A three-Judge bench of the Supreme Court on June 24 delivered its judgement on the SC-appointed SIT report, which was challenged by Zakia Jafri, widow of the former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was mercilessly murdered in the Gulbarg Housing Society, Ahmedabad during the infamous Gujarat riots 2002.
The Supreme Court has declared that there was no proof of a premeditated anti-minority conspiracy at the highest level in the massacre. It also opined that some vested interests are engaged in “keeping pot boiling”. This judgement is being hailed by BJP leaders as a clean chit to Mr. Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat.
There are basic facts which say that it was one of the worst anti-Muslim carnages in the history of Gujarat. The official figures of the devastation in the genocide say that 10,204 homes were lost in arson (reconstruction assistance paid to 1,300 persons). The number of shops burnt comes at 10,429 and shops ransacked at 1,278 (only a few persons have received compensation). 4,623 lari-gallas (carts) were lost due to arson (`10,000 each was paid to 1,022 persons to start livelihood anew). The number of the people who took shelter for months in 103 relief camps is 1,13,697. Most precious loss was loss of innocent lives of men, women and small children who were killed, burnt-alive and hacked to death. Countless women were shamelessly raped by the fanatic goons, some even on the roads. The total death toll, according to official estimates, is about 2000.
A day after the Supreme Court ruled out a larger conspiracy behind the 2002 riots and expressed the need to proceed against those “disgruntled officers” and others whose “coalesced effort was to create sensation by making false revelations”, an FIR was registered on June 25, based on a complaint by police inspector DB Barad against social activist Teesta Setalvad, who was working for the protection of human rights of victims and persecuted people; former state DGP RB Sreekumar, and Sanjiv Bhatt, also a former Gujarat cadre IPS officer, who is already behind the bars in connection with a custodial torture case which he has been contesting. Following the FIR, the Gujarat police detained and later arrested Setalvad and Sreekumar.
Things are happening in such a fashion that one feels that the victims of the carnage will never get justice in this world; there is a sure day of reckoning when the doers of good will be rewarded and the doers of evil will get severe punishment.