Together We Can Make a Difference
Since around March 2003, scores of Muslims are reported to have been illegally detained by Crime Branch police in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Their detentions are connected with alleged conspiracies against the state. While many have subsequently been registered as having been formally arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, many remain in illegal detention.

Abuse of the law in Gujarat: Muslims detained illegally in Ahmedabad
Amnesty International, November 7, 2003

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Gujarat Carnage: The Aftermath
Highlights (March 2005 - December 2004)
Last Updated on March 28, 2005

  • Give This Man A Visa
    The Hindustan Times, COUNTERPOINT, Vir Sanghvi, March 19, 2005
    I guess that my unhappiness over the visa denial stems from the same sort of jingoism and crude patriotism. I believe that Narendra Modi is a mass murderer but as long as he’s Chief Minister of an Indian state, I believe that the US should grant him a visa. When it refuses the visa, it might intend to insult Modi (over which I shed no tears) but it also ends up insulting India by suggesting that our elected officials are not good enough to enter the US.

  • Persona Non Grata
    Editorial, The Times of India, March 19, 2005
    Howls of shame will follow him as long as he and his party refuse to admit guilt and willingly stand for trial for the pogrom that shook the very foundations of the secular Indian state.

  • Modi, martyr!
    The US government has achieved the impossible: Modi can now play the persecuted
    Editorial, The Indian Express, March 19, 2005

    When Narendra Modi talks democracy and human rights, even ‘‘violation of judicial norms’’ and ‘‘religious freedom’’, and he gets away with it, you know the plot has gone terribly astray somewhere. The US government accomplished a marvellous feat on Friday.

  • US reacts: We acted on NHRC findings
    Washington, PTI, March 19, 2005
    The US has said that its decision to revoke visa to Chief Minister Narendra Modi was not based on any US government findings about his responsibility for the Gujarat riots but the conclusions reached by the National Human Rights Commission of India in this regard.

  • Modi done in by US House motion
    US reacts: We acted on NHRC findings
    S Rajagopalan, Washington, March 18, 2005

    Introduction of a censure motion in the US Congress and a strong missive from the Commission on International Religious Freedom appear to have thwarted Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s planned American visit next week.

  • Gujaratis chary of visiting US
    Joydeep Ray & Meghdoot Sharon / Gandhinagar/Ahmedabad March 19, 2005
    Despite Modi’s claims that the turning down of his visa is ‘an attack on India,’ a large section of the intelligentsia feel Modi has been treated ‘the way he should have been treated’.

  • Modi says US move is insult to India; blames some NGOs
    UNI, March 18, 2005
    Angered over the denial of US visa to him, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today termed the move as an ''insult to India and its Constitution'' and blamed certain organisations, which ''fomented terrorism and violated human rights'', for it.

  • U.S. denies Indian politician visa
    State minister tied to riots that killed hundreds
    The Associated Press, March 18, 2005

    The U.S. Embassy on Friday denied a visa to the Hindu nationalist chief minister of India’s western Gujarat state, citing his role in 2002 religious riots that killed hundreds of Muslims. The chief minister called the decision an insult to India.

  • US visa denial follows anti-Modi campaign, New York, March 18, 2005
    The denial of a US visa to Chief Minister Narendra Modi Friday follows a relentless campaign by a coalition of American and Indian American religious leaders and rights activists who accused him of persecuting religion minorities in Gujarat.

  • Indian Americans will rally in America to reverse American Visa decision and bring Modi to USA
    Sudhir Chadda, India Daily, March 18, 2005
    The influential Indian American lobby will try their best to reverse the decision to bring Modi to USA. While pressure to deny visa may have come from Musharraf regime and silent support from Sonia Gandhi regime, Indian Americans in US will try to convince the US State Department, Dr. Rice and even President Bush to reverse the decision immediately.

  • No entry for Modi into US: visa denied
    Indiatimes News Network, March 18, 2005
    In a severe rebuke to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the United States has denied him entry to America.

    Taking a strong stand against the senior BJP leader and Hindutva icon, the US Consular division on Friday denied him a "diplomatic visa", apparently holding him responsible for the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002 which claimed over 2000 lives.

  • US Congressmen commended for anti-Modi resolution
    New York, March 17, 2005
    A rights group has commended two members of the US Congress introducing a resolution condemning the alleged rights abuse perpetrated by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

    The Coalition Against Genocide (CAG) commended Congressmen John Conyers and Joseph Pitts for introducing the resolution Wednesday, ahead of Modi's visit to the US.

  • US Congressmen demand denial of visa to Modi
    Press Trust of India, Washington, March 16, 2005
    Ahead of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the United States, demands have been made for denial of visa to him for the visit.

    Two American Congressmen also said they are introducing a resolution condemning policies and actions of his state administration and urging the US government to do the same.

  • Muslims Ask AMEX to Withdraw Sponsorship of FL Event; Convention will Honor Indian Official Linked to Gujarat Massacre
    Washington,U.S. Newswire, March 16, 2005
    A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on American Express to withdraw its sponsorship of a Florida convention that will honor an Indian official accused of complicity in the massacre of Muslim civilians.

  • 'Hardball' Host Withdraws From Controversial FL Event, March 9, 2005
    A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today applauded MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews' decision not to speak at a Florida convention that will honor an Indian official accused of complicity in the massacre of Muslim civilians.

  • Official Linked With Book Praising Hitler to Speak in FL, NY, March 2, 2005
    A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today renewed its call to block the entry of an Indian official accused of complicity in the massacre of Muslim civilians, following revelations that the official's administration distributed a social studies textbook praising Adolf Hitler.

  • Controversial proposal: Gujarat NGOs divided, March 2, 2005
    The message of a dharna to mark the third anniversary of the Gujarat riots is now the focal point of a controversy.

    The NGO organising the dharna is proposing that victims of the riots go for out-of-court settlements in minor cases like those of arson and looting.

  • Gujarat violence film set for Friday release
    IANS Mar 2, 2005
    "Chand Bujh Gaya" a Hindi feature film based on the 2002 Gujarat communal violence and which features a splitting likeness of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, is to hit the screens Friday.

  • US presents grim human rights report on India
    Press Trust of India, February 28, 2005
    The United States on Monday presented a stark picture of India's human rights situation alleging security forces committed abuses "with impunity" killing civilians in Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern states and Gujarat government "failed" to arrest those responsible for post-Godhra riots.

  • Film-makers hit rewind button, cut to Godhra
    Rupam Jain Nair, Indian Express, February 27, 2005
    What happened in Godhra on February 27, 2002 and its bloody aftermath has fuelled the imagination of young movie makers. Many have used the carnage as a subject for their directorial ventures.

    In the three years following the incident, more than 22 short films and documentaries projecting the communal riots as a blot on civilised society have been screened at various film festivals and social forums.

  • Gujarat riots were a 'black spot' on NDA govt: Advani, February 26, 2005
    Admitting that Gujarat riots marked a "black spot" on the six-year-rule of Vajpayee government, BJP President L K Advani today said, however, they did not have any impact on the last Parliamentary elections.

  • India: Three years later still no justice for victims of violence in Gujarat
    Amnesty International, February 24, 2005
    On the third anniversary of the fire on the Sabarmati Express train at Godhra on 27 February 2002 in which 59 people died, Amnesty International once again calls on the Government of Gujarat to take all possible steps to ensure justice to the victims of the wave of violence that swept across the state of Gujarat in the following weeks.

  • US govt urged to bar Modi's entry, 24 February , 2005
    Washington: A Muslim group urged the US government on Wednesday to bar the entry of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, who is accused of complicity in post-Godhra riots.

    Modi is the guest of honour at the Asian American Hotel Owners' Association's annual convention in Florida next month, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations said.

  • Honoring Narendra Modi!
    By Coalition Against Genocide, February 22, 2005
    The Asian American Hotel Owner Association's (AAHOA) has created a storm in US by inviting a militant,anti-minority Indian politician to its annual convention. AAHOA will be honoring Narendra Modi, the Chief executive of the Indian state of Gujarat who is accused of sharing responsibility in the massacres, sexual mutilations and rapes of Muslims and persecution of Christians, indigenous tribes and moderate Hindus.

  • Banerjee panel set to get teeth
    Vinod Sharma, The Hindustan Times, January 22, 2005
    THE UNION Cabinet has reportedly cleared the Railways Ministry's proposal to elevate the Justice Umesh C Banerjee Committee probing the Godhra incident into a full-fledged commission under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952. The "High Level" Committee was hamstrung by the lack of authority a Commission of Inquiry has to ensure the witnesses' attendance and examination under oath. This will change once it becomes a Commission.
    Interim Report of J. Banerjee Committee is available here.

  • Godhra carnage was pre-planned, insists SIT officer
    Press Trust of India, January 18, 2005
    AHMEDABAD: A senior Gujarat police officer on Monday told the Nanavati-Shah Commission that "evidence indicated that the Godhra carnage was pre-planned, conspired and had a terrorist link".
  • India train fire 'not mob attack'
    BBC Online, January 17, 2005
    An Indian train fire that killed 59 Hindus and provoked deadly religious riots in 2002 was started by accident, a government inquiry has said.
  • NGO findings back Banerjee report
    Times of India, January 17, 2005
    NEW DELHI: Delhi-based NGO Hazards Centre has corroborated the findings of the Justice Banerjee Committee report that the fire in the Sabarmati Express coach at Godhra in 2002 began from inside.
  • 'Kar sewaks' have not been blamed
    Times News Network, January 17, 2005
    NEW DELHI: The Godhra report by the Justice U C Banerjee Committee does not go so far as to blame the 'kar sewaks' and others for starting the fire deliberately in order to achieve the communal divide. But in his report, Justice Banerjee does talk about 'trishuls' and 'kar sewaks'.

  • Special Report: Best Bakery trial
    BY Teesta Setalvad, Communalism Combat, November-December 2004
    On April 12, 2004 a verdict of the Indian Supreme Court jolted a complicit system out of its slumber. A division bench of the apex court ordered re-trial of the famed Best Bakery case and transferred the case out of Gujarat, to Maharashtra. Not only did this verdict make judicial history, it also offered hope to millions of Indians for whom hurt, alienation and indifference had become an everyday reality. Suddenly there seemed reason, once again, to call India their own.

  • Zaheera needn't be cross-examined: Guj Govt
    Press Trust of India, Ahmedabad, December 23, 2004
    Filing its reply to an application seeking cross-examination of Best Bakery key witness Zaheera Sheikh before the Godhra riots inquiry commission, the Gujarat government said on Thursday that there was no need to cross-examine her at this stage.

  • Best Bakery: Court pulls up Gujarat police
    Press Trust of India, December 08, 2004
    Expressing serious view over lapses by Gujarat police in providing security cover to witnesses in Best Bakery case, including prime witness Zaheera Sheikh, a special court on Wednesday recorded statement of Gandhinagar Superintendent of Police R.B. Brahmbhatt who was summoned in this regard.

  • SC notice to Zahira, Gujarat govtAdd to Clippings
    Times News Network, December 07, 2004
    NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to Best Bakery case key witness Zahira Sheikh and the Gujarat government to explain whether her latest statement favouring the accused amounted to filing false affidavit and should it be viewed as contempt.

  • Gujarat`s guilty conscience
    Business Standard / New Delhi December 02, 2004
    If there were lingering doubts that the communal riots in Gujarat in February/March 2002 were a state-sponsored pogrom, last week’s series in the Indian Express should conclusively dispel them.

  • Top cop in charge of massacre zones was in touch with accused
    Gujarat Riots, Getting Away with Murder
    an express investigation, Part Three: Tracking cop in-charge of gulbarg, naroda
    By Stavan Desai, Indian Express, Posted online: November 23, 2004

  • BJP’s Naroda MLA says she wasn’t at riot site, cellphone records say she was there
    Gujarat Riots, Getting Away with Murder
    an express investigation, Part Two: tracking Naroda’s BJP MLA on massacre day
    By Stavan Desai, Indian Express, Posted online: November 22, 2004

    Case against Maya Kodnani was closed for lack of evidence. On day 83 were killed, she was in touch with cops, Togadia brother, accused

  • 3 yrs later, cellphones start talking: who called whom when Gujarat was burning
    Gujarat Riots, Getting Away with Murder
    an express investigation, Part One: tracking vhp’s gen secy on day 1,2
    By Stavan Desai, Indian Express, Posted online: November 21, 2004

    Two CDs with more than 5 lakh entries have been lying with the Gujarat police and are now with the Nanavati-Shah riots panel. These have records of all cellphone calls made in Ahmedabad over the first five days of the riots which saw the worst massacres. Staff Reporter Stavan Desai spends several weeks unmasking the story hidden between and behind these numbers. The first of an exclusive series

  • Panel probing Gujarat violence to visit Godhra
    India News, medabad, Nov 29, 2004
    A commission investigating Gujarat's 2002 sectarian violence will visit Godhra, where a mob had burned a train's coach triggering the carnage.

  • Teesta gets a breather: 72-hr notice needed before arrest
    Express News Service, November 24, 2004
    MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 23: Social activist Teesta Setalvad got a reprieve today when the Bombay High Court asked the Gujarat government to give her a 72-hour notice if they wanted to arrest her.

  • Gujarat riot witness backtracks
    BBC Online, 18 November, 2004
    A key trial concerning the Hindu-Muslim riots in India's Gujarat state in 2002 has been thrown into further disarray after another witness backtracked.

  • Zaheera likely to appear before Mumbai court
    NDTV Correspondent, November 17, 2004
    Prime witness in the Best Bakery case Zaheera Shaikh and her two brothers are likely to appear before a special court today in response to the summons issued to them.

  • Demand for CBI probe into Zaheera's u-turn
    Press Trust of India, November 10, 2004
    New Delhi, Nov 13. (UNI): SAHMAT today demanded a CBI inquiry into the u-turn by Best Bakery case witness Zaheera Sheikh and said that the government should ensure security to all witnesses of the cases relating to Godhra carnage.

  • Setalvad questions NCW-Zaheera meeting
    Saturday, 13 November, 2004
    New Delhi: Social activist Teesta Setalvad, caught in a controversy in the Best Bakery case, raised doubts over the meeting between National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Poornima Advani and prime witness Zaheera Sheikh, saying it was part of an attempt to "manipulate" the story.

  • Muslim intellectuals defend Teesta's role
    Press Trust of India, November 10, 2004
    Aligarh, November 10: A group of Muslim intellectuals on Wednesday strongly defended human rights activist Teesta Setalvad's role in the Best Bakery case and demanded a high-level probe into the circumstances under which key witness Zaheera Shiekh retracted her statement.

  • Teesta seeks anticipatory bail from HC
    Express News Service, November 10, 2004
    Mumbai, November 9: Activist Teesta Setalvad—accused by the prime witness in the Best Bakery case, Zaheera Shaikh, of forcing her to fabricate stories—today moved the Bombay High Court seeking anticipatory bail. The petition will come up for hearing tomorrow.

  • Zahira, a hot potato for Gujarat govt
    Kingshuk Nag, Times News Network, November 09, 2004
    AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government appeared to be in a tizzy on Monday with Zahira Sheikh believed to be throwing a tantrum and appearing disinclined to depose before the sessions court trying the Best Bakery case.

  • Zahira's changing statements determine who's friend, foe
    Times News Network, November 09, 2004
    VADODARA: Each time Zahira Sheikh does a turnaround, her friends turn foes and foes turn friends.

  • Gujarat riots: Modi steps in, targets NGO
    Press Trust of India, November 04, 2004
    Vadodara, November 4: Close on the heels of prime witness in the Best Bakery case Zaheera Sheikh levelling allegations against an NGO, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday targeted such organisations and said, "their role must be studied in depth."

  • Cop alleges political interference during Gujarat riots
    Indo-Asian News Service, Ahmedabad, October 30, 2004
    A senior police officer on duty during the 2002 Gujarat violence claimed on Saturday before an inquiry commission that attempts were made by politicians to prevent him from discharging his duty.

  • 'Uniform' code: Gujarat school issued notice
    NDTV, October 27, 2004
    Administrators of a Gujarat school were issued show cause notices by the District Education Officer today for allegedly creating a communal divide among students.

    The school had asked Muslim and Hindu students to wear identification badges.

    The practice of getting Muslim students to wear a badge with a star and Hindu students to wear one of Goddess Saraswati came to the notice of the DEO recently.

    The S J Dave School, located in Shehra village in the district, had set the 'uniform' code in 1999.

  • Gujarat riot officer transferred
    BBC Online 25 October, 2004
    A senior Indian policeman has been dropped from the country's top federal agency which is investigating religious riots in the western state of Gujarat.

  • Riot cases opened for re-investigation
    Times News Network, October 23, 2004
    AHMEDABAD: The committee set up by the Supreme Court (SC) to review the 2,100 riot cases which had been closed, has cautiously picked 204 cases for reinvestigation, albeit, amid scare that some of them could involve policemen.

  • Best Bakery panch testifies
    By: Prasad Patil, Mid-day, October 22, 2004
    For the first time, on Thursday, the evidence given by a witness in the Gujarat court was presented before the court in the Best Bakery re-trial in Mumbai.

  • Gujarat HC: Recall hostile witnesses
    Rathin Das, October 13, 2004
    In yet another blow to the Narendra Modi government, the Gujarat High Court has ordered the recall and re-examination of seven witnesses who had turned hostile in the Madina Biwi gangrape and murder case during the post-Godhra riots.

  • First witness deposes in Bakery retrial
    Map-maker claims he wasn’t asked to draw bakery plan to scale
    Express News Service, October 05, 2004

    The Best Bakery retrial got underway on Monday before a special court with the prosecution producing its first witness, a cartographer employed with the Gujarat government, who had drawn a plan of the area around the bakery. The map was also produced in court.

  • Gujarat textbook mum on riots
    Rathin Das, The Hindustan Times, October 2, 2004
    The post-Godhra riots of 2002 may have brought international media attention to Gujarat but the state's history textbooks don't think the events are worth even a mention.

  • Best Bakery case: Prosecutor's death won't affect
    Indo-Asian News Service, Mumbai, October 2, 2004
    The death of the special public prosecutor in the Best Bakery retrial will not affect the case in which 14 people were burnt alive during the Gujarat riots, say NGOs.

  • Gujarat riot victim petitions Chief Justice of India, October 01, 2004
    A post-Godhra riot victim has said she has written to the chief justice of India and the Gujarat government seeking reopening of a case closed by the police.

  • In a globalising world, no state or politician can afford to be an island. Democratic credentials have to be validated not just locally but also by the global community.
    Persona Non Grata
    Editorial, The Times of India, March 19, 2005
    The Concerned Citizens Tribunal 'Report Can Be Basis to Chargesheet Modi'
    Retired Supreme Court judge Justice P.B. Sawant spoke to Outlook about the ramifications of the tribunal's report. - "Crime Against Humanity" November 22, 2002

  • Justice, in Gujarat
    Editorial, The Indian Express, August 19, 2004
    The SC’s directive on reopening riot cases is the most damning indictment of Modi’s govt yet
  • Another deserved rap
    Editorial, The Indian Express, May 10, 2004
    The Gujarat government gets more reminders that there’s no compromising with justice
  • Don’t criticise Gujarat, Modi tells outsiders

    Ayesha Khan, Indian Express, May 1, 2004
    This is a public warning that this state will not tolerate its criticism. It is in the best interests of those who who have settled here to keep this in mind.
  • 'Does the Constitution not apply to Gujarat?'

    The Rediff Interview/Teesta Setalvad,, April 15, 2004
    You have to oppose majority and minority communalism all the time. You have to talk of justice for the majority and the minorities, for both Godhra and post-Godhra riots victims. You have to talk about representation for minorities in the police force.
  • A just case for transfer
    Editorial, The Indian Express, November 24, 2003
    Justice is not being done in Gujarat and the state government is proactively responsible for this terrible breakdown.

  • Gujarat’s cricket test
    Editorial, The Indian Express, November 4, 2003
    If a cricket ball, wrongly hit, can cause riots in the state, things are far from normal

  • Gujarat under watch
    Editorial, The Hindustan Times, October 10, 2003
    As L.K. Advani has admitted, the Gujarat government’s handling of the riot cases has become a source of embarrassment.

  • The truth is out
    Editorial, The Hindustan Times, September 22, 2003
    The culpability of the Narendra Modi government is being exposed with every new revelation before the Supreme Court in the Best Bakery case.

  • Justice eludes Gujarat riot victims
    Anubha Bhonsle, NDTV, September 13, 2003
    While the question everyone's asking is whether yesterday's SC order is cause for some hope, the answer perhaps lies in the stories of people like Zaheera and Bilkis.

  • Thank you, Mr Modi
    On Independence Day weekend we treasure this reminder of our fragile freedoms
    Editorial, The Indian Express, August 16, 2003
    But in a thriving democracy each and every citizen is empowered to express a point of view — just as the political dispensation in the state has the right to refute and clarify.

  • A mockery of law
    Editorial, The Hindustan Times, July 18, 2003
    Even the blind can see in the conduct of the pogrom-related cases being tried in Gujarat that the malign force exerted by the official machinery and the political outfits sympathetic to it are making a monkey of the legal system.

  • Most Wanted: Justice
    Gujarat’s Best Bakery case shows the criminal justice system at its worst Editorial, The Indian Express, June 30, 2003
    Gujarat 2002 must be rescued from ending up like Delhi 1984 or Bombay 1993. Because the burden of unrequited justice is becoming too heavy for the nation.

  • Election-eve Solicitude
    Editorial, The The Hindu, May 30, 2003
    In fact, the post-Godhra pogrom in Gujarat under the Narendra Modi regime and the Assembly elections held subsequently revealed the BJP leadership's real attitude towards the minorities, particularly Muslims.

  • Make the victims shed the fear
    By Kuldip Nayar, The The Hindu, May 21, 2003
    Mr. Justice Nanavati, too, has some obligation: He should ensure that the evidence against the Government's complicity does not remain hidden. He cannot depend on the State machinery which is partial and has got vitiated.

  • Why Modi drew a blank
    By Kuldip Nayar, The Hindu, May 2, 2003
    The question is not whether Gujarat is today peaceful and normal but whether those who disturbed peace through premeditated murder, rape and looting have been isolated for punishment.

  • Stabbing at communal harmony
    Editorial, The Hindustan Times, April 18, 2003
    Is Rajasthan the next communal flashpoint after Gujarat? In the recent past, several places in Rajasthan have witnessed ugly scenes which stopped short of riots mainly due to a watchful administration.

  • Minority report
    By Vishal Arora, The Hindustan Times, March 24, 2003
    Why is the Gujarat government so desperate to prepare a community-based database of the Christians in the state and to probe the sources of funding to Christian NGOs?

  • India, after Godhra
    Editorial, The Indian Express, February 28, 2003
    Unless justice is done, we cannot put either Godhra or the Gujarat riots behind us

  • State of the media debate: A hijacked press
    Digant Ozha, The Hindustan Times, February 24, 2003
    Lies, white lies and more lies seem to be the mantra followed by the Gujarati media. The media in this state is infamous for hardly ever asking questions, least of all pertinent ones. After the arrest of Maulana Hussain Umarji as the main conspirator in the Godhra carnage, no one from the media bothered to question why his name was not brought up before.

  • NHRC chief deplores tardy relief to Gujarat riot victims
    By J. Venkatesan, The Hindu, January 10, 2003
    "Mere acceptance of incidents is not enough. What is required is identification of the perpetrators of violence, proper investigation and their prosecution by ensuring a fair and speedy trial. That alone is going to generate confidence among the people, particularly the minorities".