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Updated: May 12, 2012 09:23 IST

SIT says Ehsan Jafri ‘provoked’ murderous mob

Vidya Subrahmaniam
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Zakia Jafri, wife of the Gulberg Society massacre victim Ehsan Jafri, arrives at a court in Ahmedabad. File photo
PTI Zakia Jafri, wife of the Gulberg Society massacre victim Ehsan Jafri, arrives at a court in Ahmedabad. File photo

After Modi, it's Raghavan's turn to see riots as ‘action-reaction'

In its closure report filed in the Zakia Jafri case, the R.K. Raghavan-led Special Investigation Team says Ms. Jafri's husband and former MP Ehsan Jafri was killed because he provoked a “violent mob” that had assembled “to take revenge of Godhra incident from the Muslims.” Ehsan Jafri fired at the mob and “the provoked mob stormed the society and set it on fire.” Around 70 Muslims perished in the massacre at the Gulberg Society compound along with the ex-MP on February 28, 2002.

Ironically, the SIT makes this assertion even as it clears Narendra Modi of the charge that he had invoked the Newtonian theory of ‘action and reaction' to justify the post-Godhra anti-Muslim violence. Yet, in trying to absolve Mr. Modi, the SIT fully implicates the Chief Minister and itself. Not once but twice.

The SIT first insists that Mr. Modi saw the firing by Ehsan Jafri as “action” and the “massacre that followed as ‘reaction'.” It follows this up by quoting the Chief Minister as saying the Sabarmati carnage was a “heinous crime, for which ‘reactions' were being felt.”

In 1984, Rajiv Gandhi gave a macabre twist to the anti-Sikh pogrom that followed Indira Gandhi's assassination, saying “when a big tree falls, the ground shakes.” Eighteen years later, the Gujarat Chief Minister would propound his own action-reaction theory only to furiously deny he ever said it. Now the SIT not only confirms that Mr. Modi used the words “action” and “reaction” but endorses his statements even while holding that the “alleged statements” have been “quoted out of context … and therefore no case is made against him.”

The SIT's controversial observations are recorded in a chapter dealing with a specific allegation made by Ms. Jafri: that Mr. Modi had given media statements, including an interview to Zee TV on March 1, 2002, where he justified the anti-Muslim pogrom as a reaction to the Godhra violence by Muslims. Strongly defending the Chief Minister against the charge, the SIT cites its own March 2010 interrogation of Mr. Modi: “As regards the Zee TV interview of 01-03-2002 is concerned, Shri Modi told SIT that after a period of eight years, he did not recollect the exact words but he had always appealed only and only for peace … He also said that if his words cited in this question are considered in the correct perspective, then it would be evident that there is a very earnest appeal for people refraining from any kind of violence …”

The Zee TV interview was reproduced in a report, Rights and Wrongs, brought out in the aftermath of the 2002 violence by an Editors Guild team of B.G. Verghese, Aakar Patel and Dileep Padgaonkar. In the reproduced excerpts, Mr. Modi had termed the firing by Ehsan Jafri as “action” and the massacre as “reaction.” He also described the Godhra carnage as a product of the “criminal tendencies” of the residents of Godhra. He said, “Earlier, these people killed female teachers. And now they have committed a heinous crime jiski pratikria ho rahi hai (reaction to the crime is happening now).

The SIT summoned Zee TV correspondent Sudhir Chaudhary, and asked him for a CD of the interview. Mr. Chaudhary said he did not have the CD with him but recollected that to his question on the Gulberg massacre, Mr. Modi had replied that “the mob had reacted on account of private firing done by late Ahesan Jafri.”

In the closure report, the SIT summarises the episode, and goes on to offer its own conclusions: “In this connection, it is to be stated that Shri Narendra Modi has clearly stated in his Zee TV interview that it was late Ahesan Jafri, ex-MP, who first fired at violent mob and the provoked mob stormed the society and set it on fire. In this interview, he has clearly referred to Jafri’s firing as ‘action’ and the massacre that followed as ‘reaction’. It may be clarified here that in case late Ahesan Jafri, ex-MP, fired at the mob, this could be an immediate provocation to the mob, which had assembled there to take revenge of Godhra incident from the Muslims.”

The SIT also justifies Mr. Modi’s description of Godhra residents as people with “criminal tendencies” and his statement that the heinous crime (burning of Sabarmati train) had led to reactions. “Again with regard to the Godhra incident, [Mr. Modi] clearly stated that the day before yesterday 40 ladies and children were burnt alive at Godhra and the incident had shocked the nation as well as people abroad, and that the people belonging to this area had a criminal tendency and these people had earlier killed lady teachers and now they had committed heinous crime for which the reactions were being felt.”

That said, the SIT concludes that “no case is made [out] against the Chief Minister.”

So what caused Jafri to fire at the mob which was so “provoked” by the action that it “stormed inside” and killed nearly 70 Muslim residents of Gulberg society? In 2004, then Police Commissioner P.C. Pande deposed on this before the G.T. Nanavati- K.G. Shah Commission.

According to him, he got a message at about 12.15 p.m. on February 28, 2002 from the Meghaninagar police station (where Gulberg is located) that “a crowd of nearly 10,000 had gathered near Gulberg Society and that society is encircled and the crowd pelting stones.” Mr. Pande said in the deposition that he could not recollect if he got distress calls from Gulberg but he sent “two Additional Deputy Superintendents of Police with the Police Force.” He did not send further assistance because he felt that “generally PI (police inspector) and DCP (Deputy Commissioner of Police) are capable to control such situation.”

Mr. Pande claimed that following a fresh request at 2 p.m., he sent one section of the Central Industrial Security Force. However, Mr. Pande said he was unaware of the whereabouts of the men he had sent as reinforcement: “I cannot say where they were and what duties they were performing at the time when the persons of Gulberg Society were started to be burnt.” The Police Commissioner was also unaware of an affidavit filed by the Police Inspector attached to Meghaninagar where he (the PI) had said that between 2.30 and 3 p.m. there were only 14 policemen near Gulberg society. This was the situation at Gulberg at about 3 p.m., with the Police Commissioner not knowing where his men were and a Police Inspector complaining that there were only 14 policemen. By 5 p.m. the mob had killed Ehsan Jafri and many others.

Curiously, in a background note to Zakia Jafri’s complaint, the SIT says Ehsan Jafri fired in “self-defence” — in contrast to how it portrays the same incident later in the report, when it invokes the action–reaction words of Mr. Modi.

This is what the SIT’s background note says about the Gulberg incident: “On the day of the bandh, i.e. 28.02.2002, a huge mob comprising about 20,000 Hindus gathered, armed with deadly arm weapons, in furtherance of their common intention and indulged in attack on the properties, shops and houses of Muslims as well as a madrasa/mosque of Gulberg society located in Meghaninagar, Ahmedabad city, resulting in the death of 39 Muslims, including Ahesan Jafri, ex-MP, injuries to 15 Muslims and 31 Muslims went missing. Late Ahesan Jafri fired from his private, licensed weapon in self defence causing injuries to 15 persons in the mob. One of the victims of the said private firing succumbed to injuries later.”

Within the space of a few pages, however, what the SIT saw as “self-defence” in one context had become a “provocation.”

Ehsan Jafri’s widow went to the Supreme Court to ask for an investigation into the wider circumstances in which her husband lost his life. The SIT’s conclusion seems to be that his murder was his own fault.

a SIT report like this was not all expected from a person like R K RAGHAVAN whose past professional career was a role model for many civil services canditates.very sorry that he too had become a victim of political system.

from:  vellak
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 21:31 IST

Mr Modi took sides at a difficult time, and given the situation any body would have done the same, taking a stand on their espuosed faith or religon and at this time reason stands clouded, and the classic situation of trying to fight fire with fire prevails.But in the larger picture He also needs the support of the masses and his stand won him the elections thereby he retained power I think that he took the pragmatic approach and It payed off 'this was a coldly calculated move' by a chess player to the core It is doubtful that he can come to justice because in is now case of the end justifies the means, and another strategy is all rulers need to keep the masses polarised to RULE.

from:  tony
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 17:29 IST

Very poor comment from a so called secular paper just after giving a pro secular comments and that too from THE HINDU

from:  Sankaranarayanan
Posted on: May 13, 2012 at 16:43 IST

Mohammad imran in his comments above says a crowd of 20000 Hindus surronded Ehsan
Jafri's house. Elsewhere SIT makes an observation that 10000 surrounded the house. Do
they realise how huge this number is and how did they assemble when there is a curfew in
place? What about transport and other logistics?

from:  Paratrup
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 12:59 IST

The accompanying photograph showing Zakia Jafri being escorted by Tista Setalvad and being assisted by a Sikh security person shows a powerful symbol of our pluralistic faiths.

from:  Arghya Saha
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 11:54 IST

Ms. Vidya's Report on the first page of the Hindu is the kind of
journist's tribute to those democratic values and norms which are
being deliberately ignored by those sections who believe in their
prejudices and hatred as the symbol of rationality. The report on the
SIT was critically examined in the Hindu newspaper and more indepth
evaluation is required to expose malicious elements endangering the
basic fabrics of the Constitution and the country. It is now for the
Union Government to deal with the terror and criminal elements within
the country. It is important to judiciary to be responsive more than
what it has been so far, if it considers itself as the guardian of the
Constitution. Let us adopt and accept any criminal and terrorist who
is responsible for crimes against humanity.

from:  Dr. Arshi Khan
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 09:41 IST

This article is poorly written and lot of it the fault of the editor.
Mixing emotions and illogical construction of arguments isn't helping
the cause.

from:  Arindom
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 08:27 IST

Thank you, Hindu, for putting this out! Quite clearly the SIT has no critical-analysis
skills, which I will blame on the poor education of its members and their lack of
personal effort at thinking critically. They accepted Modi's word as truth, which is
pathetic. When a mob of 10,000 is baying for one's blood, then that is exactly the
time when you draw your weapon and defend yourself--even which the MP could
not do, given how violent and enormous the mob was at HIS house! Anybody who is
still blaming the MP is far too selfish and/or totally stupid to see who the victim
here has been--and who the villain.

from:  Prem
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 06:13 IST

This article is wrongly placed under the 'News' section. It should have been placed under the 'Opinion' section. If this is deliberate, then it seems that Hindu is lowering its standards of journalism.

from:  Amol
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 05:49 IST

What a joke SIT's report portrays.That said, gives a bad name to India's Judicial system.

from:  Shenaz
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 03:30 IST

Nobody expected R K Raghavan to descend to such depths.God only knows
what has been promised to him by Modi and BJP.
Muslims are to be a second class citizens in India and RSS advocates
it.If Muslims are surrounded and attacked they should meekly surrender
to be burnt and killed.They should allow their womenfolk to be raped and
burnt.They should allow the children to be thrown in fire.No resistance
is allowed in any form.R K Raghavan is only reinforcing this in his
report.

from:  Nasar
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 02:49 IST

Muslims who worry about democracy should go to Pakistan and Saudi arabia

from:  sehwag
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 02:19 IST

let the courts decide ... I dont see logic in this article - all I see is a huge anti modi bias of the reporter

I think someone needs to do a proper research on why jaffri died? what is his history - was he knwon to incite violance - does he have criminal record? why did the mob target him? he was an ex MP - did he do bad stuff when he was a MP

having said that law must apply to the murdereres same as law must apply to the nehru dynasty who have been charged for stealing millions and have been named for rape as well (rahul gandhi amethi case)

from:  abhishek bose
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 01:31 IST

@ALL MODI HATERS: Please respect Supreme Court and its appointed SIT.
The attitude of modi haters and so-called intellectuals is shameful in
whole episode.

from:  prasbad
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 00:26 IST

The tone of the article clearly suggests that the author is trying desperately hard to discredit SIT report. This article, by no means,
looks like a critical analysis of SIT report rather it betray the
author's personal biases. e.g. Words "action" and "reaction" have been
repeated too many times in the article and inappropriately. Perhaps a
pathetic attempt to link Modi with the alleged statement; and this is
despite the fact that the Times of India newspaper had to publish an
apology/correction to the effect that they were wrong in attributing
the statement 'every action has a reaction' to Shri Modi.

It seems the 'only truth' acceptable to author is that Modi must be
found guilty, at any cost and by any method. If supreme court
appointed/monitored SIT comes up with the 'facts' that are not to the liking of author, then SIT is biased. Sad state of affairs.

from:  Sunil Lathwal
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 22:39 IST

In other words firing by Ehsan Jafri and massacre that followed can be interpreted as bad action and bad reaction.Unrelenting scope has been released to broaden the base of bad action and bad reaction to stretch the events with a historical touch.The growing irretation between communities weakening social bondage did not get sufficient healing touch ,which Mr.Modi could have delivered in a decent manner as he was on the forefront of power politics.

from:  Radha Kumud Das
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 18:06 IST

I think SIT assumed the responsibility of building a strong defence for Modi and accuse everyone else in the matter. SIT has conveniently ignored all parts of investigation that would indict Modi and relied on hearsay and media reports to provide him with a clean chit. SIT has stooped to the extent of opining that words said within a room does not constitute an offence. By this standard, terrorists can't be prosecuted if their plot is foiled by the police because they planned the plot within 4 walls, isn't it?
Even if Modi did not incite violence as an head of Government, he did not take any measures to contain the violence and just let perpetrators escape, that in itself constitutes a crime against humanity. Tolerance to violence is the crime committed by Modi and SIT is asking the judiciary to tolerate Modi. SIT is a farce and looks like a scam the people of India

from:  Hemnath
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 16:19 IST

@Prasad: let me remindy you that Modi was CM of thate state in that particular time.. So this "action-reaction" theory was not being said by some "XYZ" but it was said by Chief Minister of an state and that too a sad event like Godhra had occured.. If modi remark didn't cause riot then whom remark caused ? I guess SIT should have to give this otherwise question..A crowd of 10K went uncontrolled for 3 days and no body is responsible for that .. and still its tough for you to understand that What Modi was guilty for? And Again you missed that crowd was already provoked and they were not infront of Jaffery Shahab house for playing cricket and Muslims families didn't take shelter in Jaffery house for some family party. And ironically that every thing about riots people forget so easily but one who lost his deared can never forget.SIT has make his fun in this complete episode.Yesterday only The Hindu was praised for sumthing and today it has became a mouthpiece of secular people.disgusting

from:  Syed Najeeb Ashraf
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 14:47 IST

'Action-Reaction' theory reveals the failure of the state mechinary.SIT is duty bounded to bring out the truth.It is not expected off from SIT the'Action-Reaction' theory.

from:  Sekar Govindasamy
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 14:42 IST

if Modi's reported "action - reaction" remarks were made after the
riots against the Muslims, what are you blaming Modi for? His remarks
could not have caused the riots, after all! Yes, if a 10000-strong mob assembled at the site of the crime, there must have been a reason, a motive. If it was to extract revenge for the Godhra carnage and Modi said as much, what is Modi guilty of?
Yes, the mob had certainly assembled to commit a violent, illegal act. Jafri must have fired at the mob in self-defense, fearing the violence of the mob and hoping to disperse it. On the other hand, the already frenzied, incensed mob must have been further provoked by Jafri's action which it must have failed to recognise as a very legitimate act in self-defense. What is so difficult to comprehend in this? How can one accuse SIT of inconsitency in this matter?

from:  Prasad R
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 13:51 IST

SIT contradictory observations of Late Mr.Jafri action - provocation v/s self-defence is surprising indeed.By the way, why did the mob gather there? Would any person provoke an inflame mob surround him? Where were the police and its reinforcement team? I suppose SIT is not constitute as Modi's defence otherwise they should have answered to all these intriguing questions. Hope SC intervenes and set things straight!

from:  Shimray
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 12:35 IST

The 1984 Anti-Sikh pogroms during which armed mobs (particularly congress members) attacked Sikhs and their propeties in response to the assassination of then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards was a well organized plan by the current government was the most heinous crime ever carried out against a particular community. There is no doubt about the complicity of Indian Government ruled by the Indian National Congress in the pogrom at that time. Even the Human Rights Watch reported that "Widespread anti-Sikh attacks were part of broader revenge attacks" in India. Even the US and other western countries had termed it as "opportunism" and "hatred" of the Congress government against Sikhs.Then also Sonia is not denied visa by these western powers. It is very much clear where the world and people are biased and un-biased. Political class and the media are not letting the 2002 incidents calm down due to their own repective interests.

from:  R Ojha
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 12:32 IST

India is still living in the pre-democratic era. Not even the top-most creamy layer has imbibed the essence of democracy. What else could be expected from a land where religion, caste and family still remain the ultimate measures of human value.
I am quite curious about the psychology of that society: “a crowd of nearly 10,000 had gathered near Gulberg Society and that society is encircled and the crowd pelting stones.”

from:  Ani
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 12:28 IST

There is no way to know with absolute certainty the situation that prevailed on that day. There are conflicting versions of incidents that happened that day. In light of this conflicting evidence, it is singularly difficult to conclude anything . The SIT ,therfore, concluded what , I think, seemed the most feasible.

from:  aatifanjum
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 11:39 IST

The TV channel doesnt have the record of what Modi said, the newpaper feins innocence, and now the SIT blames late Mr. Jafri for firing at the mob and inviting mob fury? How else on earth would anyone react to 10000 people armed to the teeth assembling before your house thirsting for blood? Mr. Ragahvan you are incapable of impartial investigation and I am sorry to have read all your lecturing on Police reforms for so long. Well said Mr. Varghese.

from:  Rajesh Chandra
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 10:58 IST

What a shame on this democracy and a bigger shame on the Judiciary system. Minorities are left with no hope after verdicts on Babri Masjid and Gujarat. Fanaticism has won.

from:  Roeas
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 10:55 IST

It is ironic that this is under “news” . It is filled with more “opinion” and “conjecture” and dubious sophistry than any propaganda piece. Just because this committee doesn’t substantiate your own personal narrative and biases doesn’t make its report any less credible or indeed any less factual. Please leave the readers to form their own opinions and present only the facts.

from:  Raj
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 10:40 IST

I request The Hindu to differentiate between news and views. Views
should be confined to Opinion columns.what's the need to mention
Provoked within quote. By this do you mean to convey The Hindu doesnot
agree to the SIT report. You have every right to do so , but please
confine that to 'Opinion' page. The Hindu 'had'a reputation of being
impartial. Please don't spoil that reputation.

from:  Narayan
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 10:40 IST

We should not miss the point that in a civilized society these things
should not happen and it would adversely affect all of us. Mob should not take law in their own hands, police should not act incompetent, politicians should not make excuses for criminal acts, guilty should not go unpunished. We are civilized democratic nation, our acts should reflect it.

from:  Maya Ghose
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 10:39 IST


Just forgetting all the reports for a minute, the simple fact remains that Modi as CM did not control a mob which went on to kille thousands. In 2002, telecommunications were advanced and if any government pleased, it could have easily co-ordinated and stopped mass slaughter..Criminal culpability, let the courts decide..but it is obvious that modi was a nero who saw the other way when gujarat burnt.

from:  srivatsa
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 10:36 IST

Why was mob gathered outside the house of Mr Jafri. A person can fire in self defense. I think we as a nation are cursed. And curse is that powerful will always get off no matter how heinous his crime is. Also today is sad day for secular India. A communal person is today been vindicated for his actions.. This is not what our founding fathers had expected while sacrificing their lives for this country.

from:  Vishal
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 10:28 IST

What was the mob doing at Mr Jafri's house? If anybody is faced with
a mob of 10000 thousand he may try to protect himself even if he is
only slightly afraid that things may turn ugly. The "Mob" had a choice of going back to their houses leaving Mr Jafari to the police like any citizenry should do. That it did not do proves the fact this was not a peaceful mob. Also given that such mobs do not come for a tete-a- tat during communal riots it is stupid for anyone to argue why Mr Jafari fired.
Looks like the politicans and SIT are saying if a group of people commit a crime then the administrations job is to sit back and watch and justify the reaction. It shows the stupidity of such reasoning. If any one breaks the law even it is for retalition then the administrations job is not to twiddle its thumb but to show its authority and the fact the state and judiciary is the sole arbriter of disputes not mobs. We will be left with a mobcracy and there is no need for a govt to exist.

from:  baba
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 10:23 IST

Of All the comments here, I loved the comments by Mr. Srinivas (may
11, 2012 09.10 IST) , "...you (meaning Ehsan Jafri) should not have
challenge(d) mob.."". A crowd of 20000 patriotic nationalistic rioters assembled in front of Mr. Jafri's house, pelting stones, setting fire to Mr . Jaffri's property, and crying murder. This was a very peaceful, unprovoked mob, and the fact that they were carrying swords, gas cylinders, torches, etc that why they should have assembled in front of Mr. Jafri's house was an merely an accident, just a minor fact. They should have been allowed to complete their job (we all know what it was) unprovoked. But that unpatriotic anti-national, Ehsan Jafri, provoked them by firing on them! What a criminal act! How can you blame the 20000 odd mob of peace-loving patriots of killing 70 people (69 unarmed + 1 armed?) on the face of such provocation! Are we so unpatriotic?
Mr. Srinivas, by writing that simple sentence, summarized the SIT report so beautifully!

from:  Varghese
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 10:10 IST

Mr.Raghavan, I had always thought high of you, even was impressed reading you in the Frontline..You have let us down.
- A Hindu Who believes That If a Hindu is killed 100s of Muslims mustn't die in retaliation.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 09:36 IST

Judiciary in Indian democracy has been biased against some of communities that do not enjoy political and money clout of main stream politics. This glaring biasness can be seen in the report filed in the Zakia Jafri case by Mr. R.K. Raghavan. It says the frenzied-fundamentalists killed those 70 Muslims, because former MP Ehsan Jafri provoked the angry mob. Those innocent 70 Muslims are no more to narrate truly what happened. Now the SIT can make its own, but as the politicians wish, concocted “cause and effect” tale.
Blindness of Mr. R.K. Raghavan’s report in not seeing the gathering of such a fundamentalist mob as unlawful and criminal activities is a clear attempt to protect the “real culprit” in Gujarat.

from:  A.Kannan
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 09:35 IST

At last the truth is coming out....Mr. Ehasan Jafri provoked the mob and in addition to it fired his pistol at the mob. No wonder the mob went crazy. He is a MP and he should know the mob mentality. You do not challenge the mob. There is nothing wrong in action/reaction theory. We see it in every part of the society.

from:  Srinivas
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 09:10 IST

Every Indian should be ashamed of Gulberg Society massacre. I have been watching Gujarat riots from very close angle. It is true that after Sabarmati carnage, Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat had publicly stated the Newton's famous third law of motion that " there is equal and opposite reaction to every action ". He may have quoted this law without anticipating the bloody riots that took thousand of innocent lives, but Narendra Modi should not be blamed alone. In fact, all political leaders particularly those who have secular credentials should be blamed for not raising their voice
against Sabarmati train carnage at Godhra. The Commission appointed by Lalu Prasad found that the carnage was accidental and submitted its report in great hurry. This was an shameful act. In fact, the so called secular people in stead of helping minorities are harming them.

from:  BIMAL CHANDRA JHA
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 09:01 IST

A very slanted article and unbecoming of a newspaper like The Hindu. This article is complete rubbish. A newspaper article is supposed to be balanced and
objective. In this case the author has already concluded that Narendra Modi is guilty and has cherry picked pieces of the SIT report to support that conclusion.
The SIT was not appointed by Modi. It has complete freedom to act as it pleases. They have done a proper investigation to arrive at this conclusion.

from:  Sreekanth
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 08:30 IST

This report is self contradictory and biased. It tries to exonerate Modi but in its effort it makes him culpable of all crimes. It states that Modi's comment to police officers can not be considered orders because they were not given as orders, meaning as head of state Modi's word had no power. It implies that Mr. Ehsan Jafferey provoked a crowd of 20,000 who was pelting stones and attacking Muslims and burning their homes. That is a crowd of 20,000 angry Hindus was no threat to Mr. Jafferey till he fired his pistol.

from:  mohammad imran
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 08:28 IST

Personal opinion and judgement of the reporter overflows through the
subtitle as well as the passage. Who is she to incriminate Mr Raghavan?
How much Physics of Mob violence has she seen first hand to dismiss
these explanations. Why 'The Hindu' has moved away from reporting that
is unbiased and unpolitical.

from:  Harsh Mittal
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 08:01 IST

You could try to find many shortcomings after more than a decade. but
there is no salt in any accusations against modi. and please do not
compare 1984 with this. 1984 was the most heinous crimes committed in
india and it was rajiv gandhi and its chamchas. 1984 will remain the
biggest genocide in india. and nothing has been done in that case,
gandhis still rule this country. shame. Hopefully now that SIT has found the truth, the matter will be closed.

from:  Raj
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 07:43 IST

I don't understand this editorial at all. Now the attempt is to
discredit the SIT itself because it did not find what the proclaimed
secularists wanted to hear. This is never going to end. Modi's statement
of action-reaction is why the massacre happened. But the secular groups
take this as a justification statement from Modi, to absolve the Hindu
mob which it is not.

from:  mohan
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 07:33 IST

I'm not going into the wrong and right... But to me, the action of Mr. Jafri is a 'self-
defense' from his perspective. However, the mob would only construe that as an act of
'provocation'. Moreover, there are legal caveats that justifies an action to be 'self-
defense'. Unfortunately, this scenario is not described in this article to make an
independent judgement. That is, if a mob has gathered but has not attacked Mr. Jafri or
his family, then Mr.Jafri's action is a 'provocation' but if he has fired only when he was
attacked then it is 'self-defense'. 'The Hindu', can go through the earlier judgments in
this regard. Even in its own story on the encounter case, it has brought this point to the
fore. Finally, Mr. Modi's 'action-reaction' theory is his own pejorative . He is faulty only
if he had used his powers to cause the carnage directly or indirectly. However, the
article nor any other sheds no evidence on this. Hence, I don't think he can be held
guilty...

from:  Bharat
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 07:15 IST

The R.K. Raghavan-led SIT's work does not seem to be complying the standards of unbiased investigation. As a citizen, I am dismayed to see such conclusions. I congratulate The Hindu for putting its best efforts to unearth the truth in this almost forgotten case. Hopefully, the truth will prevail.

from:  Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy Kandi
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 07:10 IST

This Closure report reminds me Hunter commission report for the heinous Jaliawala massacre. Its pathetic to see that people of such mentality are still in our society. Even in Hunter commission report they have regretted that heinous act but here its a disastrous statement. I am really crying writing all this. I have now given up the hope that our judiciary system can nail down the perpetrators of such heinous act against minority or I should say ethnic cleansing. I am crying, I am crying, I am crying.

from:  Md Adil Rais
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 07:00 IST

In addition to subscribing to Newton's third law, the SIT also is following Heisenberg's uncertainity principle: truth can be in two different places at same time. Only Einstein's relativity is missing: with a twist it could be, "there is nothing slower than the speed of justice in Gujarat".

from:  ashok
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 06:49 IST

To quote Conrad - "The horror! The horror!"

from:  Kesava
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 06:27 IST

In one place the S I T refers to provocation by the firing of Jafri. In another, it is for his self defense. The utterance of the words "acion" and "reaction"by the Chief Minister is noted by the S I T. It is strange why the S I T has not given crudos for the theory of action and reaction and the theory's effect namely sanctioning such action reaction in the future also.It absolves a people's representative from the sin of encouragement of violence on a community upholding the proverb of action--reaction

from:  K C. Thomas
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 06:06 IST

Excellent analysis! This is the most unfortunate thing to happen in free India! This SIT report is clearly biased and has already decided to absolve Modi of all the charges. If Supreme Court constituted SIT can distort facts and interpret observations/evidence in a biased way to absolve people like Modi, then God saves this nation! When those who are trained to deliver the justice in an unbiased manner become biased, how one can expect justice.
Modi can get away with these technical loopholes, but he can not run away from his own conscience. History will not forget him! It pains me that up to what extent these people can go for their political ambitions! Shame on this helpless system! This is the most dark spot on Shining India! One day truth will prevail!

from:  Kumar
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 05:38 IST

What a travesty the SIT made of itself!! Is this what Indian Justice
System has come to? Has the influence of political figures on the
Judiciary become so blatant that a report absolving them is
contradicting on a page to page basis? I hate to break this, but SIT, I personally feel that you must have written your report in a deluded state of mind, that is so much concussed bowing to the feet of Modi and his mob, that you have lost all ability of comprehending facts and putting them on paper. Such a shame.....

from:  Vikram
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 05:29 IST

Yes, any committee or court that exonerates Modi is biased. Committees
and benches are constituted to hold Modi guilty. If such committees and
benches find no fault with Modi, either they are communal or biased o
both. The very purpose of committees is to 'somehow' implicate Modi and crucify him. If they fail in thie 'onerous' duty, the committees and their heads have to be vilified in the media. And that is the 'secular' duty of the media.This article just exemplifies this 'fact'.

from:  Amaruvi Devanathan
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 05:26 IST

Well, people are disrespectful and ignorant to law and order because of these people, who easily justify heinous crime like killing, murder as simply a reaction. Crime is a crime, reaction or no reaction. Everybody has right to protect themselves in form of defense.
Government issues arms to citizen to defend if situation arises, not to keep in closet as showcase. If state doesn't protect there citizen intentionally, that is a biggest crime...that is the reason we see so many different kind of crimes, abuses in India, a world largest democracy with dictator mindset politicians and breucracies, sad for us.

from:  Shahid
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 05:23 IST

it is very funny that media,NGOs and SC only looking in to Muslim killing cases and investigating them. many Hindu got killed in 2002 riots, why not single NGO is fighting for Hindu massacre during 2002 riots? why Media, NGO and SC are after just one man ! Narendra Modi? If we understand this question, i think we will understand whole picture of politics of 2002 riots.

from:  Raju
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 03:47 IST

It is time that we have to move on from this unfortunate episode of religious
intolerance. Mr Modi was in power at the time and continues to be the head of Gujarat state. Crimes against humanity have been committed by all in the name of religion. In order to prevent further deterioration, and a repeat of the incidents, we have to work to improve the status of the poor and illiterate of all religions, who are the most vulnerable in our society.

from:  Dr RKRAO REBBAPRAGADA
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 02:53 IST

It is crystle clear from SIT's report that shri Narendra Modi was not involved in this mess, which was the creation of Ehsan Jafri who tried to take law and order in his own hand by firing on the crowd. the crowd's reaction was that he was killed alongwith others.

from:  basheshar
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 02:11 IST

Hello Vidhya / The Hindu, Please dont take SIT report personally. you dont want to hear or accept anything that denies saying modi had his hand in riots

from:  SUNDARI
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 02:03 IST

This is a dark day in the history of India. This report shows Law and Order have
completely different connotations based on your background, political connections, and religion!!

from:  Pratik
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 02:02 IST

Very first question arise here is, "Why mob was gathered outside Mr. Jafri's house.?" And "How can the report say that Mr. Jafri provoked mob by firing.? It can be other way also.". It should be like this, "Godhra carnage provoked Hindus due to which Hindu mob gathered at Mr. Jafri's house. Then they provoked Mr. Jafri and so he fired. And that firing further provoked the mob which ended up with barbarism." The SIT report seems to be foolish on this statement. Whatever happened was wrong and all should MOVE ON with hope that such things will never happen in future.

from:  Sant
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 01:54 IST

I still have not seen evidence of Modi using action-reaction pair claim. I mean Modi denied it in 2002. Just because too many people believed earth is flat did not make it flat. So, please present evidence.Did Eshan Jafri indeed fire? If so, why? Any suggestion that firing is less dangerous, is dangerous in itself. what the mob did is unforgivable. But, it makes it no more or no less heinous than firing at them.

from:  Narayan
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 01:42 IST

You can't expect to make a direct link between the statements of Narendra Modi
and the murder of Mr Jafri. It is no surprise that the SIT and courts have absolved him, because the law requires a direct cause and effect to be demonstrated. I don't know if he has been prosecuted for inciting communal violence (don't know what the evidence is here, whether he gave any inflammatory interviews to the press) and for asking the police to turn a blind eye to the violence (as he was accused of doing by an IPS officer). Mr Modi can and should be held guilty of is failing as CM to take decisive action to control the riots - for which no police agency or court is required, rather the people ought to have voted him out; however the people of Gujarat seem to have regarded his inaction (or worse) not as a failure but as some sort of success - which is a matter of shame.

from:  A Singh
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 01:28 IST

How can SIT justifies the killing of 70 peoples by a mob of 10000 peoples? It is hard to believe that a man would try to provoke a mob comprising thousands of people by firing on them inviting his own execution.

from:  Shakeeb
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 01:03 IST

I humbly request to separate news from opinion very clearly. I always
have appreciated 'The Hindu' about being impartial while reporting news,
but this news report seems to be biased. News comprise of just facts,
and not how it should be interpreted. Opinion of all parties concerned
should be present.

from:  Amber Jain
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 00:36 IST
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