar area of the city on February 25th. Both of them were looking
injured as they had bandages on their forehead. The youth told the people of the Muslim
community that people of the Hindu community had beaten them. The youth also requested the
people of the Muslim community to give a proper reply to the people of the other community. In
the beginning, residents of the locality believed them and planned to go to the nearby Hindu
dominated areas but senior citizens of the community stopped them. "Both the youth were
looking so innocent and afraid that all persons, who were present there, decided to visit the
nearby Hindu dominated localities to know about the facts. But, when elderly people of the
community asked the youth to give details about the persons who attacked them they could not
give a satisfactory answer. People of the locality thrashed the youth and decided to hand them
over to the police but elder people of the community stopped them and asked them to run away
from there," said Mr Babu Khan, a resident of the locality. (Pioneer 2/3/06)
Four killed as anti-Bush protests take communal colour in Lucknow (7)
LUCKNOW, MARCH 3: Four persons were killed and over 24 injured today as anti-Bush protests
assumed communal colours and violence spread to various parts of the city. Pitched battles took
place between the protestors and shopkeepers after the latter were told to down shutters in
protest against the Bush visit. The violence took place on the day of the visit of the President A P
J Abdul Kalam and former prime minister Atal Vajpayee to the city. Trouble began in the
afternoon in the Nazirabad area after a procession reached there after Friday prayers to protest
against the Bush visit. “The agitators first tried to force a group of shopkeepers to down their
shutters. The shopkeepers refused, leading to a clash,” said a local shopkeeper. Within minutes,
violence gripped a major part of Aminabad and its adjoining areas like Wazirganj, Qaiserbagh, La
Touche Road and Maulviganj. The violence continued for four hours. The police opened fire in
the air in Maulviganj as the mob exploded crude bombs and opened fire. Nine persons received
bullet injuries and have been admitted to the Trauma Centre. The Aminabad branch of Bank of
Baroda was set afire while about two dozen vehicles, parked in front of the branch, were charred.
Several shops were also set on fire in Aminabad. The local VHP has called a strike tomorrow.
(Indian Express 6.3.06)

Lalu panel calls Godhra an accident, what about flaming rags, ask victims(7)
NEW DELHI, AHMEDABAD, MARCH 3: In line with its interim findings, the UPA-appointed
Justice U C Banerjee panel has claimed that the fire in the Sabarmati Express on February 27,
2002, in Godhra which killed 59 passengers and sparked off riots across Gujarat was an
accident. Survivors and relatives of those killed in the train attack have reacted with outrage at
the conclusion saying this flies in the face of evidence that they were not allowed to leave the
coach and burning rags were thrown inside by a mob that had gathered at the station. The
Banerjee report, submitted to Railway Board chairman J P Batra, comes at a time when
according to an interim order of the Gujarat High Court, the Banerjee commission cannot make its
findings public until the court issues a final order on a petition filed by a survivor of the fire. The
next hearing in the case is on Monday (March 6). Petitioner Neelkanth Bhatia had moved the
court in October 2005 questioning the setting up of a commission when another one is already
probing the incident. This was a reference to the Justice G T Nanavati-Justice K G Shah
commission, appointed by the Gujarat government, and already probing the Sabarmati Express
attack and the riots that followed. Sources said the over 500- page report, submitted to Railway
Board chairman J P Batra, claims that the high level of “toxicity” in the coach was because of the
reccine and foam catching fire. “How can Justice Banerjee say it was accidental? We’ve been
screaming from Day 1 that we were attacked and that the fire was started by throwing burning
rags into the carriages,’’ said Komal Panchal, who lost her parents and two sisters in the fire. ‘‘Do
our statements not mean anything?’’ Her sister Gayatri, who was in the train, said: “Is it not true
that we were attacked? That the train was stopped about a kilometre from Godhra station? That
there were people throwing stones and burning rags at us?’’ Some point out that heavy stone-
throwing prevented them from getting off the burning train to save themselves. ‘‘The fire was
deliberate. The attackers, in order to ensure no one escaped, even closed the doors of the
carriages,’’ said Bharat Panchal, who lost his wife Jyoti in the fire. Said Renukaben Pandya of
Janatanagar, Ramol, who survived the fire, ‘‘If it was an accident, why was it that the people
gathered outside didn’t try to help us out and instead kept throwing stones to prevent us from
getting off?’’ Meanwhile, the Nanavati-Shah commission has recorded over 2,500 statements,
admitted over 5,000 affidavits of riot victims, police officials, VHP officials and senior bureaucrats.
The Banerjee panel, given an extension three times, twice inspected the S-6 coach. The VHP
filed an application before the Nanavati-Shah commission to summon the Banerjee panel. (Indian
Express 6.3.06)

Communal tension in Goan village(7)
PANAJI: Tensions simmered at Sanvodem village near here following clashes between two
communities over the demolition of a disputed structure used by a minority community for
prayers, prompting police to resort to cane charge and firing in the air, police said. Five vehicles
were burned and markets were ransacked, the police said, adding that two petrol pumps were
also stoned and that seven people have been arrested. The trouble started when the minority
community members gathered to protest the ransacking of the demolished structure on
Wednesday night. (Indian Express 4.3.06)

Parties: Probe Goa violence (7)
Panaji: The Congress and BJP on Monday demanded a judicial probe into last week’s violence
and looting in Curchorem and Sanvordem towns, even as statewide condemnation of the
incidents poured in. Commercial activity in the trouble-hit mining towns limped back to life after
last week’s one-sided violence damaged property and shops of minority community settlers,
including a prayer hall. A bandh call given by a Hindu manch organisation drew partial response
in four towns, police DIG Ujjwal Mishra said. No untoward incidents were reported on Monday,
and the 100 Muslims families evacuated by the administration during the riots have been
assured police protection to return to their homes, Mr Mishra said. Two companies of the CISF
and CRPF have been deployed in towns with Muslim settler populations, in addition to beefed-
up police presence. Meanwhile, BJP minority cell head and former minister Shaikh Hassan
Haroon resigned from the BJP for its role in the incidents. Several organisations, including the
AITUC, Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Christian Archbishop condemned the
violence, in addition to the Janata Party and the Congress. (Asianage 7.3.06)

Godhra disrupts UPA's train of thought (7)
New Delhi: Politicians can do anything to serve their interests. This was demonstrated in
Parliament on Tuesday when ruling party members stormed into the Well and disrupted
proceedings of Lok Sabha to "force" the Government to place the UC Banerjee report in the
House. The controversial report that dubs the burning of Hindu kar sevaks on the Sabarmati
Express train near Godhra in 2002 "an accident" plunged both the Houses of Parliament in
turmoil on Tuesday, amid heated exchanges from the members in the ruling UPA and the BJP-
led Opposition. The slogan shouting Congress members, supported by those from UPA
supporters in the Left and others parties like SP and BSP, demanded immediate tabling of the
report that was submitted to the Government last Friday. But the BJP and its allies shouted
them down, dismissing the report as "politically motivated" and "absurd" and pointed out that the
Gujarat High Court had passed a stay order against any action on the report, including tabling it
in Parliament. Raising the issue in Lok Sabha during Zero Hour, Ramji Lal Suman (SP),
Roopchand Pal (CPM), Madhusudan Mistry (Congress) wanted the report to be tabled without
delay and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to be sacked for "putting innocent persons
behind the bars under POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act)." They claimed the report had
negated the conspiracy hatched by RSS and BJP to perpetuate a pogrom in Gujarat in
connivance with the Modi Government. Terming as "disgraceful" the disruption of parliamentary
proceedings by non-NDA members on the Godhra issue, the BJP slammed it as an attempt by
the Congress to woo back its Muslim supporters in the aftermath of US President George
Bush's visit. As the exchanges became more and more heated, the Congress and other UPA
allies came out of their seats and started raising slogans against Mr Modi. Sumitra Mahajan,
who was in the Chair, adjourned the House till 2.15 pm. However, even after the House was
adjourned, the members continued to trade charges. The Rajya Sabha witnessed similar
scenes with the Treasury Benches demanding the tabling of the report and the BJP objecting to
it. Both sides traded charges for about ten minutes. The members of the ruling coalition were
subdued only after Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad said the report would be tabled in both
the Houses on Tuesday afternoon. At one stage earlier, the situation became so chaotic that Mr
Dinesh Trivedi, who was in the Chair, had to ask Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs
Suresh Pachauri to pacify his party colleagues. That the report would be used for scoring
political points instead of an earnest search for the truth became clear when Congress
spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi endorsed the party MPs' demand for tabling it. Asked
about the Gujarat High Court's stay, Mr Singhvi claimed that the court's order only stayed action
on the report and not its tabling. Contesting the Congress argument, BJP Parliamentary Party
spokesman VK Malhotra criticised the Government for making the report public without tabling it
in Parliament. Mr Malhotra charged the non-NDA parties of "losing their balance" for vote bank
politics and accused Justice Banerjee of "discrediting the institution by giving pliable and
amenable statements". (The Pioneer 7.3.06)
HC tells Centre: Don’t table report till court ruling (7)
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court has today directed the UPA government not to table in
Parliament the findings of the Justice U C Banerjee Committee on Sabarmati Express train
carnage in Godhra until the court concludes hearing on a related petition. Justice M R Shah of
the High Court has asked the Centre and all parties concerned not to table the report in
Parliament till the court concludes hearing on a petition filed by a relative of a survivor from the
Sabarmati Express train carnage in which 59 people were killed on February 27, 2002. The
petition, filed on September 2005 by Nilkanth Bhatia, questioned the formation of the Justice U
C Banerjee committee, since another high-powered commission (Nanavati-Shah Commission)
formed by the Gujarat government was already in place and was investigating the matter. On
basis of this petition, the Gujarat government had earlier managed to temporarily prevent the
three top Gujarat police officials from deposing before the Banerjee committee in November-
December last year after being summoned in connection with the case. In the final report,
Justice Banerjee had said the fire in S-6 coach of the train was “accidental”, which was not in
accordance with the “conspiracy” theory floated by the state government. The Banerjee
Committee was formed by the Railway Ministry to look into certain technical aspects of the train
carnage, including the cause of the fire in the S-6 coach. (The Indian Express 7.3.06)

SC punishes Zaheera, gets 1 year jail (7)
March 08, 2006: The Supreme Court on Wednesday accepted the report of the high-powered
committee, which had indicted Best Bakery Case key witness Zaheera Sheikh as "self-
condemned liar". It awarded one-year simple immprisonment and a Rs 50,000 fine to Zaheera for
contempt of court. A bench comprising of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice H K Sema said in
case of default of payment of fine Zaheera will undergo further imprisonment of one year. The
court directed the income tax authorities to attach the assets and bank accounts of Zaheera.
(Indian Express 8.3.06)

Section 144 lifted from arson-hit Goa towns (7)
March 9, 2006: Section 144 was lifted from the arson hit towns of Curchorem/Sanvordem on
Wednesday after Panchayat minister Subhash Shirodkar visited the area and held meetings with
townspeople. Life has returned to normal, the minister told mediapersons here after his visit. The
administration is pegging the damage at Rs 2.25 crores so far. Some 52 vehicles were damaged
and burnt, 30 shops ransacked and 25 houses damaged in two days of a one sided arson attack
that targeted a minority community in Curchorem-Sanvordem last week. None of the vehicles had
registrations outside Goa, Mr Shirodkar said. Mischievous rumours that armed persons from
neighbouring districts outside Goa has come to attend a rally on March 3, had triggered the mob
attack.(Asianage 9.3.06)

Call to modify Goa family law (7)
March 13, 2006: Family laws in Goa may have earned laurels for this erstwhile Portuguese
colony due to common civil code applications, but the practicing lawyers and law students feel the
need to modify the existing family laws, which are based entirely on the Portuguese code. "It
lacks clarity... It is based on Portuguese code, the translation of the law is not understandable...
posing problems. Despite several plus points associated with these laws, it needs to be
modified," senior advocate Oswald de Ataide opined. Though Goa was liberated back in 1961,
the family laws are still governed by the Portuguese code. "Even Portugal has changed the law
and why are we following the same old laws?" said Pritesh Kubal, a law student from Salogancar
College of Law, Miramar. "It's high time that we need amendments in the law," he added. "We are
going to submit a representation, listing various modifications suggested during seminar to the
State Government, that would be taken up during the Assembly session," stated Sadanand
Desai, another law student. This is not for the first time that the modifications of family laws in
Goa were being stressed for. But for the first time, the law students have taken up the initiative.
"Central Act governing marriage covers Hindu Marriage Act, Special Marriage Act and Indian
Christian Marriage Act which are not extended to Goa," explained advocate Ataide. (The Pioneer
Shades of Gujarat in Goa violence (7)
March 20, 2006: Curchorem, the dusty mining town in Goa that tourists seldom reach, saw their
streets ominously empty on March 4, save for clusters of men posted at the street corners. Look
closer and you will find gangs riding on two-wheelers, glued to their cellphones, pick-up vans
going from mob to mob to supply bricks, as organised saffron mobs targeted the police and ruled
the town that day. Visiting correspondents saw two-dozen stone-wielding mob brutally attack a
sub-inspector, before they fled, stealing his revolver. Elsewhere in the gritty south Goa twin-
towns of Curchorem-Sanvordem that Saturday — through which exports from the interior of Goa
and Karnataka pass, enroute to destinations in Europe, Japan and China, mobs lay siege over
the local police station, threatening to set ablaze an adjacent petrol pump and binding the officers
to capture the station. At the same time, fellow saffron rampagers marched into some 25
pinpointed Muslim houses, pelting stones, smashing furniture and electronics, hurling abuse and
threats at women and children — in what a section of Goa’s English-language press has
described as a "pogrom". Later, the police evacuated 100 terrorised families out of the area that
weekend. A day earlier, saffron-led protesters had stoned a peaceful Muslim assembly at the
Curchorem mosque. The mob had been fed on rumours that armed Muslims from neighbouring
north and coastal Karnataka were being brought to protest the March 1 after-dark damage to a
Muslim prayer hall-madrassa. While outnumbered, the police prevented a faceoff and escorted
minorities to their homes in other parts of Goa, arsonists set ablaze parked cars left behind,
before ransacking targeted shops and further damaging the prayer room. Goa’s first major
communal flare-up and the vicious one-sided violence has forever shattered the state’s dearly
held self-perception as an idyllic peaceful island and deeply scarring its collective psyche.. (The
Asianage 20.3.2006)

Zahira to serve sentence in Mumbai prison (7)
1MUMBAI: Additional sessions judge Abhay Thipsay on Wednesday ordered Zahira Sheikh, a
k1ey witness in the Best Bakery case, to serve in a Mumbai prison the one-year sentence
im.posed on her by the Supreme Court for contempt. On March 8, the apex court sentenced her,
an d also slapped a fine of Rs. 50,000 for filing false affidavits and making a false statement
during the oath. On March 10, Zahira surrendered before a special court at Mazgaon here and
pleaded that she be not sent to Gujarat. However, at the next hearing she insisted on being sent
to that State. Since she surrendered, Zahira has been in the Bhoiwada police lockup. Mr.
Thipsay, who conducted the Best Bakery retrial, said he had sought the apex court's directions on
how the sentence should be executed but received nothing specific. It sent a copy of its order to
the special court. Mr. Thipsay said that since this court had received the order clearly stating the
sentence and as Zahira surrendered here, it would be necessary to ensure the execution of the
sentence. She would serve her sentence in a civil prison at Byculla. The judge said he could not
delay the execution of the Supreme Court order any longer. The period of her detention would be
set off against her sentence. Zahira and her family were to reply on Wednesday to the show-
cause notices issued by the special court for giving false evidence during the Best Bakery case
retrial. Her lawyer Umesh Deshpande said he had received instructions to appear for Zahira and
her brother Nasibullah in the morning, and sought time as a copy of the judgment in the retrial
was not yet given to them. (The Hindu 30/3/06)

Centre’s stand unreasonable (7)
AHMEDABAD, MARCH 29: The Justice G T Nanavati and Justice K G Shah Commission on the
post-Godhra riots rejected on Wednesday the Centre’s objections to submitting letters written to
former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee by then president K R Narayanan on the deployment
of forces during the 2002 communal carnage in Gujarat. Calling the UPA government’s refusal an
‘‘unreasonable stand’’, the panel’s nine-page order said: “We see no justifiable reason for non-
production of those letters or their relevant portions as the Union Government has failed to point
out how their production will adversely affect the security of the state or public interest or smooth
administrative functioning of the government... It will now be open to the Commission to draw its
own inferences with respect to (the President’s) letters (written to Vajpayee).’’ In its recent reply,
the UPA government had stated that the letters, if made public, would affect the country’s internal
security. The panel said Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran’s reply on the letters was
not convincing and added that claiming privilege under the Constitution was baseless and
unjustified as the letters were not written by way of seeking information relating to administration.
The order said the panel was keen to have a copy of the letters as it wanted to know whether
there was any negligence or reluctance on the part of the state government or the authorities
responsible for maintaining law and order. The order also stated that what Narayanan wrote to
Vajpayee was with a view to control the communal riots. (Indian Express 30/3/06)

4 killed in Aligarh clashes, partial curfew imposed (7)
Aligarh : Four persons were killed and 13 injured, six of them seriously, when members of two
communities clashed over a place of worship, opening fire and pelting stones, after which
indefinite curfew was imposed in five police station areas of this communally sensitive city on
Thursday. IG, Agra Range Rizwan Ahmed said that two persons were brought dead to Jawaharlal
Nehru Medical College while two others succumbed to injuries sustained in the clashes. The
members of a particular community removed the decorative lights put up at a temple on
Wednesday evening in view of 'navratri' festival, leading to clashes with members of the other
side in Sabzi Mandi and Dahi Wali Gali areas. Nearly 1,000 Rapid Action Force and state
paramilitary personnel, along with a large number of police personnel, have been deployed and
patrolling intensified to maintain law and order, Ahmed said. Indefinite curfew was imposed in
Kotwali, Delhi Gate, Banna Devi, Gandhi Park and Sasni Gate police station areas in the old city
following the clashes during which the two sides hurled stones at each other and fired from
rooftops following a dispute over a place of worship on Wednesday night, District Magistrate RK
Singh said. The condition of six of the injured persons was critical, hospital sources said. "The
situation in the town is a little tense but under control", Ahmed said adding "we have sought
reinforcement of CRPF and PAC personnel." Citing the communal violence in Aligarh, the BJP
and the Congress accused the Mulayam Singh Yadav Government of failing miserably on the law
and order front. (Pioneer 7/4/06)

SSP removed, two officials suspended as Aligarh remains tense (7)
Aligarh: Soon after two senior officials were suspended in wake of the riots here, the State
Government on Friday removed the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ajay Anand even as
the death toll rose to five with recovery of one more body this morning. Akhil Kumar, district police
chief of Kanpur (Dehat), takes over as the new SSP, an official spokesman said in the State
Capital, adding that Anand has been attached to the Director General of Police (DGP) office in
Lucknow. Earlier, the State Government had suspended ADM (City) Satyabhan and SP (city)
S.K. Verma of Aligarh for failing to control the violence. D.P. Singh has been appointed the new
Aligarh SP (City). Five persons were killed in the violence in the communally-sensitive town,
forcing authorities to impose indefinite curfew in three police station areas on Thursday. Reports
of fresh incidents of firing and stone pelting were reported from Bhujpura bypass after a corpse
was recovered this morning. A large contingent of police, Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC)
and Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed in the curfew-bound areas where as the
situation was described as `tense'. According to a report from Kanpur, Leader of the Opposition in
Uttar Pradesh Assembly and senior BJP leader Lalji Tandon was on Friday prevented from going
to Aligarh rocked by communal violence. Heavy police force was deployed at Kanpur Central
railway station before the arrival of Delhi-bound Gomti Express at the platform and police took Mr.
Tandon from the station to the circuit house, denying him the permission to go to Aligarh. (The
Hindu 8/4/06)

Aligarh police shot to kill (7)
New Delhi : Seven Muslims were shot dead and 18 others of the same community were injured in
the police firing in Aligarh on clashing mobs. All the dead were shot above the waist in a case of
excessive police action, with a fact-finding mission by the Minorities Commission confirming this
in a report which will soon be presented to the government with a list of recommendations. In a
damaging revelation for the district police and administration, the inspector-general, Kanpur
range, who had been sent by the state government to inquire into the incident, has said that the
police firing was not necessary and there was no justification for it. He has said that he had
sufficient evidence to prove that the situation could have been brought under control without the
police resorting to firing if the administration had acted with a little intelligence and responsibility.
The Mulayam Singh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh, worried about the political fallout of the
firing, has acted quickly to transfer the district magistrate, the senior superintendent of police as
well as the SP, City, and the additional district magistrate. This, informed sources said, was in
itself prima facie evidence that the state government was aware of the situation and had accepted
the findings of the official inquiry committee that innocent persons had lost their lives because of
a "clear case of high-handedness" and totally avoidable action by the police. The Minorities
Commission fact-finding mission has confirmed that all the shots were fired above the waist,
hitting the victims directly on the upper parts of the body in what is then described as an intent to
kill. The police at that time had justified the action to visiting reporters, insisting that there was no
option left but to open fire. Of course, the fact that the victims had died because the police had
not kept to the well-specified regulations is being kept a closely-guarded secret, with no
government-level confirmation, although the news had spread like wildfire at the time through the
streets of Aligarh. At the time of the incident the crowds were merely pelting stones at police
vehicles, with the top-level inquiry now maintaining that the situation could have been brought
under control without the excessive action. (Asian Age 13/4/06)

Fresh tension in Aligarh, curfew extended (7)
Aligarh: Two persons were injured while making a crude bomb and a woman was hurt in
brickbatting in Bhojpura on Monday while curfew was extended to two more police station areas
of the town as tension brewed afresh after one of the dead in last week's violence was identified
as a BJP MLA's son. Six persons including BJP MLA K. K. Nirman were arrested and the district
administration banned entry of political and religious leaders into the curfew-bound town as a
preventive measure, officials said BJP national general secretary Vinay Katiyar was detained
near Kannauj border en route to Aligarh, party sources said. Mr Katiyar arrived in Kanpur from
Bhubaneswar and after a brief halt left for the trouble torn Aligarh by road. He was taken into
custody by the Kannauj police on Kanpur Dehat border. Later, he was taken to a guest house for
defying the prohibitory order under section 144 CrPC. However, Mr.Katiyar asserted that he
would leave for Aligarh as soon as he was released from detention. ``Nobody can stop me from
going to Aligarh,'' he said. In the past three days, over 170 people had been rounded up mostly
for curfew violation, they said. The police said two persons trying to assemble a crude bomb in a
house in Bhojpura locality were admitted in serious condition to AMU Medical College hospital
after the device went off. A case had been registered against them. Authorities clamped curfew in
localities under Gandhi Park and Banna Devi police station areas as tension brewed after City
Congress City Congress MLA Vivek Bansal and about a dozen party workers were confronted by
a mob at Sasni Gate. (The Hindu 11/4/06)

Curfew imposed in Khandwa (7)
BHOPAL: The entire Khandwa city in western Madhya Pradesh was brought under curfew on
Tuesday morning after groups belonging to two communities resorted to heavy stone-throwing in
different parts of the city. The police had to use tear-gas and resort to lathi- charge to disperse
the mobs. The authorities immediately imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144CrPC and by
12 noon the entire city was brought under curfew. The Superintendent of Police told The Hindu
that there was heavy deployment of police force keeping in view the Milad-un-Nabi and Mahavir
Jayanti processions. He said additional police force had reached Khandwa from Indore force and
the situation had been brought under control. (The Hindu 12/4/06)

Pali placed under curfew after clash (7)
JAIPUR: Indefinite curfew was clamped in the industrial town of Pali in southern Rajasthan on
Tuesday following a clash between people of two communities during the passage of a Mahavir
Jayanti procession near a minority-dominated locality in the Walled City. Twelve persons,
including two policemen, were injured in stone-throwing and subsequent police lathi-charge.
Tension erupted when the participants in the procession allegedly raised inflammatory slogans
and removed flags and banners put up by the Muslim community for the Id-e-Miladunnabi
procession to be taken out through the same route later in the day. The festivals of the two
communities fell on the same day on Tuesday. When the elders of the minority community
objected to the flags being removed, those in the procession hurled stones on the houses
situated in Rooi Katla locality. The police escorting the procession tried to defuse tension and
hurriedly took away the procession to prevent further trouble. The Muslim residents of the area
retaliated by throwing stones. This led to a fresh wave of panic and the police resorted to lathi-
charge to prevent a direct confrontation between the members of the two communities. Besides
two policemen, a senior functionary of the Municipal Council, Pradeep Jain, and nine others were
injured in the violence. The police said there was no report of any casualty so far. Curfew has
been imposed in the Kotwali police station area and extra police force has been deployed in all
localities in Pali. Inspector-General of Police P.D. Sharma is camping in the town, while Collector
Shivjiram Pratihar and Superintendent of Police Hawa Singh were keeping a close watch in the
curfew-bound areas. Tension prevailed in the district town, known for its textile dyeing units, till
late in the evening with the district administration withdrawing the permission to take out the Id-e-
Miladunnabi procession. The procession of Muslims was originally scheduled to be organised
immediately after the Mahavir Jayanti procession at the same route. (The Hindu 12/4/06)

Aligarh clashes: CPI(M) for judicial probe (7)
NEW DELHI: Expressing concern over the situation in Aligarh, which witnessed communal
violence, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) demanded a high-level judicial probe into the
role of the police at various levels and urged the Mulayam Singh Government to take steps and
check the activities of communal forces. The Polit Bureau said that even after a week the city was
under curfew. It said the trouble began at a sensitive spot. Had the police and the district
authorities firmly intervened, the violence could have been contained. Even after the removal of
key officials and the induction of new ones, the situation was still not fully under control. Firm
action needed to be taken against those who perpetrated or instigated the violence, it said. "The
role of the police at various levels needs to be investigated by a high-level judicial enquiry, the
statement said. It cited an incidence in which a person called Gulab Khan of Bhojpura was
murdered while going to work. The local police officer got his illiterate widow to put her thumb
impression on blank papers and then it was stated that he was killed owing to enmity over some
money matter. "This was a clear case of a communal killing which was sought to be covered up."
The party said that recently there had been a number of incidents of communal provocation and
violence in Uttar Pradesh. The State Government had not taken these incidents seriously and the
administration had been lax in responding firmly to these communal activities. (The Hindu

Worst-ever violence witnessed in Bangalore in the past ten years (7)
BANGALORE: The violence that rocked Bangalore on Thursday, claiming six lives, is the worst
the city has witnessed in the past 10 years. Four people were killed in police firing. The city had
not accounted for any death in police firing in recent years. Three persons were killed in police
firing and a policeman was lynched by a mob during a communal violence in Jayanagar and
surroundings areas 10 years ago. The number of vehicles damaged and policemen injured in
mob attacks on Thursday was unprecedented. Four petrol stations have been set on fire and a
hotel torched since veteran actor Rajkumar passed away on Wednesday. Policemen were
chased and attacked in several places and three officers injured in stone throwing. Ironically,
policemen, who tried to protect lives and property, became the hapless victims of violence. "It
was we who gave the gun salute to the departed actor. It was in our vehicle the thespian's body
was carried to the funeral site and it was we who bore the brunt of the mob attack," said a senior
officer. Most of those who indulged in violence were drunk and anti-social elements went on the
rampage, police said. As it was an occasion of mourning the death of a prominent person, the
police were restrained in using force. But when things went out of control, the police open opened
fire, said an officer. The police had little time to plan and make proper security arrangements after
the sudden decision to hold the funeral at Sri Kanteerava Studios, against the earlier plan to have
the funeral at an estate near Bidadi on Mysore Road. (The Hindu 14/4/06)
Notice to Gujarat Government in Pandarwada case (7)
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court on Thursday issued notice to the State Government on a
petition by the survivors of the Pandarwada communal riot case and an activist of the Citizens for
Justice and Peace (CJP) for a stay on the execution of non-bailable warrants against them and
transferring the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation. Justice A. S. Dave listed the
matter as urgent and posted the next hearing on April 28. Though the High Court had not granted
stay, the State Government gave a written commitment in the court that arrest warrants against
them would not be executed till the next hearing. Noted writer and CJP president Vijay Tendulkar
and the Mumbai-based human rights activist and CJP secretary Teesta Setalvad described the
Pandarwada case as a unique example of how the Gujarat police and the State administration
were colluding with each other to victimise the victims of the 2002 communal riots and all those
who tried to help them. "The ghost of communal riots has not gone in Gujarat but is moving on in
a more dangerous direction. Pandarwada is not a minor event, the situation is getting more
muddled," Mr. Tendulkar said. Ms. Setalvad alleged that the attempt of the State administration
was to browbeat the riot survivors either to comply with the authorities and maintain silence over
the riots or face threat to their survival through economic and social boycotts. It was alleged that
in Kuha village in Ahmedabad district, the Muslim vegetable vendors and traders in other
commodities were getting no buyers because they signed testimony against the Hindu attackers
during the communal riots in 2002. Kuha, where several Muslim houses were set on fire and
property looted during the riots, was one of the cases reopened under the Supreme Court orders
and the testimony of the Muslim victims were recorded by the police last week (The Hindu

Court spells out charges against Zaheera, family (7)
Mumbai : A sessions court on Tuesday informed Zaheera Shaikh and her family members about
the summary of charges proposed against them for tendering false evidence during the retrial of
the Best Bakery case in Mumbai and asked them to appear on April 27 for recording their plea.
Judge Abhay Thipsay said if Zaheera and others plead guilty on April 27 the summary
proceedings for giving false evidence would begin on the same day but if they do not plead guilty
then the court would give them time for defence and fix a later date for trial. The judge, who had
conducted the retrial in Best Bakery case, told Zaheera she had falsely stated in the court that
she had not lodged the First Information Report (FIR) and that she was unaware about the
document (FIR) although it bore her signature. The judge also told Zaheera she had falsely stated
before him during the re-trial that she had not told Vadodara court earlier about talking to the
police regarding the Best Bakery incident. He referred to Vadodara Court proceedings which
indicated that she had told the police about it. Thipsay further told Zaheera that she had falsely
stated before the Mumbai court during retrial that she was unaware about the outcome of the
verdict of Vadodara court which had acquitted the accused in Best Bakery case as she and other
witnesses turned hostile. He said Zaheera had given a false statement that she did not learn
about what happened to the case after it was over in Vadodara court and she had also falsely
feigned ignorance about why the case was being tried again in Mumbai. (Pioneer 26/4/06)

Murad massacre: BJP demands CBI probe (7)
New Delhi : Accusing the Congress-led United Democratic Front and the CPI(M)-led Left
Democratic Front of playing minority vote bank politics, Opposition BJP on Wednesday
demanded a CBI probe into Kerala's worst communal massacre in Murad in 2003. "A judicial
inquiry has squarely indicted the Congress-led United Democratic Front Government and the
UPA Government must intervene to bring out the truth through the CBI," BJP spokesman
Prakash Jawadekar said. Mr Jawadekar said though the commission headed by Justice Joseph
had submitted its report two months back, the UDF Government in Kerala and the Left parties
were keeping quiet about it as part of a sinister conspiracy. "The commission report, which was
submitted in late February 2006, is gathering dust in secretariat of Kerala. This act of hiding the
report is a joint mission of UDF and LDF to appease a particular vote bank," he said. He claimed
that the people of the Kerala had realised their game plan and the results of the Assembly
elections in the State would show this. "The real reason for not making public the findings of the
commission are purely political. The NDF, an outfit having links with ISI, is supporting tacitly UDF
while PDP led by Sh Madani and Jamait-e-Islam are directly supporting the LDF," Jawadekar
alleged. The brutal killing of Hindu fishermen by Muslim fundamentalists in May 2003 had created
shock waves in the State and the State Government had instituted an inquiry by a sitting district
judge in 2004. Pioneer 27/4/06)

Chandy is frank: Didn’t read a word of riot panel report (7)
KOCHI, APRIL 26: Chief Minister Oomen Chandy says he doesn’t think it’s necessary to read
what the judicial commission has had to say on the 2003 Marad riots, first reported by The Indian
Express yesterday. His predecessor A K Antony, who set up the commission, says no one
showed him “even a page” of the two-volume report which indicts his government, the
bureaucracy, the police and points to the increasing threat from foreign-funded extremist outfits.
As for the Opposition CPM, which had initially asked for the report to be made public—the
government is sitting on it for two months now—it, too, has done a rethink. Said CPM state
secretary Pinarayi Vijayan: “We will examine and decide what needs to be done,” if the party, as
expected, forms the next government in a month’s time. This, incidentally, was hours after Union
Minister Vayalar Ravi said that if Antony was bold enough when he was CM, he could have
exposed the “Marxist role” in Marad. The Thomas P Joseph Commission probing the massacre
and its aftermath turned in its report to the Chief Minister on February 20 this year. “The
Commission did give me the report,” said Chandy. “But I didn’t read it. I immediately gave it away
to the Home Secretary, without opening it. It is the Home Department’s job to see what is written
in the report, brief the Government and suggest what action could be considered,” Chandy told
The Indian Express. Interestingly, Chandy said that press reports on the Marad commission didn’t
worry him. “Every one in the Home Department knows that I did not read a word of that report. No
one can say that I am leaking it to the press,” Chandy said. (Indian Exp 27/4/06)

Vadodara flares up as old dargah demolished, 4 die (7)
VADODARA, MAY 1: Six of the 13 police station areas in Vadodara were put under curfew today
after the demolition of a dargah led to clashes. Four people were killed, two of them in police
firing, and 21 injured as violence spread. A ‘‘balancing act’’ planned by the city BJP leadership—
which had demolished temples as part of the anti-encroachment drive—triggered protests and
violence and brought the worst nightmares back to the city. The dargah on the Fatehpura-
Champaner Road, which local Muslims say was of a Sufi saint, Syed Rashiuddin Chishti, had
been targeted in all riots in Gujarat since 1969. On Monday morning at 9.30, a delegation of
Muslim leaders were invited to a meeting with the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) to
evolve a consensus to remove the dargah. The VMC had pasted a notice about the demolition on
the dargah walls last Wednesday. Community leaders had resisted this move with official
petitions on Saturday. Monday’s meeting saw mayor Sunil Solanki, city BJP president
Shabdasharan Brahmbhatt and municipal commissioner Rohit Pathak seeking to convince the
Muslim leaders about removing the structure, but to no avail. Soon after the failed talks, orders
were given to the VMC demolition team to raze it. Anticipating the demolition, a restive crowd had
gathered on the Fatehpura-Champaner Road, as had BJP councillors and party workers in the
area. The dargah which finds mention in the Baroda State’s city survey of 1911 was not a
protected monument and neither did it have ownership papers. A fact that VMC municipal
commissioner later latched on to to justify its removal as an unauthorised structure. The dargah’s
removal remained a matter of prestige both for the party and the administration. BJP leaders
including former state minister Nalin Bhatt remained at the spot till the dargah was demolished
and the road was carpeted, in spite of the curfew. (Indian Express 2/5/06)

Take steps to control situation, Centre tells Gujarat (7)
NEW DELHI: The Union Home Ministry on Monday asked the Gujarat Government to take all
steps to ensure that the situation remained under control in Vadodra where two persons were
killed in police firing. Union Home Secretary V. K. Duggal spoke to Chief Secretary Sudhir
Mankad and offered to send paramilitary forces, according to a Home Ministry spokesman.
Meanwhile, the National Commission for Minorities has urged the State Government to conduct a
judicial enquiry into the matter to ascertain if police firing was unavoidable in Vadodra and if the
classification of the Dargah as an "encroachment" was correctly done. The Commission said the
current situation in Vadodra arose on account of an "encroachment clearance drive" initiated two
weeks ago by the municipal corporation of the city. These encroachments, according to official
claims, included several places of worship of different religious communities. It said municipal
authorities were requested by the community leaders to ascertain if there were any
"encroachments" of recent origin at the site. "This does not appear to have been done," the
Commission said. (The Hindu 2/5/06)

Man burnt alive in fresh violence in Vadodara (7)
AHMEDABAD: One person was reportedly burnt alive in his car as fresh incidents of violence
broke out in the curfew-bound Vadodara late on Tuesday night. The police first tried to dismiss
the incident as a case of accident, but admitted that a mob stopped the car on Ajwa road under
the curfew-bound Panigate police station area and set the vehicle on fire. The mob took
advantage of the power failure in the area to indulge in violence. The police reached the spot
after the incident and removed the body to the Government SSG Hospital for post-mortem. The
local residents said they saw a mob grouping in the area and sought police assistance but no
help was forthcoming. They complained that the police control room refused to send
reinforcements, saying that there were not enough men available to patrol all the affected areas.
After a daylong of comparative peace in the city, incidents of stone-throwing and arson were also
reported from Fatehpura, Yakutpura and other neighbouring areas under the curfew-bound City
Police Station. With the burning incident, the death toll in the violence that followed the demolition
of a dargah has gone up to six. (The Hindu 3/5/06)

Modi tried to raze Gujarat mini-Babri (7)
Ahmedabad: The Baroda Municipal Corporation did not heed a compromise formula offered by
the caretakers of the dargah of Sufi saint Syed Rashiuddin Chisti and simply went ahead with the
demolition of the structure because the local BJP leaders were keen to see this "mini-Babri
Masjid" completely destroyed. Mr Gani Qureshi, the BJP’s only prominent Muslim face in Baroda
who also heads its minority cell, admitted in an exclusive interview to this newspaper that "the
demolition of this dargah is a very well planned conspiracy. The municipal corporation authorities
had promised us that it would not be demolished. We were working upon a compromise formula,
but they backed out and simply razed it." Though the Baroda Municipal Corporation maintains
that the dargah, which Muslims believe is of the Sufi saint Syed Rashiuddin Chisti, was razed just
because it was an encroachment, Mr Qureshi said "this is untrue". Baroda mayor Sunil Solanki
claimed this dargah was "nothing special. It was just an encroachment, like many others. We
have also razed 18 Hindu religious structures. There were protests even then. However, when
the dargah was razed, the protest turned violent." However, while the civic authority says the
dargah was an encroachment, evidence proves that it was registered in 1912 in the first city
survey carried out by Sayajirao Maharaj in Baroda. "Though this dargah is on record only since
1912, it was at least 385 years old. There was no trust involved. It was a public thing. Of late, the
Karim Mansuri Samaj used to give funds. This was not just a Muslim thing. The daily diya and
daily expenditure were borne by Hindus. The Ranchhodbhai Masala family has been pouring in
funds for at least 75 years, generation after generation. I don’t understand how the municipal
corporation calls it a plain encroachment," Mr Qureshi said. (Asian Age 3/5/06)

Centre blames Gujarat govt for clashes (7)
NEW DELHI/ VADODARA, May 2: The Centre today said the Vadodara district administration did
not take enough caution in dealing with the issue of removing the dargah as matters of religious
sentiments needed to be dealt with a lot of sensitivity. "Enough caution was not taken by the
district administration which decided to remove the dargah on the pretext of clearing illegal
encroachment. More caution should have been taken," Union minister of state for home Mr
Sriprakash Jaiswal told reporters. Mr Jaiswal, who visited Vadodara where five persons have
been killed in clashes following the demolition of the dargah, said "such matters (religious) should
have been dealt with more sensitivity." He said the administration could have sorted out the
matter in consultation with the community representatives and not resorted to the demolition right
away. Pointing out that it was believed that the dargah was nearly 300 years old, Mr Jaiswal said
"distinction should be made between an ordinary place of worship and the one which is a few
hundred years old, where more sentiments are involved." He said the district administration could
have used baton-charge or fired rubber bullets to bring the situation under control. Asked whether
the Centre would order an inquiry into the clash, he said "we will see what the state government
will do and thereafter decide on the matter." He also said the Centre was ready to assist the state
government in every possible manner and would provide extra forces, if sought. Mr Jaiswal said
according to the information received by him, the clash was not of communal nature but
between the district administration and members of a particular community. (Statesman 3/5/06)

Army deployed in Vadodara (7)
NEW DELHI: The Army was deployed in communal violence-hit Vadodara on Wednesday, when
the Centre moved swiftly to provide all assistance to the Gujarat Government in bringing the
situation in the city under control. Nine or 10 columns, consisting of about 1,000 Army personnel,
were deployed in the city, where six persons were killed as violence erupted on Monday, Home
Secretary V.K. Duggal told reporters here. The Army was kept on standby in Ahmedabad, where
tension was reported from some areas. Mr. Duggal said the decision to deploy the Army was
taken after Chief Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and the
Centre reviewed the situation at a high-level meeting, which was also attended by Chief of the
Army Staff General J.J. Singh. Mr. Modi toured the violence-hit areas in the city and appealed to
the people to maintain calm. The Home Secretary said an appropriate level of Army columns
would be made available to the State Government. The clashes were sparked by the demolition
of a dargah by municipal corporation authorities on Monday. Incidents of arson and stone
throwing were witnessed on Tuesday after a Muslim youth was burnt alive in his car. The police
fired 24 rounds to disperse violent mobs at Vadi, Panigate and other localities in Vadodara on
Tuesday night. The mobs set fire to two factories in an industrial estate, besides a large number
of vehicles. As violence continued, curfew in six police station areas in the city was not relaxed.
Mr. Duggal said 13 companies of Central para-military forces, including four of the Rapid Action
Force (RAF), would also be deployed in Vadodara. Two more companies of Central forces would
reach the city by Thursday. Four companies of Central forces could also be deployed in
Ahmedabad. (The Hindu 4/5/06)

In Vadodara, Modi warns rioters: we won’t spare you (7)
VADODARA, MAY 3: As his government maintained that the Vadodara violence was not
communal, Chief Minister Narendra Modi visited the city today and warned rioters “whichever
community they belong to, the law will do its duty”. Though he did not go to the Walled City
area—barring sporadic incidents, Vadodara was calm today and the Army staged a flag march—
Modi called on the injured, most of them Muslims, at the SSG Hospital and warned rioters of strict
action. “No unsocial element or rioter will be spared nor allowed to take the law into his hands,”
he said, calling for peace and reminding people of Gujarat’s remarkable progress in the last four
years. Modi said he was in constant touch with the Union Home Minister and had asked for
additional reinforcements as a precautionary measure. Declining comment on allegations of
police inaction, he said: “If anyone believes that justice has not been done, they can knock on the
doors of courts but they cannot take the law into their hands.” “The state Home minister is
camping here and officers familiar with Vadodara have been depolyed to assist the police
commissioner,” he told reporters. At SSG Hospital, Modi met the injured, asking them questions
like “How did you get hurt?”, “Is the treatment here good?” Rickshaw-puller Yasin Vora told him
he was hit on the shoulder during police firing. “Don’t worry. Now I am here, everything will be
alright,” the CM assured him. (Indian Exp 4/5/06)

Demolition of religious places stayed (7)
NEW DELHI: In a bid to defuse the situation in communal violence-hit Vadodara, the Centre on
Thursday moved the Supreme Court against a Gujarat High Court order directing all municipal
corporations in the State to demolish places of religious worship which caused obstruction on
roads. The apex court, while permitting the Centre to prefer an appeal, stayed the May 2 High
Court order and the ongoing demolitions in Vadodara and other cities. Additional Solicitor-
General Gopal Subramaniam made an urgent "mention" in the afternoon before a Bench
consisting of Justices Ruma Pal and Dalveer Bhandari. He said the High Court had taken suo
motu action based on a newspaper report without verifying facts. Quoting a Home Ministry report,
Mr. Subramaniam said the situation in Vadodara was tense after the violence, and the Army
staged a flag march in the riot-affected areas. The Bench issued notice to the Gujarat
Government and other parties concerned. The Centre filed the suo motu appeal in the Registry in
the evening after obtaining the stay order. The Centre said it was concerned at the safety of the
citizens and the law and order situation. If the High Court order was not stayed immediately, it
would have not only grave consequences on the law and order situation in Gujarat but also
serious ramifications for the unity, integrity and security of the nation and its secular fabric. The
appeal said the High Court had directed the police and other authorities "to take immediate steps
for the removal of encroachments by religious structures on public space without discrimination,
and submit their reports." The order was passed without even conducting a prima facie
examination of the veracity of the contents of the newspaper report and without any pleadings on
record. Temples or mosques, demolitions would have a major fallout on communal harmony. The
unauthorised constructions could be removed without offending the sensitivities of any group.
(The Hindu 5/5/06)

Tension grips Ahmedpur as protestors turn violent (7)
Bhopal : Tension prevailed Ahmedpur area of Sehore district on Sunday during a bandh called by
Bajrang Dal to protest killing of cows two days ago. Unidentified demonstrators torched a kiosk
and pelted stones during the bandh on Sunday. Several police personnels have been deployed to
check any untoward incident. Ahmedpur police arrested three accused in connection with the cow
killing case. According to Ahmedpur police a cow's hide was recovered from the field of Raees
Miyan on Saturday. Following this, Bajrang Dal activists declared a bandh on Sunday. The bandh
turned violent after certain activists torched an effigy of Bashir Miyan and pelted stones on
vehicles and houses. Additional force was sent to the place from Bhopal district to control the
situation. Meanwhile, three accused Kamruddin, Hanif and Naseem have been arrested for
allegedly killing the cow. They have been booked under section 8 of Gauvansh Vadh Pratishedh
Adhiniyam, 2004. (Pioneer 8/5/06)

1 held for burning man alive in Baroda (7)
Baroda, May 7: One person was arrested in connection with the burning alive of Rafiq Vora in his
car here on May 2 following violence sparked by the demolition of a dargah, the police said on
Sunday. Neelkanth Marathe, alias Garagewala, a resident of a society in Ajwa Road, was
arrested late on Saturday night, the police said. He was arrested from near the site of the
incident. Neelkanth was absconding since the incident and was arrested after the police got
information that he would be coming home, the police said. He has been remanded to four days’
police custody. Rafiq’s brother, Mohammed Vora, had accused 14 persons of torching his brother
and the car when he was returning from work. Meanwhile, with the seven-hour curfew relaxation
here passing off peacefully on Sunday, the authorities said the Army was likely to be withdrawn
from the city from Tuesday. The city remained totally peaceful on Sunday, police commissioner
Deepak Swarup said. "The Army will be withdrawn from the city by Tuesday, but a final decision
will be taken tomorrow after monitoring developments," he said. Mr Swarup said the curfew would
be further relaxed for nine hours on Monday from 8 am to 5 pm in all six police station areas that
were affected by violence following the demolition of a dargah by the civic authorities on May 1.
The Army has already been withdrawn from Raopura and Karelibagh areas. Six people were
killed and over 60 injured in police firing and clashes last week. During the curfew relaxation,
many shops remained opened despite it being a Sunday. Bhavik Rawal, a shopowner in Dandiya
Bazaar, said he had opened his establishment after six days. "We lost business worth thousands
of rupees due to the disturbances," he said. (Asian Age 8/5/06)

Zahira on trial for false evidence (7)
Mumbai, May 15: A special court began trial against Zahira Sheikh and her family members for
allegedly giving false evidence in the Best Bakery case on Monday during the retrial of the case.
Zahira’s mother Saherunissa, who was examined by the court on Monday denied having lied and
said that she had did not remember having said the statements that were recorded by the court
during the trial. The court on Monday heard the reply of Zahira’s mother, Saherunissa, regarding
the showcause notice that had been issued against her during the judgment in the trial. The court
said that it would record the statements of Zahira, her brother and her sister on Tuesday and
would give its judgement in the matter as soon as possible. The court had earlier issued the
particulars to which Zahira and her family members had to file replies regarding why they had
allegedly lied during the court proceedings. Zahira and her family members had pleaded not guilty
to the charges that had levelled against them. When asked about the various factors about which
the court felt she had lied, Saherunissa said that she was unable to remember what she had told
the court. She also said that it was a possibility that the statements she had given during the trial
had been recorded wrongly by the Mumbai court. She said that she did not know who had
attacked the Best Bakery. (Asian Age 16/5/06)

Zaheera's mother gets 3 months RI for perjury (7)
MUMBAI, MAY 16: SEHRUNISSA Sheikh, mother of Zaheera Sheikh, the prime witness in the
Best Bakery case, was on Tuesday awarded a three-month rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs
500 after being found guilty of perjury in the Best Bakery retrial case by the Mazgaon Sessions
Court. She was later released on bail. "It's beyond doubt that Sehrunissa made false statements.
Though she didn't shield the accused, she challenged the basic aspects of the prosecution's
case," Additional Sessions Judge Abhay Thipsay said The court said that the sentence, given the
"attitude and conduct of the accused", appears to be less. Yesterday, Sehrunissa's claim in the
court that her statements were wrongly recorded had also irked the judge. Though Thipsay gave
her many chances to reveal the names of those "behind the curtains" for luring or forcing her into
making false statements in the retrial, Sehrunissa said that social activists Teesta Setalvad, Mo-
hammed Vora and one Munna Malik were the ones who forced her to give false statement in the
case. The judge said: "She has definitely been tutored by someone. But she is not ready to reveal
anything." After her conviction order was read out, Sehrunissa's lawyer Umesh Deshpande filed a
bail application for a month so that she could appeal in the high court against the verdict. The
court granted her bail on personal bond and she was released later. (Indian Express 17/5/06)

BJP on the defensive on Baroda violence (7)
New Delhi, May 16: A short duration discussion on the communal violence in Vadodara on
Tuesday saw the Opposition BJP on the defensive as a vociferous Left joined members of the
Congress and other parties in describing the demolition Of Dargah as a violation of the Places of
Worship Act, 1993 and questioning the Gujarat administration's hurry to raze down the Structure
without exhausting all its options of a peaceful Resolution of the issue. Mr Sitaram Yechury of the
CPI(M) labelled the act of pulling down the Dargah as a violation of the Places of Worship Act,
1993. He said a reference to the 385-year-old Dargah could be found in the 1912 municipal
records of Vadodara but it was demolished in a hurry without exploring all avenues for a
compromise. Mr C. Ramachandraiaji of Telugu Desam Party, in turn, said Gujarat chief minister
Narendra Modi had a "good opportunity" in the Vadodara incident "to erase his image of 2002"
but he missed it. The incident could" have been managed with tact and objectivity, he asserted.
The others who spoke ^luring the discussion included among others Mr Pravin Rashtrapal (INC),
Mr Abu Asim Azmi (SP), Prof. Alka Balram Kshatriya (INC), Mr Vinay Kumar Rupani (BJP) and
Mr Vinay Katiyar (BJP). For his part, Mr Arun Jaitley of the BJP maintained that the Gujarat gov-
ernment has announced 2006 as the year of urban development. (Asian Age 17/5/06)

2 Mu s l im kid s f o un d d ea d in Gu j ar at ( 7)
N ew D e lh i , M a y 18 : Th e b od ies o f t w o Mus l i m c hi ldr en w er e r ec o v er e d from t h e
c a r o f a loc a l VH P l ea der o f D ab ho i tow n , n ear Ba r oda , w i th in jur ies mar k s o n
T hurs da y a f t er n oon , r es u l ti ng in t ens io n in B ar o da d is tr ic t . The t w o c hi ld r en ,
a ged five a nd s e ven , we re fo und from the ca r o f Dr Ja gd ish Pank hi, who is a
d oc tor . D r P ankh i h ims e l f in fo r m ed the po l ic e ab out t he bo d ies o f the t w o
ch ildr en in h is car . Ba rod a Ra ng e IG Rakes h As th ana sa id , "The ch ildre n we re
fo und w i th injur y marks on the ir bo dies but it is o nly a fter a p os t- mor te m th a t
we can know the ca use o f de ath . We es tima te tha t th e ch ildr en ma y ha ve b een
d ead for ove r 2 4 hours bu t a ga in for ens ics will be able to g ive more sp ecific
d e ta ils . "H e s a id t he po l ic e is i n ves t ig a ti ng th e ma t t er a nd th a t the c ar be lo ng ing
to D r Pankh i w as be in g us ed tho ugh the doc tor r eporte dly sa id th a t th e car w as
n o t in use f or o v er two y e ars . Mr As t han a s a id t h a t al t ho ugh t h er e w as t ens ion
ow in g t o the r ec en t vio le nc e i n Ba r od a , th ere w as no un t ow ar d inc ide n t and t h e
s i tua t io n w as c a l m . H ow e ver , the r e w er e s o me r e por ts o f s ton e-p el t in g in th e
a rea an d also a t Dr Pa nkh i’s hous e in D abh oi a fte r news o f the ch ildr en ’s d ea th
s p r ea d . T he t w o c h i ldr en ’s na mes w er e Tahe r H us s a in, 5 , an d Sa l man S he ik h ,
7 . So urces in Bar oda sa id tha t th e bo dies o f th e ch ild ren we re cu t up . Loca ls
f e el th a t eit h er t he c hi l dr e n w er e v ic t ims o f a ta n tr ik o r t he y b ec am e v ic t ims o f
a n org an tr ansp la n t rack e t. A co mp la in t re gar ding th e dis ap pea ranc e o f two
c h i ldr en w as lod ge d w i th the po l ic e two d a ys ag o. A n o f f ic ia l s a id b o th t he
b od ies h av e bee n id en t i fi ed as th ose o f t h e m is s in g c h il dren . ( As ia n A g e
1 9 /5 /0 6)

P o st - G od hr a r i ots: D N A t est n ai l s 4 k i l le rs ( 7)
Ah med abad , ma y 18 : Wha t pr o ve d to be the c linche r in th is case was the DN A
t es t . Fo ur y e ars a ft er t h e y hac k e d a m an to de a th in t h e a f t er ma t h o f Go dh r a , a
fas t track cou r t tod a y c on vic te d four men an d sen tenced th em to life
i m pris on me n t . Tw o o t hers , a ls o ac c us ed o f bu tch er ing D ev a nan d Am ba lal
S o la nki , a s u r ve yo r a t t he s a les t a x o f f ic e , w er e acq ui t t ed . S pec ia l C i ty
Sess io ns Ju dge D T Son i sen tence d the accuse d — Faqr ud din Kamru dd in
Mirz a , Mo ha mmed Z ah eer Ab du l Aziz Ans ar i , Zak ir Husa in Meh bo ob Hus ain and
M oh am med A f z al Moh am med Ta u fi q Sh eik h — t o li f e i mpr ison me n t. I n t h e
judgment, the court observed ‘‘... though award ed imprisonment for life,
h o w e ve r , th e c o n v ic te d p e r s o n s s h a l l b e ke p t i n ja i l t i l l th e ir w h o l e l i fe . ’ ’ T h is
p os t- Go dhra r io t c as e is the f ir s t in G uja r a t w he r e s c ien t i f ic e v id ence ( D N A
tes ts) na iled the g uilty. T he accuse d wer e bo oked unde r var ious sec tio ns o f IPC
3 64 , 2 01 , 3 02 a nd Bo mb a y P oli c e Ac t . A f i ne o f R s 5 , 000 eac h w as al s o
o rder ed , failin g wh ich th e accuse d wou l d ha ve to u nde rgo ano the r six months
impris on me n t. The co ur t issu ed per ju r y notices on thr ee w i tn esses , D ilip Na nji
So la nki, Ra vin dra Kumar Ma fa tla l Parmar an d R ehman Ras ul Ma nsur i, wh o
tur ne d h ostile dur ing proc eed ings . Accor ding to the pros ecu tio n , the mo tive
b eh ind the mur der was ‘‘re taliation ’’ for killin g o f Mus lims d ur ing pos t- Godh ra
r io ts . So lank i w as f or c ib l y tak en awa y b y a gro up o f peo pl e f r o m n ear h is
r esidenc e in Vag hr iwas on March 30 , 2 002 , a t aro un d 10 pm. H is bo d y was
f o und i n a p i t n ear Va nkar v as on A pr i l 1 2 , 2 00 2 . H is b od y w as c u t in t o m or e
t h an 3 0 p ieces a f ter w h ich ac id an d s a l t w er e du mpe d o n it . P ol ic e , al on g w it h a
m ag is tr a t e a nd o ther w i tness es , d ug up th e p lac e to r ec o v er th e r e ma ins a nd
ca lled in for ens ic e xpe rts to ch eck wh e the r it was So la nki’s b od y. T he w eapo ns
us ed b y t he ac c us ed , a l l i n th e a ge gro up o f 20 - 25 y e ars , t o k ill S o la nki w e r e
a lso fou nd b y the polic e fro m Va nkar vas w here they h ad been h idd en . T he y
i nc lud e a b u tc he r ’s k n i fe ( us ed b y M ir z a) , a w o ode n s t ick ( Ansa r i) , a hoc k e y
s t ick ( M ehb oob husa in ) an d a s w o r d ( Sh eikh ) . ( Ind ian E x press 1 9 /5 /0 6)

Suspect Doc On The Run (7)
Ahmedabad, May 19: Communal tension continues to grip Dabhoi in Baroda district after the
bodies of two Muslim children were found from a local doctor’s car. The doctor, Jagdish Pankhi,
who initially boasted of VHP connections and described himself as a VHP office-bearer, claimed
that he found the bodies in his Cielo car when he opened the car door. However, the doctor has
now been named as the primary suspect by family members of the children, and a complaint has
been registered against him by the police. The doctor and his family is now absconding. Tahi
Belim, 5, and Salman Sheikh, 7, two neighbourhood friends, went to watch a wedding procession
on Tuesday and never returned home. On Thursday evening, Dr Jagdish Pankhi said he went to
check his car batteries and found the bodies. The bodies were mutilated and naked. The doctor
said he found one body on the driver’s seat and another in the back seat of his Cielo. "I wanted to
go to Baroda and went to check my car when I found the bodies. The car had not been used for
15 days and there was a problem with the car battery," Dr Pankhi, who has a roaring private and
trust hospital practice, told the local police. Dr Pankhi himself informed the police about the
bodies, but before the police could arrive at the spot some local residents rushed there and
indulged in heavy stone-throwing. The police burst teargas shells to quell the mob. While
additional police forces have been deployed in the communally-sensitive Dabhoi area, the
Congress and the local chamber of commerce gave a bandh call to protest against the gruesome
killings. Abdul Sheikh, grandfather of one of the deceased, Salman Sheikh, told the police that the
family suspects foul play by Dr Pankhi. "Dr Pankhi has strong VHP connections, is terribly
communal-minded and he is our primary suspect." The police then registered a double murder
case against the doctor, but by the time the police again went to apprehend him, the doctor and
his family had absconded. (Asian Age 20/5/06)

DNA test may put police in a fix (7)
AHMEDABAD : The DNA test report of the Pandarvada communal riot victims is likely to put the
Gujarat police in a spot for refusing to hand over the remains of the bodies to their relatives for
religious burial for the last four years. The Centre for DNA Test and Finger Printing Diagnostics,
Hyderabad, according to sources, has sent its report of the DNA test of the skulls and bones of
some of the riot victims recovered from a dug-out pit on the bank of the Panam river near
Lunawada. The DNA test was carried out at the instance of the Gujarat High Court to establish
the blood relations of the victims with some of the villagers, who claimed to be relatives. The
copies of the report have been sent to the High Court, the CBI, under whose supervision the
digging was carried out, and the Gujarat Government. While none of the sources is ready to
confirm the contents of the report, it is reliably learnt that the report has found certain similarities
with the blood samples of those who claimed themselves to be relatives of the victims. The first
official confirmation could be expected only on June 20 when the case is scheduled to be
reopened for hearing in the High Court. The issue created a controversy after some of the
relatives, on December 28 last year, reportedly dug out the pit on information from some
Lunawada municipal sources that some bodies of the riot victims were buried on the banks of the
Panam river instead of in the official burial ground of the village. Even as the Lunawada
municipality registered a case of illegal digging of a burial ground against some of the relatives
and an official of the Mumbai-based voluntary organisation, the Citizens for Justice and Peace
(CJP), who was present at the time of digging, the High Court asked the CBI, which was inquiring
into the Pandarvada riot case at the instance of the Supreme Court, to supervise further digging.
The Hindu 26/5/06)

In Aligarh, a pattern: 2 of 3 killed in 10 days named in April riot FIR (7)
ALIGARH, MAY 29:Three murders in 10 days, the same modus operandi in each. And in each,
the victim has been a prominent Hindu leader of Aligarh. Two of the three killed had been
arrested for allegedly inciting mobs on April 6 which saw six Muslims die in communal clashes.
And now as tension rises in Aligarh after the murder last night of local BJP leader Om Prakash
Gupta, Uttar Pradesh police point to the pattern in the killings and suspect it may be a planned,
retaliatory strike. Two unidentified motorcyclists accosted O P Gupta last night around 9.15 pm as
he was locking his confectionery shop in Aligarh’s sensitive Kanwari Ganj area and shot him
point-blank. Gupta died at the spot, seconds after he was shot in the temple. According to police,
this was exactly how two other traders, Raju Kumar ‘Samosewala’ and Raman Gupta, were shot
on May 19 and May 22 respectively. Both died after being shot in the temple while returning
home from work late at night. And each time, the killers melted into the night. “The modus
operandi in all three shootouts is the same. Youths with faces covered come on a motorcycle,
take the victim by surprise in the dark, shoot him at point-blank range and then flee... It is still a
matter of investigation if the culprits are the same or if it is a retaliation thing,” SSP Aligarh Akhil
Kumar told The Indian Express. Uttar Pradesh police today announced a reward of Rs three lakh
for any clue leading to the arrest of the killers. Indefinite curfew has been clamped in five police
station areas of the town after Gupta’s murder last night triggered violence. Hindu protestors
killed two persons on the streets, suspecting them to be the killers. Gupta and Raju Kumar were
named by the police in an FIR, even arrested and jailed for allegedly inciting the April 6 rioters.
Raman Gupta’s name did not figure in the FIR. (Indian Exp 30/5/06)

Curfew continues in Aligarh, compensation announced (7)
Aligarh: " Curfew continued for the third day on Tuesday in five areas of this town affected by
communal clashes even as the State Government announced compensation of Rs. 5 lakh for the
next of kin of the three persons killed in the violence. The situation in the town was steadily
improving and no untoward incidents had been reported since Sunday night when the violence
broke out, said Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order), Padman Singh. A decision
on relaxing the indefinite curfew in five police station areas in the old quarter of Aligarh would be
taken ``in due course'', he said. Two persons died in the clashes that broke out after O.P. Gupta,
a local BJP leader and prominent trader, was shot dead on Sunday. (The Hindu 31/5/06)

Zahira's sister, brother found guilty of perjury (7)
MUMBAI: Additional sessions judge Abhay Thipsay on Wednesday pronounced Sahira and
Nasibullah Sheikh, sister and brother of Zahira Sheikh, guilty of giving false evidence in the Best
Bakery case re-trial conducted by the court. Mr. Thipsay will pass the order on the duration of
punishment on Thursday. Already Zahira's mother Sehrunissa has been convicted of perjury and
a sentence of three months rigorous imprisonment has been imposed on her. However, as their
lawyer, Umesh Deshpande, has filed a review petition in the High Court against the final orders in
the Best Bakery re-trial, which will come up for hearing on June 17, the sentence is suspended till
then. The court read out the charges of perjury to Sahira and asked for her response. Sahira said
she was afraid and panicked. She also denied having given false evidence but because she was
frightened there might have been discrepancies in her statements. During the re-trial, Sahira
maintained that she was not aware that her sister Sabira had died when the Best Bakery was set
on fire. She had also said that her sister-in-law Yasmin was not present during the riots.
According to Mr. Deshpande, Zahira's trial will begin on Friday in the perjury case. She is already
serving a one-year sentence for contempt of court. (The Hindu 8/6/06)

3-year RI for Zaheera’s kin (7)
Mumbai, June 8:A sessions court today sentenced Sahira, sister of Zaheera Shaikh, the prime
witness in the Best Bakery case, to three months rigorous imprisonment for tendering false
evidence. Sahira was fined Rs 500 in addition, but was granted bail of Rs 4,000. The court
however did not award any sentence on Zaheera’s brother Nasibullah who was also found guilty
saying it was inclined to put him on probation in view of his young age. Judge Abhay Thipsay said
he would decide the quantum of sentence for Nasibullah after receiving reports of the probation
officer. Sahira’s sentence was suspended till July 10 as she has moved the Bombay High Court
challenging the Best Bakery judgement. Earlier, the court found Zaheera’s mother guilty on the
same charge of perjury and sentenced her to three months RI besides imposing a Rs 500 fine.
The trial of Zaheera on charges of giving false evidence will begin tomorrow. MUMBAI: Zaheera
Sheikh, key witness in the Best Bakery case, is learning English and undergoing a computer
course in prison. She has also turned vegetarian. This was revealed by her lawyer Umesh
Deshpande. Concerned about her future, she was taking the computer course very seriously, he
said. When Zaheera was arrested three months ago, jail authorities had complained to the court
that she had been demanding non-vegetarian food, which they said was difficult for them to
provide. But Zaheera has switched to vegetarian food, her lawyer said. (Indian Express 9/6/06)

Modi misusing government machinery: Setalvad (7)
JAIPUR: Social activist Teesta Setalvad has accused Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi of
misusing Government machinery to intimidate the kin of the victims of the post-Godhra carnage.
"Things have not improved much in Gujarat since the days of the pogrom. The low intensity terror
continues," she said. Addressing mediapersons at the Pink City Press Club here on Sunday, Ms.
Setalvad, Editor of "Communalism Combat", alleged that terror continued in the Bharatiya Janata
Party-ruled Gujarat while no Opposition party, including the Congress, was even trying to pose a
challenge to the communal agenda of Mr. Modi. "It is not because of the people. At least 50 per
cent of the 5-crore population in Gujarat wants peace and harmony but the administration would
not let them have it there," she said. "It had been all in the making in Gujarat for the past five
years preceding the Godhra," Ms. Setalvad said talking about the big communal divide in that
State. However the silver lining about the Gujarat riot cases was that for the first time some
justice could be done to the victims and their families. (The Hindu 12/6/06)

Zahira gets 3 months’ jail (7)
Mumbai, June 12: A special court that was hearing the Best Bakery case on Monday, found
former prime witness Zahira Sheikh guilty of giving false evidence during the re-trial held in
Mumbai. The court sentenced her to three months rigorous imprisonment and has asked her to
pay a fine of Rs 500. The court has said that the sentence awarded to Zahira would begin after
she completes her sentence at the Byculla jail where she is presently lodged for a year. The
Supreme Court had sentenced Zahira to one year of simple imprisonment for committing perjury
during the trial in the case. When asked by the court whether she had been tutored, she said that
she had not given false evidence to the court and that what she had said during the re-trial in
Mumbai was the truth. Additional sessions judge Abhay Thipsay while awarding the sentence to
Zahira observed that she had lied under oath and added that the sentence was not stringent
enough given the gravity of the trial. Speaking after the trial, the legal counsel for Zahira and her
family members, Umesh Deshpande, said that they were contemplating whether to challenge the
order of the court in the Bombay high court. (Asian Age 13/6/06)

Two girls charred to death in UP village (7)
Pratapgarh/UP: Two girls were charred to 'death and over a 100 houses set ablaze , in an
outbreak of communal violence, following the gunning down of a youth, an accused in a murder
case, in a village here today. The murder of Ashutosh Pathak, who was out on bail, by some
unidentified persons in village Gonda triggered the communal flare up, police said. As the news of
the youth's killing poured in, hundreds of people, carrying weapons, attacked establishments of a
particular community in Gonda, Baldu and Subedar villages, they said. Over 100 houses were set
ablaze in which two girls were charred to death, police confirmed. Tension ran high in the three
villages bordering Pratapgarh and Rae Bareli districts. SP (Pratapgarh) Prem Prakash said
adequate PAC and police personnel were deployed in the trouble-torn villages to control the
situation. Police detained over 100 people in connection with the violence, he said. Pathak, who
was shot dead, was an accused in a murder case and was out on bail, police said adding he was
among top 10 "criminals" of the area. Of late, there was open hostility between Pathak's family
and members of another family over the post of village pradhan, police said. (Pioneer 19/6/06)

Tension continues in Rajasthan town (7)
JAIPUR: Tension continued in Karauli town in east Rajasthan on Wednesday where prohibitory
orders were imposed the previous evening following clashes between two communities over
desecration of a holy book. The Tuesday evening's incidents in which the groups indulged in
arson and stone pelting were a sequel to the clashes which had started on Thursday last. Though
the district town of Karauli did not report any untoward incident during the day, tension spread to
the neighbouring Hinduan teHSIL BY evening as some miscreants threw piece of flesh at a place
of worship. The police have rushed to the area. The police sources in Karuali said so far about
150 persons had been taken into custody. No casualties were reported in the intermittent clashes
spread over a week between the two groups. Inspector General of Police B.R.Gwala is camping
in the area. The Congress party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) have blamed the
State Government for the escalation of violence in Karauli and the adjoining towns. The issue
was settled between the groups on Friday but the bandh called by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to protest the violence of last Wednesday once again led
to violence, the parties charged. (The Hindu 22/6/06)

Apex court will not stay curbs on tabling Banerjee report (7)
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to stay a Gujarat High Court order
restraining the Railway Ministry from placing before Parliament the Banerjee Committee report on
the Godhra train carnage. A Bench consisting of Justices K.G. Balakrishnan and D.K. Jain,
however, issued notice to Neelkanth Tulsidas Bhatia, petitioner in the High Court, on a special
leave petition (SLP) filed by the Centre against the order. It also issued notice to the other
respondents — the Commissioner of Railway Safety; the Union Ministries of Home and Law and
Justice; the Banerjee Committee, the Nanavati Commission and the Gujarat government. Earlier
Additional Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam pleaded for staying the March 20 interim order.
But counsel for Mr. Bhatia said if the stay was granted the writ petition before the High Court
would become infructuous and the purpose for which it was filed would be lost. The matter was
already listed for final disposal and the High Court should be allowed to dispose of the petition.
The High Court held illegal the appointment of the Banerjee Committee to go into the same
February 27, 2002 Godhra incident, to probe which the State had already set up the Justice
Nanavati Commission. The Centre said the High Court failed to notice that putting fetters on
tabling the Banjeree report in Parliament struck at the very root of the doctrine of separation of
powers, which was held part of the basic structure of the Constitution. The High Court also failed
to note that the Banerjee Committee dealt with various aspects of railway safety including inter-
State aspects, which could not have been the subject matter of any State Government-appointed
commission. The SLP said a mere reading of the terms of reference of both commissions would
show that there was no overlap. Contrary to the law laid down by the apex court, the High Court
also concluded that the pending trial of criminal cases would be prejudiced if the Banerjee report
was published. (The Hindu 4/7/06)

Tension prevails in Uttaranchal town (7)
Tehri (Uttaranchal): Tension prevailed in Chamba town of Garhwal region on Monday following
clashes between members of two communities, police said. Some hutments and a shop of the
minority community were allegedly damaged by majority community members last night after two
persons identified as Naushad Ali and Jackie were arrested for allegedly possessing some pieces
of beef, Superintendent of Police, Tehri G.S. Martolia told reporters here. "The situation in
Chamba is under control and two persons, including ABVP leader Raghubir Singh arrested in
connection with the violence," Martolia said. (The Hindu 4/7/06)

4 killed as communal violence erupts in Bhiwandi (7)
Bhiwandi (Maharashtra), July 6: Two policemen and two ordinary citizens were killed and 39
policemen injured on Wednesday evening in a clash between the police and the residents of
Nijampura area of Bhiwandi, about 65 km from Mumbai in Thane district. The trouble erupted
over the construction of a police station on land adjacent to a graveyard and the biggest mosque
in the city. This has now been stopped for the time being. Among the injured are two deputy
commissioners of police. Thane police commissioner D. Shivanandan said that no arrests had
been made in connection with the clashes as yet, and that investigations were still on. "Arrests
will be made only after the investigations are over," he said. Angry residents forced the closure of
all shops in the area on Thursday. Mr Nazir Ahmed, a local resident, said the trouble erupted at
around 9 pm on Wednesday when two police constables deployed near the Rajiv Gandhi flyover
in Bhiwandi were stoned and their skulls broken open by an angry mob, which also burnt seven
state transport buses. The crowd was retaliating against the police firing which had taken place
on Wednesday afternoon, during which two people had been killed. Trouble had been brewing in
this Muslim-dominated area over the construction of a police station and offices for two assistant
commissioners of police in the 2,500 square metre area, which has been owned by the police
since 1920. It is adjacent to the Paanch Peer Kabrastan near Quarter Gate Masjid. This reporter
walked nearly 1.5 km from Dhamankar Naka in Bhiwandi to reach the Quarter Gate Masjid, as
autorickshaws, which are a key mode of travel in Bhiwandi, were not willing to go there. However,
people could be seen moving around the locality in their private vehicles. "The police had started
construction work in March. Since then we were having our silent protests against the issue to
stop the construction work. On Monday we had protested by sitting in dharna at the Azad Maidan.
On Wednesday too we had a silent protest in front of the construction work, and the policemen
went berserk and started lathicharging us. They had also lathicharged those people who were
performing their prayers on the road," alleged Mr Ghulam Ansari, convenor of the Bhiwandi
Public Action Committee. (Asian Age 7/7/06

Complaint against Modi, others (7)
AHMEDABAD: Rakia Jafri, wife of the slain former Congress MP from Ahmedabad, Ehsan Jafri,
has filed a complaint against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others for "criminal
conspiracy and colluding with other accused" during the 2002 communal riots in the State. The
140-page complaint supported by documentary evidence has been sent by registered post from
Surat, where Ms. Jafri is now staying with her son, Tanvir Jafri, to the Gandhinagar Sector 21
police station. Copies have been sent to the Chief Secretary, the Home Secretary and the
Director-General of Police. Besides Mr. Modi, the complainant has also named several members
of the then Modi Cabinet, including Health Minister Ashok Bhatt, Home Minister Gordhan
Jhadafia, and IAS and IPS officers. Ms. Jafri believes they were in a position to help the riot
victims but "deliberately stayed away" due to alleged "criminal conspiracy." DGP P. C. Pandey,
who was then the Ahmedabad Police Commissioner and had visited the Gulberg Society, where
Jafri was burnt alive by a mob, was also among the accused. Ms. Jafri has based her complaint
on the affidavits filed before the G. T. Nanavati and K. G. Shah judicial inquiry commission by
Additional Director-General of Police R. B. Shreekumar and others. The complaint said the
affidavit filed by Mr. Shreekumar and others made it clear that there was a "criminal conspiracy,"
and "some instructions" were issued to the State police to go soft on the Hindu rioters and allow
them to vent their ire in the aftermath of the Godhra train carnage. It pointed out that though the
Gulberg Society in Chamanpura locality was just about two kilometres from the office of the
Ahmedabad Police Commissioner and Mr. Pandey was telephonically informed about the plight of
the Muslims and had come to the spot and seen the deteriorating law and order situation, no step
was taken to protect the people. It said the rioters began gathering in front of the Society early on
February 28, 2002, the `Gujarat Bandh' day to protest against the train carnage the previous day.
Mr. Pandey and other police officials, on being informed, visited the Society, but no attempt was
made to disperse the mob. (The Hindu 9/7/06)

Bhagalpur riots: More than 6 months later, commission yet to start work (7)
When Nitish Kumar took over the reins of Government last November in Bihar, there was hope
and great expectations all around. Committed to "good governance" and "development", the
Chief Minister too did not lose much time and promised many things. One of these important
promises was the constitution of a judicial commission to re-probe the Bhagalpur riot cases for
speedy justice. In February, the Justice NN Singh Commission for reopening the Bhagalpur riot
cases was constituted with its terms and references clearly defined and publicised. It was
announced that the commission would submit its report in six months time but ironically, even
after six months it is yet to take off. However, the Chief Minister has reportedly said that though
the necessary infrastructure has been set up the commission will start functioning soon. "It will
not be delayed anymore," the Chief Minister reportedly said.However, sources in the secretariat
say nothing has been arranged yet and it will take some time for the commission to start
functioning.Last month, State home secretary Afzal Amanullah and State police chief Ashish
Ranjan Sinha along with other top officials had visited Bhagalpur. Sources say they had gone
there to obtain permission of the court dealing with the infamous 1989 Bhagalpur riot cases to
reopen them and the court reportedly had given the same to them.However, the main block has
come in the way of providing compensation to the affected families was State Government order
made during the RJD regime in 2001. The previous RJD Government had ordered that there no
need for identification of the riot victims who could not get compensation as it might open a
pandora's box. (Pioneer 10/7/06)

Examine 13 Godhra cases: Supreme Court (7)
New Delhi : The Narendra Modi Government in Gujarat suffered a setback with the Supreme
Court on Tuesday ordering examination of records of 13 Godhra riot cases by a senior Sessions
Judge of Delhi to find out whether reinvestigation is to be conducted. A three-Judge Bench,
comprising Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice Tarun Chatterjee and Justice D.K. Jain, passed
this order on petitions filed by the National Human Rights Commission, Teesta Setalvad and
other NGOs seeking reinvestigation by the CBI and to shift the cases for trial outside Gujarat as
was done in the Best Bakery case. The cases include four Godhra related incidents; Gulberg
Society/Chamanpura; Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gaon; Sardarpura town, Mehsana district; two
Panchamahals district cases; Sesan, Banaskantha district; Abasana and cases pertaining to Ode
in Anand district. The Bench requested the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court to spare the services
of an Additional Sessions Judge to examine the records and other materials and give a report to
the apex court by August 20 on each of these cases indicating whether reinvestigation was
required or not. The Bench directed the Registry to give all assistance to the ASJ on the basis of
whose report, it would proceed further to decide whether or not to order reinvestigation and
transfer of trial in these cases. The Bench left it open to the ASJ to seek clarification from the
counsel for Gujarat, NHRC, NGOs and the accused in respect of these cases and directed listing
of the matter for further hearing on August 29. Amicus curiae, Harish Salve, submitted that in all
these cases the apex court had stayed the trial in November 2003. He suggested that the CBI
should examine the materials and give a report whether reinvestigation was necessary or not. He
said since these were sensitive cases, the apex court should decide one way or the other. On
behalf of the CBI, Solicitor General G. E. Vahanvati first said that he had spoken to the CBI
Director who was personally against taking up investigation of these cases for various reasons
including logistics and shortage of staff but said the agency would abide by the Court's order if it
was required to conduct the investigation. (The Hindu 12/7/06)

Court asked to suggest judges’ names (7)
New Delhi, July 11: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Delhi high court to suggest the
name of an additional sessions judge to examine the material placed before it by the National
Human Rights Commission and some Egos seeking re-investigation and transfer of post-Godhra
communal riot cases outside Gujarat. A bench of Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice Tarun
Chatterjee and Justice D.K. Jain requested the Delhi high court to give the name of an ASJ who
would examine the voluminous material and give a brief report to the Supreme Court in four
weeks. The apex court bench directed its registry to give all assistance to the ASJ on the basis of
whose report, it would proceed to decide whether to order re-investigation and transfer of trial in
these cases. The bench left it open to the ASJ to seek clarification from the counsel appearing for
the state of Gujarat, NHRC, NGOs and the accused in finalisation of the report. However, the
bench declined the plea of amicus curiae Harish Salve for placing of additional material before
the ASJ after senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi objected to it. The bench was hearing public interest
litigation petitions seeking transfer of about 13 Gujarat riot cases outside the state alleging
complicity of the state machinery in the riots. The 13 cases arise out of five major incidents of
riots in Godhra, Naroda Patia, Gulberga Society, Sadarpura and Ode in 2002 following Godhra
rail carnage. On behalf of the Centre, solicitor-general G.E. Vahanvati first submitted that he had
spoken to CBI director Vijay Shanker, various reasons including logistics and shortage of staff.
However, after about half-an-hour, he changed his stand and made a categorical statement that
the Centre and CBI were prepared to assist the court in the matter. (Asian Age 12/7/06)

Communal clash in Dhoolpet (7)
HYDERABAD : Dumping garbage in front of a religious place led to communal clash leaving 12
persons injured at Indiranagar in Dhoolpet here on Thursday night. The clash coinciding with the
ongoing Bonalu festival celebrations in different parts of the city created tension forcing the police
higher-ups to rush additional forces to the area. Trouble started when a pan shop owner Aslam
allegedly dumped garbage in front of a religious place. An argument ensued as locals raised
objection over throwing the litter there. One of them allegedly beat up Aslam triggering the clash.
Members of both the communities gathered and began hurling stones at each other. Some 12
persons, including a woman, sustained injuries in the stone pelting. (The Hindu 21/7/06)

Punishment for Zahira harsh, activists tell Kalam (7)
NEW DELHI: Women activists and citizens on Thursday met President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam here
to appeal for clemency to Zahira Sheikh, who has been imprisoned for contempt of court in a
Gujarat riots case. The Supreme Court on March 8 handed her one-year imprisonment and a fine
of Rs. 50,000. Freezing of her accounts for three months, as ordered by the court, may effectively
rule out the possibility of Zahira paying the fine, resulting in another year of imprisonment, the
delegation said in a petition. Zahira Sheikh was also sentenced to three-month imprisonment for
perjury by the trial court. Perhaps for the first time in the history of post-independence Indian
judiciary that such a harsh punishment for contempt was given to someone, who herself is a
survivor of the Gujarat violence, the delegation said. She was penalised to deter witnesses
turning hostile, without considering the context that caused hostility. It was likely that she could
not bear the burden when she became an icon of the multiple injustices that marked the Gujarat
violence, the petition said. Even though Zahira repeatedly changed her statements, her ``hostility''
to the prosecution was a product of surviving in a highly hostile and insecure environment,
particularly in the absence of a witness protection programme or rehabilitation. While the court
punished Zahira, it did not pass similar stringent orders against politicians such as Madhu
Srivastava, who intimidated her to change her testimony even though this fact was brought on
record. "It is in the larger interest of society that we should ensure that the instigators of such
terrible violence are punished in future and the fate of Zahira is not repeated, by providing safety
and security to victims and witnesses who are in vulnerable positions like her," the delegation
said……….. (The Hindu 21/7/06)

I feigned death: witness in Hashimpura massacre case (7)
NEW DELHI: The prosecution of 19 Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel for the
alleged murder of 42 Muslims in Hashimpura during the 1987 Meerut communal riots received a
boost when the first witness and one of the four survivors deposed before a court here on
Saturday. Zulfikar Nasser told additional sessions judge N. P. Kaushik in the Tees Hazari that he
was one of the group of 40-45 persons rounded up by the PAC and taken to the outskirts of
Murad Nagar. He saw two persons being shot and thrown into the canal. "I was the third in line. I
was pulled out of the truck and as I fell down, I was shot," he said. The bullet hit him in the
underarm. He feigned death by holding his breath. The PAC personnel, thinking that he was
dead, threw him into the canal, said Nasser. He escaped, concealing himself in bushes. He heard
cries for help and sounds of bullet shots. "I could hear thuds after the bodies of 15 or 16 persons
were thrown into water." Bharti Singh, sector officer Crime Branch-Central Investigation
Department, Meerut, told the judge that she would look into why the case property comprising
rifles used by the PAC personnel was redistributed. Charge sheets were filed against the 19
accused before the Ghaziabad chief judicial magistrate. They did not appear in court though
bailable warrants were issued 23 times between 1994 and 2000. Under public pressure, 16 of the
accused surrendered before the Ghaziabad court and were subsequently released on bail. In
September 2002, on the orders of the Supreme Court, the case was transferredhere. Three of the
19 in the original list of accused including platoon commander Surender Pal Singh, under whose
instructions the massacre was allegedly committed, are already dead. (The Hindu 23/7/06)

Narayanan letters to Vajpayee: Hearing over, decision soon (7)
New Delhi, July 21:The Information Commission today finished hearing regarding the Central
Government’s decision to withhold correspondence between former president the late KR
Narayanan and then prime minister AB Vajpayee from February 28 to March 15, 2002. The
Commission is expected to decide on the matter in a few days. The letters relate to the President
purportedly asking the PM to immediately send the army to the strife-torn Gujarat after rioting
broke out between Hindus and Muslims four years ago. The reference to these letters was first
made during hearings of the Nanavati-Shah Commission that is looking into events in Gujarat
after the incident in Godhra in 2002. C. Ramesh, a resident of Vellore, had used the Right to
Information (RTI) Act to ask for the correspondence. The Public Information Officer of the
Department of Personnel and Training as well as the First Appellate Authority had rejected the
application. Apart from saying that certain Articles in the Constitution rendered these letters
confidential, Article 8.1 (a) of the RTI Act was also invoked, saying that the revelation of these
letters would amount to jeopardising the nation’s sovereignty and security. On Friday, Ramesh
was also part of the hearing from Vellore via videophone, and said he had rights while the
government had privileges, but said those privileges should not violate his rights. Additional
Solicitor-General Mohan Parasaran said Article 74 of the Constitution provided immunity to the
President as it said all advice to the President by the Council of Ministers was privileged
information. He also said Article 361 gave the President immunity against criminal prosecution for
his actions. Hence, the letters should not be made public. Lawyer Prashant Bhushan argued for
the appellant saying that Article 361 provided the President with criminal immunity, but not
immunity from the citizens of the country, as they had a right to know how their representatives
were acting. He also said while Article 74 granted the Council of Ministers and the President
immunity from judicial scrutiny, this did not imply immunity from public scrutiny (Indian Express

Tension in Berhampur (7)
BHUBANESWAR: Tension prevailed in Berhampur town of Orissa's Ganjam district on Friday
following a clash between Bajrang Dal workers and members of a minority community in which
three persons were injured. Twenty persons were taken into custody and 12 platoons of police
have been deployed. The clash took place in the Khaza Sahi locality when a group of Bajrang Dal
workers tried to enforce a bandh to oppose the alleged sale of beef in the town. The bandh
supporters then burnt down kiosks and damaged a few shops. The local unit of the Bajrang Dal
had called for a bandh following an incident on Thursday afternoon when two persons, allegedly
carrying beef in a bag, were chased away by a mob in the Sana Bazar area of the town. (The
Hindu 29/7/06)

State Government recommends CBI probe into Marad riots (7)
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Government has urged the Centre to have the communal
riots that claimed 14 lives at the coastal village of Marad in Kozhikode district on January 4, 2002,
and May 2, 2003, probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). At a press conference
here on Wednesday, Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the State Government had taken
the decision on the basis of the recommendations of the Thomas P. Joseph Commission set up
by the previous Government to inquire into the riots. [He addressed the press conference
immediately after tabling the Commission's report, along with the Action Taken Report, in the
Legislative Assembly.] Mr. Balakrishnan said the State Government had written to the Union
Government on September 12 recommending the CBI probe into the conspiracy behind the riots
and issues such as the involvement of fundamentalist outfits, their foreign connections and
source of funding and how they succeeded in secretly stockpiling weapons in the village for use
in the riots. The judicial inquiry commission had described the Marad riots as `unparalleled'
incidents in its report and its first finding was that there was no justification whatsoever in the
previous Government's disinclination to ask the CBI to probe the crime, Mr. Kodiyeri said. He said
the Commission had also noted that the then Chief Minister A. K. Antony and the then Industries
Minister P. K. Kunhalikutty were opposed to a CBI probe. The Commission names four top
officials for having failed to take timely action to prevent the second of the two riots (on May 2,
2003). They are: the then District Collector of Kozhikode T. O. Sooraj, Commissioner of Police
Sanjiv Kumar Patjoshi, Assistant Commissioner of Police M. Abdul Raheem and Inspector-
General of Police (Crimes) Mahesh Kumar Singla. The Government has initiated action against
Mr. Sooraj and Mr. Patjoshi under the provisions of the All India Service (Discipline and Appeal)
Rules, 1969, Mr. Kodiyeri said. Mr. Raheem is being proceeded against under the provisions of
the Kerala Police Departmental Enquiries and Punishment and Appeal Rules, 1958. (The Hindu

RSS, BJP demand action (7)
New Delhi, Sept. 27: The BJP and the RSS on Wednesday sought action against Indian Union
Muslim League (IUML), after the Joseph P. Thomas Commission report revealed that its activists
were involved in the massacre at Marad in Kerala in 2003, in which nine people were killed. The
Joseph P. Thomas Commission report on the Marad riots, placed in the Kerala Assembly on
Wednesday, finds role of fundamental forces in the 2003 carnage in the fishing hamlet near
Kozhikode. The BJP demanded the resignation of Union minister of state for external affairs E.
Ahamed. BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said, "I don’t see any moral right for E. Ahamed to
be in the post when his organisation has been named in the findings of the Joseph P. Thomas
Commission." RSS leader Ram Madhav said, "The Joseph P. Thomas Commission report
reveals the nexus between Islamist terrorist groups that have been active in Kerala for some time
now and a section of the state’s political establishment, including the Muslim league." The RSS
leader’s comments followed Kerala home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s announcement that
the state government has sought a CBI probe into the Marad incident. "Based on the findings,
action should be initiated against political parties named in it," he said. Mr Madhav cited
references to the IUML and the National Development Front in the report that was tabled in the
Kerala Assembly which mentioned that activists from the two organisations were "actively
involved" in the planning and execution of the massacre at Marad beach. Without naming
anyone, Mr Madhav said, "It is unfortunate to see that members of those political parties which
have been found to be in collusion with Islamist terrorists are occupying ministerial berths in the
government at the Centre." The RSS leader also attacked the UPA government for giving a
ministerial berth to an IUML leader. (Asian Age 28/9/06)

Violence breaks out in Nizamabad district (7)
NIZAMABAD: At least 29 persons, including four policemen, were injured in communal riots that
broke out in Bodhan, Nizamabad, Kamareddy and Kotagiri late on Tuesday night and continued
on Wednesday. The police clamped Section 144 across the district as a tense situation prevailed
in the wake of widespread violence and firing to quell rioting. The situation is under control,
Superintendent of Police Mahesh Chandra Laddha said. Trouble began in the communally
sensitive town of Bodhan around 9 p.m. on Tuesday when people belonging to a particular
community objected to a procession carrying the idol of goddess Durga on Achanpally road
passing in front of their place of worship. Suddenly, stones and footwear rained on the procession
resulting in a clash between the two groups. Following this violence, the Bharatiya Janata Party
and the Sangh Pariwar groups called for Nizamabad district bandh. However, riots broke out in
the district headquarters town when Sangh Pariwar activists went round Ahamadipura Colony
and Pedda Bazar to force shopkeepers to pull down their shutters in the morning. Violence
immediately spread to other communally sensitive areas. It took four to five hours for the police to
bring the situation under control. Additional forces were requisitioned from Mahabubnagar, Medak
and Karimnagar districts. A sudden cloudburst at 3 p.m. also helped the police restore order. It
was free-for-all in Bodhan and Nizamabad towns for five hours from 10.30 a.m. Both groups
gathered in good numbers taking positions at Nehru Park, Gandhi Chowk, Ahmadipura Colony
and Shivajinagar here. The rioters set fire to two medical shops at Shivajinagar and one medical
shop on Khilla Road. They also burnt more than a dozen makeshift shops on footpaths on Devi
Road. (The Hindu 5/10/06)

Clash sparks violence in Mangalore (7)
MANGALORE: Miscreants attacked shrines belonging to two communities at two places in
Mangalore on Thursday. A group of at least 50 people threw stones and broke the window panes
of a religious place at Padil by the side of the National Highway 48. Another mob attacked
another place of worship in old Mangalore. Both the places have been damaged. Inspector
General of Police (Western Range) H.N. Sathyanarayana Rao told presspersons here that in the
violence that broke out Mangalore and Buntwal taluks and Mangalore city, 42 persons including
seven policemen had been injured. The police had detained seventy persons for interrogation.
The police have registered 24 cases in both the taluks and resorted to lathicharge in 14 places
and fired two rounds in the air. About 30 tear gas shells had been lobbed, he added. Preliminary
reports stated that 18 vehicles including autorickshaws, motorcycles and buses, had been
damaged. Mr. Rao said the district had 22 platoons of striking forces, and civil forces from
Chikmagalur had also arrived. Police had made elaborate security arrangements all over the city
and in sensitive places, Mr. Rao added. A van belonging to a newspaper was damaged by the
mob and three two-wheelers were set afire in Mangalore, Padil and Farangipet. Police had to
resort to lathicharge to quell mobs in Kudroli, Farangipet, Padil, Adyar and Alape. They also
lobbed tear gas shells in all these places and in Kalikamba road in lower Car Street when a mob
threw stones at a place of worship and torched a two-wheeler. A wine shop and an eatery were
vandalised in Farangipet. Police opened fire in the air to quell a mob, which attacked a police
outpost in Farangipet and vandalised it besides manhandling the policemen. …… (The Hindu

Saffron policing fanned Mangalore flames (7)
MANGALORE, OCTOBER 15 : While both Hindu and Muslim groups took the lead in playing
aggressor at different points of time during the violence in this coastal district, it’s becoming
increasingly clear that Hindu groups like Bajrang Dal and Srirama Sena have been running a
parallel policing system. One of the two deaths that occurred during the violence was of a man in
a group that was chased by Hindu activists in the belief that they were trying to get away after
desecrating a temple. On October 7 evening, the group of seven was travelling in an ambulance
to Mangalore airport to drop one Ashraf. The ticket, booked about a month in advance, bears out
their version. Says Iqbal, who was in the ambulance van, “Earlier in the day some people from
our village, Boliar, had taken the ambulance to the highway. We thought it would be a safe way to
see Ashraf off. But our attackers seemed to have been following us. We knew many of them.
They pulled us out, accused us of desecrating a temple and stabbed Ibrahim (who died).” Boliar
panchayat member Bhaskar Shetty, a BJP worker, vouches for those who were in the
ambulance. “Ibrahim was a good man. He wouldn’t have indulged in communal activities. I know
all these people. They wouldn’t do such things.” District Superintendent of Police B Dayanand
says, “It’s an unfortunate incident, the result of a misconception. We have arrested 14 of the 30
people named by the victims.” But there have been several incidents of saffron groups playing
vigilante. In March 2005, Hajanabba, aged 60, and his son Hasanabba, 29, were stripped,
paraded naked, and beaten in public by the Hindu Yuva Sena. Their crime: Hajanabba was
caught buying a calf near Adi Udipi. In June last year, Bajrang Dal activists stopped and looted a
bus taking Hindu and Muslim employees of a shop owned by a Muslim. They were going for a
picnic and Dal activists objected, saying this would encourage affairs between people of different
religions. (Indian Express 16/10/06)

Post-Godhra cellphone details now with panel (7)
AHMEDABAD, October 16 : The Jan Sangharsh Manch, a rights group representing post-Godhra
riot victims, has submitted to the Justice Nanavati and Justice Shah Commission details of mobile
calls made by and to 37 high-profile persons, including Chief Minister Narendra Modi, between
February 25 and March 4, 2002. The Indian Express had in an investigative series first reported
on how leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajrang Dal,
and some police officers had been in touch with each other on mobile phones during the worst
days of the rioting. The panel had on October 9 permitted the Manch to submit the details of calls
made in Ahmedabad and Godhra. According to the Manch, the data has been submitted as
supplied by mobile phone companies, without any attempt to identify caller and called party. But it
did contend that it had identified most of the callers and called parties and would provide more
details at the earliest. However, in a separate sealed envelope, the Manch has submitted details
of calls made and received by P B Gondiya, who was at that time Deputy Police Commissioner in
charge of the Naroda area, where one of the worst massacres took place. Manch advocate Mukul
Sinha said that the details establish that Gondiya was in constant touch with leaders of the VHP,
the BJP, and also those accused in the Naroda Patiya massacre case. "Even this. . . would prima
facie show the relevance of the call data and the identification of all the names of the callers and
called parties made from February 27, 2002," said Sinha. He added that this task would be of
primary importance to decide the reference made before the commission regarding conduct of
CM Narendra Modi, his ministers, and other senior officials during the post-Godhra riots. The
Manch has said that for any verification, the data it has submitted could be compared to that
submitted on a CD to the commission by IPS officer Rahul Sharma. (Indian Express 17/10/06)

NMC seeks better amenities for riot-hit (7)
GANDHINAGAR, OCTOBER 17: The National Minorities Commission (NMC) today ticked off the
Gujarat Government over the condition of displaced riot-hit families. Calling the situation ‘difficult’
and the state’s rehabilitation measures ‘inadequate’, the three-member NMC team demanded
renewed attention towards the riot-affected. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Narendra Modi cautioned
the team not to fall prey to the practice of using an event to divide the nation along communal
lines. “The state government does not discriminate between its citizens on any ground. It cares
for all Gujaratis,” Modi said. The team members visited 17 camps in Ahmedabad, Panchmahals,
Dahod and Sabarkantha districts between them over three days. After a marathon interaction with
government officials, followed by a 50-minute meeting with Modi, the NMC said there was a
problem of livelihood and issues of basic civic amenities. “The condition is difficult and presents a
strong case for help,” said NMC vice chairman Michael Pinto. “It’s inadequate in terms of basic
necessities and issues like safe drinking water, roads and electricity need to be addressed soon.
Certain things can be done, and should be done. It is the responsibility of the government,” said
member Zoya Hasan. Calling the interaction “cordial, frank and constructive,” member Dilip
Padgaonkar said while they drew Modi’s attention towards their concerns, the CM explained his
perspective. NMC members were particularly unhappy with the “relief” oriented approach of the
government. “Unfortunately, rehabilitation is not the issue with the government and that is what
we wanted to force upon,” said Hasan. But Modi was clearly unhappy. In a CMO press release,
he said: “Those in the habit of defaming Gujarat are not well-wishers of social unity.” The
Commission, which would soon prepare a report on the status of the riot victims, has demanded
three things: immediate attention toward civic amenities; address livelihood issues through an
economic package and larger policy that addresses the displacement of riot-hit. (Indian Express

Dispute over gambling leads to communal clash (7)
Agra : A minor dispute over gambling in a shoe factory at Mantola area of Agra turned into a
violent communal clash on Tuesday night, bringing the entire city into the grip of terror in the dead
of night. Two police personnel and a dozen local residents were injured in police firing to control
the mob. According to Siraj Qureshi, a resident of the Mantola area, the dispute began when
some people belonging to one community raised objection to a make-shift gambling house being
run by the other community at a shoe factory located on the Madina crossing. Reacting to the
objection, the gamblers attacked them. Though the local police station was barely two hundred
metres away from the site, they took two hours in reaching there, by which time, the situation had
aggravated considerably.The situation was brought under control at about 1 am on Wednesday.
(Pioneer 20/10/06)

'Sangh Parivar, police responsible for riots (7)
BANGALORE: A 40-member all-India fact-finding team that visited Mangalore and nearby areas
has held the Sangh Pari-var and the local police responsible for the recent communal riots in the
region. Speaking to The Hindu on Friday on behalf of the team, G.K. Ramaswamy of the People's
Democratic Forum said the team visited trouble-hit areas such as Ullal, B.C. Road, Thokkattu,
Pharangipete, Gudinabali and Suratkal; local hospitals, police stations, various local
organisations and victims on October 18 and 19. Though the immediate cause of the riots may
have be an incidentin Bajpe, the disturbances can be traced to a simmering communal
situaituation in the region over a decade, which has resulted in "severe polarisation of the
communities", according to the findings of the team. The team feels that the Sangh Parivar forces
have gained strength after Nagaraj Shetty of the B JP took over as the district-in-charge Minister.
It alleges that some "communal-minded" police officers, who were earlier transferred, were
reinstated after Mr. Shetty took charge. They played "a significant role" in worsening the
communal situation, according to the team. In the pretext of a bandh the Sangh Parivar forces
targeted Muslims. Following this, the police ransacked the houses of Muslims and
indiscriminately beat up and arrested people, especially in Ullal and Gudinabali, resulting in a
"unilateral onslaught on the minority community", according to the team. The team has demanded
a judicial investigation, headed by a sitting judge, into the incidents within a specific time-frame.
The other demands of the team include filing FIRs against erring police officials, revamping the
force to purge it of "communal elements" and dropping Mr. Shetty from the ministry. The other
members of the fact-finding team include Badhukwala of People's Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL),
Baroda, C. Subbanna of Human Rights Forum, Andhra Pradesh, Sudhakar and Kranti Chaitanya
of Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee, Damayanti and Hari Babu of Committee to Protect
Civil Liberties, Tamil Nadu, T.S. Vivekanan-da and A. Selva of the PUCL-Karnataka, members of
Pedestrian Pictures, Bangalore, Aravind Narain of Alternative Law Forum and independent
intellectuals such as Yogindar Sikand, G. Rajashekhar and Pattabhira-ma Somayaji. (The Hindu

Gujarat riot victims living in "sub-human conditions" (7)
NEW DELHI: Four-and-a-half years after the carnage of 2002, over 5,000 displaced families
belonging to the minority community continue to live in camps in "sub-human conditions" because
the Gujarat Government "is not fulfilling its constitutional responsibility" to create an atmosphere
that would enable them to return home. This is the key finding of the National Commission for
Minorities (NCM) after a five-day visit to 17 of the 46 camps that are now the makeshift homes of
the families. While the State Government stated that the inmates of the camps were living there
voluntarily, the NCM in its report said: "In view of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the
Commission finds this viewpoint untenable and evasive of a government's basic responsibility."
According to NCM member Zoya Hasan, the abdication of State responsibility in the post-violence
situation is just as bad if not worse than its turning a Nelson's eye to the carnage in 2002. "While
the Gujarat Government is refusing to recognise their displacement, it also seems that the nation
has forgotten what happened in 2002." Acting on a complaint from an Ahmedabad-based non-
government organisation about the condition of 5,307 families displaced in the 2002 riots, the
NCM team visited the camps between October 13 and 17. During their visits, members found that
inmates lived without the most rudimentary civic amenities like potable water, sanitation,
streetlights, schools, primary health centres and approach roads. Besides, "an overwhelming"
number of families did not have ration cards. Requests for below poverty line cards have been
repeatedly turned down. As a result, many families were unable to obtain foodgrains, cereals and
kerosene at subsidised rates. The Commission found this had increased their hardship, as most
displaced families were reduced to working for daily wages after losing their means of livelihood.
(The Hindu 24/10/06)

Modi govt returns riot rehab funds, minority panel says victims suffer (7)
NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 23: Coming down heavily on the Gujarat government’s reluctance to
help 5,703 riot-affected Muslim families resume normal lives in their original homes, National
Commission of Minorities (NCM) chairman Hamid Ansari today said that “the findings of our team
which visited Gujarat this month are quite explicit and show an abdication of Constitutional
responsibility on the part of the state government with reference to victims of the 2002 riots who
are living in barely human conditions.” The NCM, which received a request from The Indian
Express under the RTI Act to explain the fate of the riot compensation money that Gujarat
returned to the Centre as unspent, said the Commission wrote to the Prime Minister, asking that
the unspent money be given as “enhanced grant to the families of the 1169 persons who were
killed during the riots or may be given as an additional grant for houses of the victims”. “This
Commission has received information that the Gujarat government has neither received the
amount of Rs 19.1 crore back from the Union Government nor has it any direction from the Union
Government regarding its utilisation,” the NCM said. Speaking to The Indian Express on his
return from Gujarat at the head of a four-member team which visited 17 of the 46 camps, Ansari
said: “The team has identified specific problems like potable water, sewage issues, lack of health
and school facilities, approach roads or streetlights. These people are living as if they are
marooned.” The NCM team, apart from meeting riot-hit families, met Gujarat Chief Minister
Narendra Modi and had a three-hour long meeting with state government officials. The NCM
suggested to Gujarat officials that they offer the riot-hit a package identical to the one offered in
the wake of the 2001 Gujarat Earthquake 2but that suggestion was rejected. “The state
government refuses to have anything to do with those living in these camps, and believes that
these people should go back like the 45,000 riot-hit who have now gone back home. The state
government says these people are staying away from home voluntarily,” Ansari said. (Indian
Express 24/10/06)

                                Team to study Gujarat relief (7)
New Delhi, Nov. 27: The CPI(M) has taken the initiative to organise a parliamentary team to visit
Gujarat to study the relief situation for the victims of the Gujarat carnage in 2002, who are
languishing in the relief camps. The team would study the problems of rehabilitation being faced
by 45,000 victims of the riots. CPI(M) Parliamentary Party leader Basudeb Acharia said the
parliamentary team comprises of the Left, Samajwadi Party, RJD, NCP and other non-BJP
parties. The Congress would also be represented on the team. Mr Acharia said, "We are
discussing with these parties on the dates of the visit. The delegation will soon visit Gujarat, may
be in a week’s time." "There are over 45,000 people whose houses were burnt down and
damaged during the 2002 carnage. These people are still residing in camps outside the cities,
towns and villages three-and-a-half years after the mayhem," he said. (Asian Age 28/11/06)

Advani wants Central relief for Godhra victims too (7)
NEW DELHI: Countering the Centre’s move to endear itself to riot victims of Gujarat by hiking
compensation, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L K Advani has called for a similar
relief for those who were killed in the Godhra train attack as well as victims of terrorist attacks on
Akshardham temple and other places. Party leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra disclosed that Advani
told the weekly parliamentary party meeting of the BJP that the Government had extended its
vote-bank politics to relief money also. Advani, according to him, said he had no problem with
Gujarat riot victims getting more relief, but the Centre should not discriminate between victims of
one tragedy and another. Regarding party strategy in the rest of the session, Malhotra said BJP
would oppose the entry of foreign companies in retail. “It is suicidal; it would render small traders
jobless,” he said. Pending the adoption of a resolution on SEZs at the next national executive
meeting, he said the BJP would oppose the acquisition of farmlands for the purpose. (Indian
Express 29/11/06)

"Godhra conspiracy theory bogus" (7)
AHMEDABAD: Jansangharsha Manch advocate Mukul Sinha, fighting the 2002 Gujarat riot cases
on behalf of the victims, on Tuesday sought to demolish the "theory of conspiracy" in the Godhra
train carnage advanced by the State Government and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Summing up
his arguments before the G.T. Nanavati-K.G. Shah Judicial Inquiry Commission, Dr. Sinha,
quoting from affidavits filed by senior police and railway officials and "independent witnesses,"
said circumstantial evidence did not support the conspiracy theory. There was "absolutely no
information" about the journey by kar sevaks aboard the Sabarmati Express on February 27,
2002; there was no possibility of chain pulling by the alleged conspirators from outside the train;
and there was no second chain pulling on the outskirts of the Godhra station platform, where
coach S-6 was allegedly set on fire, Dr. Sinha said. All affidavits filed by the security personnel,
including Director-General of Police K. Charavarthy and the Railway Protection Force, mentioned
that there was no prior information of kar sevaks travelling by the train, the counsel added. (The
Hindu 7/12/06)

Riots rehab gets poor report card from MPs (7)
AHMEDABAD, DECEMBER 22 : The delegation of MPs belonging to the UPA, which visited the
rehabilitation sites of the riot-hit in Gujarat last month, has presented its report to the Prime
Minister. Citing the conditions at the sites to be appalling, the report says they were devoid of
basic civic infrastructure like drinking water, sanitation and approach roads. It has sought a
financial package on the lines declared for victims of 1984 riots in Delhi. The nine-member
delegation had on November 30 visited areas like Naroda Patiya, Citizen Nagar, Kifayat Nagar,
Mahajir Nagar and Himant Nagar in Sabarkantha district, where 2002 riot victims have been
rehabilitated. In their report presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on December 19, the
delegation suggested that since the Gujarat Government had failed to discharge its constitutional
duties, it should be dismissed. The delegation ruefully observed that despite the Centre providing
Rs 150 crore, the Modi Government returned Rs 19.10 crore as unspent money to the Centre
while not taking proper care to rehabilitate the riot-affected people. The delegation members
sought to know why the state Government did not make use of the money to create infrastructure
like drinking water, drainage, schools and roads. It also observed that at no site where the victims
have been resettled did the state Government provide land. “Almost in all localities, the state
Government did not provide any land for rehabilitation. The NGOs purchased land and
constructed houses on them,” the report said. Regarding compensation, members mentioned that
they received large number of complaints regarding inadequate compensation for loss of life as
well as loss of property. The report also observed that no survey was carried out to assess the
loss victims suffered. The report also observed that all houses built by the NGOs were small, of
size 10X15 sq ft and 12X20 sq ft. “Such houses are very small for large families but still they are
staying because of no option available to them,” mentioned the report. Recommending several
measures, the report stressed that more financial assistance should be given to the affected
people on the lines of the package declared for victims of 1984 riots in Delhi. It has also
recommended that the package to be declared by the Central government be given to a Central
agency like HUDCO, which can build the infrastructure in the localities. It has also emphasised
that Gujarat Government be kept out of any such exercise. It also recommends that a special
survey be carried out by an agency like National Minorities Commission to rehabilitate these
families economically, and finding out source of employment for them. (Indian Express 23/12/06)

Malegaon: ‘SIMI hit mosque to start riots’ (7)
Mumbai, December 21: Hours before the September 8 Malegaon serial blasts case was handed
over to the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Anti-Terrorist Squad of the Maharashtra Police
today filed the chargesheet in the case, claiming that its investigations were complete. The ATS
contends that the nine accused, who are allegedly active members of the banned Students
Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), had hatched and executed the conspiracy with the help of two
Pakistanis in the textile town to “infuriate the entire Muslim community and trigger communal
riots’’. Thirty-one people died and 312 were injured in four blasts, of which three were inside the
Hamidiya Masjid and Bara Kabrastan. The fourth was at Mushawart Chowk. The Malegaon blasts
chargesheet is clear about the motive but, unlike the July 11 Mumbai serial blasts chargesheet, it
fails to establish the identities of the two Pakistanis. All that it says is that one of the Pakistanis is
‘‘learnt to be Muzammil’’, while the other is unidentified. Investigations have also failed to
establish the identities of the two men who had bought the bicycles that were used to plant the
bombs, though the ATS claims in the chargesheet that the prime conspirators and the planters
have been arrested. The chargesheet does not say how the 20 kg of RDX and other explosives
used in the blasts reached Malegaon from Mumbai. It says the explosives were brought to
Mumbai in the third week of July, after 7/11, by SIMI activists Mohammed Ali Sheikh and Asif
Khan alias Junaid. And that they handed it over to prime accused Shabbir Ahmed Masiullah. The
chargesheet does not explain where Mohammed Ali Sheikh and Junaid got the explosives.
Neither does it say why the police did not know about the involvement of Masiullah — who had
been arrested by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch on August 11 — till three months after his
arrest, which was almost a month before the Malegaon blasts. (Indian Express 22/12/06)

Riots rehab gets poor report card from MPs (7)
AHMEDABAD, DECEMBER 22 : The delegation of MPs belonging to the UPA, which visited the
rehabilitation sites of the riot-hit in Gujarat last month, has presented its report to the Prime
Minister. Citing the conditions at the sites to be appalling, the report says they were devoid of
basic civic infrastructure like drinking water, sanitation and approach roads. It has sought a
financial package on the lines declared for victims of 1984 riots in Delhi. The nine-member
delegation had on November 30 visited areas like Naroda Patiya, Citizen Nagar, Kifayat Nagar,
Mahajir Nagar and Himant Nagar in Sabarkantha district, where 2002 riot victims have been
rehabilitated. In their report presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on December 19, the
delegation suggested that since the Gujarat Government had failed to discharge its constitutional
duties, it should be dismissed. The delegation ruefully observed that despite the Centre providing
Rs 150 crore, the Modi Government returned Rs 19.10 crore as unspent money to the Centre
while not taking proper care to rehabilitate the riot-affected people. The delegation members
sought to know why the state Government did not make use of the money to create infrastructure
like drinking water, drainage, schools and roads. It also observed that at no site where the victims
have been resettled did the state Government provide land. “Almost in all localities, the state
Government did not provide any land for rehabilitation. The NGOs purchased land and
constructed houses on them,” the report said. Regarding compensation, members mentioned that
they received large number of complaints regarding inadequate compensation for loss of life as
well as loss of property. The report also observed that no survey was carried out to assess the
loss victims suffered. The report also observed that all houses built by the NGOs were small, of
size 10X15 sq ft and 12X20 sq ft. “Such houses are very small for large families but still they are
staying because of no option available to them,” mentioned the report. Recommending several
measures, the report stressed that more financial assistance should be given to the affected
people on the lines of the package declared for victims of 1984 riots in Delhi. It has also
recommended that the package to be declared by the Central government be given to a Central
agency like HUDCO, which can build the infrastructure in the localities. It has also emphasised
that Gujarat Government be kept out of any such exercise. It also recommends that a special
survey be carried out by an agency like National Minorities Commission to rehabilitate these
families economically, and finding out source of employment for them. (Indian Express 23/12/06)

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