Thursday, December 12, 2019

Two acquittals and a clean chit

Prime Minister Vajpayee visited Gujarat in April 2002, two months after the historic riots in the state. Maulvi Hussain Ibrahim Umarji submitted a representation to the PM on the persecution of Muslims in Gujarat. "Give me details," the PM demanded. "He'd know better," replied the Maulvi pointing at Chief Minister Modi. Within days the Maulvi was arrested on charges of terrorism and arson. 

Siddharth Varadarajan's book, Gujarat: The Making of a Tragedy, presents Umarji as a man who condemned the Godhra incident and participated in peace meetings. But Gujarat's judiciary cast him in jail where he languished for eight years. In 2013, less than two years after his acquittal, at the age of 65, the Maulvi breathed his last. 


Mohammad Hussain Kalota was the president of Godhra municipality when the train was burned at the nearby railway station. He helped to bring the situation under control by coordinating with Bhargava, the police chief, helping the fire brigade to access water from the nearby tube well, and ensuring uninterrupted power supply for the water pump. He was soon arrested on charge of aiding and abetting the arson. He spent nine years in prison before being acquitted in 2011.

Many other Muslims in Gujarat wasted good many years of their life behind the bars on false charges related to the 2002 riots, before being acquitted. Those were days when the judiciary was not an individual's personal possession in India. 

Now in 2019, Justice Nanavati Mehta Inquiry Commission has given the ultimate clean chit to perhaps the mastermind of much of post-Godhra. This is the same Commission that had been parroting the then Gujarat Chief Minister's view that the train incident was a terrorist act. Even parrots shouldn't take 17 years to repeat their Master's words. 

4 comments:

  1. The injustice imposed on Umarji and Kalota (must be several like them) is penetratingly sad. The commissions in India are doing nothing better than what the Justice Nanavati Mehta Inquiry Commission has done after a gaping gap of seventeen years. You are right. Even parrots are better than such people. The mastermind has gone scot-free but his brainwashed Bhaktas spread all over the country (and abroad as well) are still cheering for him despite (and because of) the unforgivable sin committed by him. I wonder what's going to happen to this (Holy and Great !) nation.

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    Replies
    1. There are many, many others who suffered much injustice in Modiland. Look at what's happening to Sanjiv Bhat IPS, for example.

      Modi has become the Messiah for too many Indians. My concern is why my country folk are so foolish.

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  2. The law can only be as good or as evil as the lawmakers. And with people who are either extremists, or totally disinterested in the happenings, the law turns cruel.
    India today is full of evil, semi-evil, and lesser evils. And the good are crushed under this baggage.
    I have wondered what would have happened if the earlier PMs had done their duty after the riots. Forget their own party, even the opposition who had power later were indifferent. The opposition needed a scarecrow so people would vote for them instead, now the opposition's scarecrow has come to life, and absorbed all the power.

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    Replies
    1. The rot started with Indira Gandhi and the RSS man who succeeded her, Rao, brought that rot to its completion.

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