Friday, October 4, 2013
SUMMARY OF ARGUMENTS ON MRS ZAKIA JAFRI PROTEST PETITION
SUMMARY OF ARGUMENTS ON MRS ZAKIA JAFRI PROTEST PETITION
Criminal Charges Which Narendra Modi Faces
Below we publish a summary of the written legal submissions made to 11th Metro Court Judge B J Ganatra by Gujarat riot victim, Mrs Zakia Jafri, on September 18, 2013. The complainant often refers to the fact, among other things, that Modi himself was the home minister of Gujarat at the time the state suffered an anti-Muslim pogrom.
THE Zakia Jafri criminal complaint against Narendra Modi and 59 others, supported by Citizens for Justice & Peace (CJP), Mumbai, was ordered to be investigated by the Supreme Court, first on April 27, 2009 and thereafter through subsequent orders. Zakia Jafri and the CJP have been attempting to get serious criminal charges registered and investigated since June 8, 2006. The Special Investigation team (SIT) originally asked to further investigate the major trials was assigned the task on April 27, 2009). An amicus curiae was also appointed to assist the court. The SIT, in its reports from 2010 onwards, arrived at the conclusion that while several of the allegations were found to be correct, there was not sufficient material to prosecute the accused.
In stark contrast, the amicus curiae, senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, looking at the same evidence collected by the SIT, came to a contrary conclusion, stating clearly that there was evidence enough to prosecute Narendra Modi.
Faced with this dilemma of two contrary assessments, the Supreme Court remanded the matter to a lower court, directing the SIT to file its final report there. The SC specifically directed that if the SIT filed a closure report, the complainants were fully within their legal rights to file a protest petition and access all investigation papers/documents.
(This is a right under Indian law but was specifically outlined by the Supreme Court in its final judgement dated September 12, 2011.)
Predictably, the SIT filed a closure report on February 8, 2012 and remained adamant against making investigation papers available to the complainants, in contempt o the Supreme Court order. The magistrate granted the complainant her right to the investigation papers on April 10, 2012, but it took Zakia Jafri and the CJP another year to access all the investigation reports of the SIT submitted to the Supreme Court. The SC directed this on February 7, 2013, after which the protest petition was filed on April 15, 2013. From June 24 to August 29, 2013, rigorous arguments in support of the Zakia Jafri protest petition were made before Judge Ganatra, the 11th metropolitan magistrate of Ahmedabad. The final day of arguments on behalf of the complainant took place on September 18, 2013. Detailed written submissions on legal and factual aspects were submitted to the court on that day. Now the judgement of the magistrate is awaited.
FIFTEEN SERIOUS CHARGES AGAINST NARENDRA MODI
1) Wilfully ignoring messages from state intelligence about the violent repercussions of the RSS-VHP called ‘Mahayajna’ before the tragic Godhra incident on February 27, 2002 and deliberately not initiating precautionary measures that are imperative under standard operational procedure; messages from February 7, 2002 to February 25, 2002, including specific ones that stated that batches of 2,800 and 1,900 karsevaks had left for Faizabad-Ayodhya and had been behaving provocatively and aggressively against minorities on the way. As cabinet minister for home and chief minister, he is directly responsible. MOS home Gordhan Zadaphiya is a constant co-conspirator.
2) Deliberately concealing knowledge of the provocative, anti-Muslim sloganeering by karsevaks at the Godhra station when the Sabarmati Express reached five hours late on February 27, 2002, which information had been sent to him directly by DM/Collector Jayanti Ravi and wilfully failing to take stern action and allowing violent incidents to escalate after the train left Godhra by about 1.15 p m, especially at Vadodara station where a Muslim was attacked and killed, and at Anand where the train stopped, hereafter ensuring that the state allowed a hate-filled and threatening atmosphere against Muslims build right up to Ahmedabad where the train finally reached around 4 p m and where bloodthirsty slogans were being shouted. FIRs in 19 brutal incidents against Muslims are recorded on February 27, 2002 in Ahmedabad itself. Curfew was not imposed despite these incidents resulting in deaths breaking out.
3) Conspiring with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to plot and allow reprisal killings all over Gujarat. The first phone call that Modi makes after DM Ravi’s fax reaches him is, not to appeal for peace and calm, but phone secretary VHP, Gujarat, Dr Jaideep Patel and direct him to Godhra. The conspiracy between Modi and the VHP is hatched and unfurled to cynically ensure statewide reprisal killings. Phone call records show these phone calls between PA to Modi, A P Patel and Jaideep Patel immediately after the chief minister receives news of the Godhra tragedy. Phone call records made available by Rahul Sharma (IPS, Gujarat) also show that the powerful accused were in touch with the chief minister’s office (CMO) and the landline numbers of the chief minister.
4) Brazenly supporting the bandh called by the VHP and allowing the streets and public spaces of Gujarat to be used for mass attacks and violence. By 12 noon on February 27, 2002, state intelligence and the police were aware of the bandh call; the bandh was uses by the police machinery to clear the streets of ordinary citizens so that aggressive mobs could target minority populations and their establishments.
5) Cynically, and illegally allowed post mortems illegally out in the open at the railway yard, Godhra where the burnt and mutilated corpses were laid in full view of an aggressive and irate crowd of RSS and VHP men and women, who were gathered there in violation of curfew orders at Godhra. Deliberately allowing photographs of the burnt corpses to be taken and widely circulated by the RSS-VHP and media in general, despite it being prevented under law.
6) Personally instigating individual RSS-VHP men and women at the railway yard at Godhra assuring them that enough time will be allowed by the Modi-led government and administration to extract a revenge for Godhra.
7) Directing that the unidentified bodies of Godhra train victims should be handed over to Jaideep Patel, a non-governmental person, that too belonging to a supremacist and communal VHP to be brought to Ahmedabad where aggressive funeral processions in full public view were allowed. Modi directed this at a meeting at the Collectorate in the evening of February 27, 2002 before he returned to Gandhinagar. Jaideep Patel was allowed to be present at an official meeting at the Collectorate. Jaideep Patel is a co-conspirator and also facing trial for mass crimes in the ongoing Naroda Gaam case. Modi is specifically guilty of allowing the escalation of violence from Godhra to other parts of Gujarat and taking decisions contrary to law.
8) Specifically instructing his top policemen and administrators not to act even-handedly in the days to follow and “allow Hindus to vent their anger.” Two senior bureaucrats present at the meeting have stated that cabinet ministers were present at a meeting that went on well past midnight. Haren Pandya, a minister in Modi’s cabinet in 2002, had given evidence of this to the Concerned Citizen’s Tribunal headed by Justice Krishna Iyer and P B Sawant in 2002 itself. Later in 2009, a serving officer from the state intelligence, Sanjiv Bhatt, also gave the same evidence before the SIT and the Supreme Court.
9) Preventing the imposition of curfew. Curfew was deliberately not imposed at Ahmedabad while over 3,000 RSS workers were allowed to gather at the Sola Civil Hospital where Jaideep Patel arrived with the bodies of the Godhra victims at about 4 a m. The crowd was aggressive and violent as proved from the police control room records. No steps were taken to disperse the crowd that attacked the hospital staff and doctors, a High Court judge, Violent funeral processions were allowed to wind through the streets of Ahmedabad for several hours at two locations; worst Acharya Giriraj Kishore was given police escort to come and further provoke the aggressive mob; the cremations took place only in the evening and attacks on Naroda Patiya, Naroda Gaam and Gulberg Society where over 200 persons were massacred (and rapes allowed) in broad daylight on the same day, February 28, 2002, while violent and aggressive funeral processions were wilfully allowed by Modi and the police and administration.
10) Making pretence of verbally calling in the Army on the late evening of February 28, 2002 but not actually allowing its deployment in Ahmedabad, Godhra and Bhavnagar and Varodara until February 2, 2002 and February 3, 2002. Worse badly affected districts like Mehsana, Panchmahals, Dahod, Anand, Kheda were not given any army or paramilitary at all.
11) Fourteen out of Gujarat’s 25 districts were allowed to burn as ministers were specifically deployed by Modi to interfere with police functioning and sit in the state control room and Ahmedabad city control room; in eleven districts where violence was controlled, the police officers in charge were given punitive transfers to send a political message. Modi heads the home department that bends the police bureaucracy and police to his will.
12) Modi allowed violence to continue unabated until early May 2002 when KPS Gill was sent by PM Vajpayee to the state; the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), April and July 2002 and Central Election Commission (CEC) were misled about the spread and intensity of violence. This was wilful subversion of the justice system. The subversion of the home department under A-1 in which co-accused, Gordhan Zadaphiya, MOS Home, A-5, Ashok Narayan, ACS Home, A-28, and K Nityanandam, secretary, Home, A-34, played an active part included deliberately misinforming the ministry of home affairs of the government of India about the extent and spread of violence: Correspondence exists to reveal how senior VHP and RSS men were being kept out of the FIRs and charge sheets related to serious massacres being filed by the Ahmedabad Crime Branch; how violence was recurrent and was being allowed with even ministers like Bharat Barot directly involved.
13) Partisan prosecutors belonging to the RSS-VHP were appointed to ensure that cases were killed in their infancy; bail was easily granted to powerful accused until the Supreme Court stepped in, in 2003 and 2004. Two trials, the Best Bakery trial and the Bilkees Bano cases were transferred out of the state.
14) Hate speech was indulged in by Modi himself, on February 27, 2002 and right until the infamous Becharaji speech made top set off his election campaign on September 9, 2002 and also cynically permitted by the Home Department under him to spread poison and incite violence against Muslims and Christians. The state intelligence under ADGP (Int) R B Sreekumar had specifically recommended prosecution of the VHP for a series of incendiary pamphlets but this was ignored. SP Bhavnagar, Rahul Sharma too had recommended the prosecution of Sandesh, the Gujarati mainstream newspaper for publishing false and provocative photographs and reports. Both the NHRC and Editor’s Guild had also strongly recommended prosecution of those guilty of hate speech. Modi had, instead sent congratulatory letters to those newspapers who had spread lies and venom. R B Sreekumar, Rahul Sharma and Sanjiv Bhatt are among the officers persecuted by the Gujarat government under Modi (home minister).
15) Modi is guilty of ordering the destruction of crucial documents including wireless intercepted messages, vehicle logs, police control room records and others on March 30, 2008, four days after the Supreme Court appoints the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on March 3, 2008. He has headed the home ministry portfolio since that date.