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
Gujarat Carnage: The Aftermath
Highlights (March 2005 - December 2004)
Last Updated on March 28, 2005
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
netindia123.com, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
prnewswire.com, 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.
biz.yahoo.com, 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.
ndtv.com, 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.
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.
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.
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.
NewKerala.com, 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.
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.
Sify.com, 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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Times News Network, November 09, 2004
VADODARA: Each time Zahira Sheikh does a turnaround, her friends turn foes and foes turn friends.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
rediff.com, 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.
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
Editorial, The Indian Express, May 10, 2004
The Gujarat government gets more reminders that there’s no compromising with justice
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.
The Rediff Interview/Teesta Setalvad, rediff.com, 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.
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.
Editorial, The Indian Express, November 4, 2003
If a cricket ball, wrongly hit, can cause riots in the state, things are far from normal
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Editorial, The Indian Express, February 28, 2003
Unless justice is done, we cannot put either Godhra or the Gujarat riots behind us
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.
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".