More Muslims than Hindus died in firing by policemen
The Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government does not acknowledge the Concerned Citizens Tribunal, but is on the same page with it on one facet of the 2002 riots in the state.india Updated: Feb 20, 2012 01:37 IST
The Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government does not acknowledge the Concerned Citizens Tribunal, but is on the same page with it on one facet of the 2002 riots in the state.
More Muslims died in police firing during the riots than Hindus, show the government's statistics and the report of the tribunal headed by former Supreme Court judge justice VR Krishna Iyer.
According to the tribunal, which conducted its own probe into the massacres, this skewed body count defies logic because the riots were largely led by Hindus.
The casualty figures due to police firing vary too. The tribunal states 104 of the 184 people killed were Muslims. Government puts the death toll at 170 - 93 Muslims and 77 Hindus.
According to state government records, of more than 1,200 people killed in the riots, nearly 950 were Muslims.
The riots had erupted after the torching of the Sabarmati Express near Godhra on February 27, 2002.Most of the 59 passengers killed in the train carnage were kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya.
The tribunal said in its report of November 2002, "The shocking levels of police complicity in the Gujarat carnage cannot be over-emphasised… not only did the local police not do anything to stop the Hindu mobs; they actually turned their guns on the helpless Muslim victims."
In 2004, when Indian Police Service officer Rahul Sharma deposed before the Modi government-appointed Nanavati Commission probing the riots, he had said after more Hindus died in police firing than Muslims in Bhavnagar, Gordhan Zadaphia, the state's the then junior home minister, had asked him to maintain ratio.
Sharma was the superintendent of police of Bhavnagar district during the riots.
According to Sharma, "Zadaphia had called, on March 16, 2002, and said that the toll in police firing in the district was weighted too heavily against the Hindu community as against the Muslims - at 5 to 1."
"I had explained to the minister that the casualty ratio in police firing depended on the composition of the mob… if 90% of the mob is Hindu, then obviously 90% of the casualty will be Hindus," he had deposed.
First Published: Feb 19, 2012 23:27 IST