Rights activists allege police atrocities in Godhra
A human rights team has accused the police of attacking Muslim women and children at Saatpul in Godhra on Feb 18.india Updated: Mar 08, 2004 11:24 IST
A human rights team has accused the police of attacking and brutalising Muslim women, children and invalids at Saatpul in Godhra on February 18.
The Alliance for Defence of Democracy (ADD) team, which visited the area on February 19, has put together a report after speaking to the victims and surveying the area where the incident took place. The report says the police was showing off "its capacity to terrorise the community without legal constraints…".
Earlier, the police told the Press that it had retaliated against a mob trying to stop the arrest of Salim Paanwala, who was among those who attacked the Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002. The police said there was "heavy stone throwing… and Salim escaped in the melee".
Among other things, the ADD says it has found no evidence of large-scale stone-throwing in the vicinity of Umar mosque and nearby areas. "Even after questioning many people including women and children, we did not get the impression that stone throwing had taken place."
"There were only 30-40 people offering namaz in the mosque then and it is improbable that a large mob could converge before the mosque in a matter of minutes."