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Updated: February 28, 2012 01:17 IST

This day marks 10 years of shame: Bhatt

Staff Reporter
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Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt holds a black ribbon to mark the 10th anniversary of the Gujarat riots at a press conference in Mumbai on Monday.
— Photo: Vivek Bendre
Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt holds a black ribbon to mark the 10th anniversary of the Gujarat riots at a press conference in Mumbai on Monday.

Silence could be the only response of the moment. Mumbai marked 10 years of the 2002 post-Godhra riots, remembering all its horror — the brutal murder of the former Congress MP, Ehsan Jafri, the story of foetus wrenched out of a pregnant Kausarbi's womb and flung into the fire, gangrapes, killings and arson.

At the St. Xavier's College here, artists, activists, lawyers and other speakers read out excerpts from fact-finding reports, narrated testimonies of victims, recited the plight and sang the pain of the victims of the carnage.

“Justice is still a long way,” said Javed Anand of the Citizens for Justice and Peace. He said it was important that the fight for justice continued.

“Had the victims of 2002 got justice, the Kandhamal violence could not have happened. When the perpetrators of the Gujarat carnage are brought to book, the face of the nation will change,” he said, after presenting the landmarks in the legal struggle for justice.

In November 2011, 31 people were sentenced to life in the Sardarpura massacre case. “It had never happened before,” he said.

Suspended Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who took on Chief Minister Narendra Modi, underlined the need to overcome fear and speak up against injustice and fascist forces in one voice. The fight for justice was a fight for “the soul of India.”

“This day marks 10 years of shame. We have travelled from the Gujarat of Gandhi to the Gujarat of Godse. Democratic space is shrinking in Gujarat. If we forget history, of what happened, we will be condemned to relive again. If the silent majority, who was not affected by the incident, remains silent, such incidents will keep happening. We have to shed our apathy,” Mr. Bhatt said.

Actor Rahul Bose said while bringing out the truth and seeking justice was important, reconciliation and forgiveness were also needed. “We need truth, justice and reconciliation. We have not even come to truth.”

Excerpts from a documentary ‘Final Solution' by Rakesh Sharma was screened as part of the tribute. It showed the rage within a child, who had seen his kin getting slaughtered and his aunt getting stripped naked, determined on a violent revenge.

Vahida Nainar, part of the fact-finding panel for the International Initiative for Justice in Gujarat, read the findings of the panel's report. “Gangrape was an important part of the genocidal project. There was a lot of suggestive sexual violence. Pregnant women were specifically targeted.”

The brutality of Ehsan Jafri and Kausarbi's killing was recounted in all the gruesome detail. Hindi poet Anshu Malvia's poem based on the wrenched foetus was read out to the audience.

Highlights of the report of the Editors Guild of India, read by senior journalist Kalpana Sharma, spoke of the lack of any word of assurance from the political leadership at the time. “The leadership failed the media and the media failed the people,” the report said.

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the real verdict is very different than what has been written over here

from:  jayesh
Posted on: Feb 28, 2012 at 16:27 IST

Politicians from both sides of the aisle and Sanjiv Bhatt are simply
in the news to score points - be it political points, or simply to be
in the news. The congress itself has no moral ground to stand on,
after the 1984 riots, when thousands of innocents Sikhs were
slaughtered in Delhi? Did the Congress party have the courage to
prosecute and punish the guilty and to apologize to the nation?

I do not mean to say that mass murder of anyone - be it Sikh, Hindu or Muslim can be condoned. The fact is that human life and property do
not matter, when one lusts for riches and power. This is particularly
true with politicians in the lawless country called "Shining India".

On the other hand, what are the choices the average voter has? Is
there one principled party that has clean politicians, who literally
will serve the nation, without hankering for power and riches?

from:  Sai goutharaju
Posted on: Feb 28, 2012 at 15:45 IST

We, as a country, can hang our heads in shame, for one, letting unthinkable violence ravage Gujarat, and two, letting most of the murderers go scot-free. I feel sorry to suggest that it is a poor reflection of the Gujarati society that they voted Narendra Modi back into power despite him being at the helm at the time of the genocide. If an electorate votes back such a person into power, it is nothing but a collective loss of conscience. It is as if we have gone back to the Dark Ages. And now, some want Modi to become Prime Minister. India has failed, yet again. Shame.

from:  Balagopal P. Menon
Posted on: Feb 28, 2012 at 15:03 IST

Its a travesty that there doesnt exist a single political party which can claim a moral highground! Congress may harp on post-Godhra, but shouldn't a moment of the minute of silence be observed for those kar-sevaks who were burned to death? Life is precious! Whether it be that of a faitful kar-sevak or the "muslim" victim of the "tortured, raped and burnt". There is not a single case where one can say that when such a large scale travesty has taken place, justice has been served! Be it the 84-riots, the bhopal tragedy or the 02-riots! Perhaps we deserve to be trampled upon by foreigners.

from:  M Ikariam
Posted on: Feb 28, 2012 at 13:10 IST

Yes, this day marks the shame. A shame that police was not able to protect the passangers of a train. A shame that our railway stations are not safe. A shame that even today, police is not able to bring the perpetrators of Godhra train carnage to justice.

from:  Pankaj
Posted on: Feb 28, 2012 at 09:47 IST

We already had 17 years of Shame day on december 2-3 , 2011 concerning Bhopal Gas Tragedy causing approximately 25,000 deaths and even more injuries. Another Shame Day concerning Delhi Riots around the same time completed 17 years too.

The culprits concerning both the cases are still hanging loose and the congress government still in power doing nothing to bring justice to victims who died irrespective of religion or faith in one case and Sikh community in other case.

from:  Hitesh
Posted on: Feb 28, 2012 at 01:54 IST
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