Gujarat Riots Myth 20 – Zakia Jafri’s complaint against Narendra Modi

FACT: First thing to be noted is that Zakia Jafri did not make any complaint against Narendra Modi at all, for as many as 4 years after the 2002 riots, i.e. until 2006! In this time, she made statements before the police, the Nanavati Commission, filed affidavits in the courts as well and never once made any complaint against Narendra Modi. It is only after 2006 that she began speaking against Modi, perhaps tutored by some influential ‘activists’ when they saw this as a chance to frame and crucify the biggest fish!

The complaint, filed against Modi and 61 others including Government officials and State Ministers by the wife of late Congress leader Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the 2002 riots , was a bundle of inexplicable factual errors, legal loopholes and wild allegations and virtually looked like a tutored child’s complaint , simply impossible to prove.

Factual blunders

Zakia Jafri’s complaint has named a man as Babubhai Rajput, worker of the BJP as accused No 24. The SIT after probing the case found that no such person was in existence at the time of the 2002 riots! (On page 19 of its report). He of course does not live at the address provided in the complaint now.

The complaint has a charge that the Anand district police chief B S Jebalia was not only a witness to the massacre at Ode village soon after the Godhra carnage of 27 February 2002 but was also an abettor in it through a blatant connivance. The complainant obviously did not know that the truth is that another police officer, B D Vaghela, and not Jebalia , was posted as Anand district police chief at that time!

Zakia’s complaint also says that the then Chief Secretary Subba Rao participated in the February 27 (2002) night meeting in which it alleged Chief Minister gave orders to officers to direct law enforcement agencies to allow Hindus to give vent to their feelings in reaction to Godhra carnage. But the fact is Subba Rao was on leave on that day and instead of him it was acting Chief Secretary S K Varma who participated in the meeting. This blunder has been made by many Narendra Modi-baiters, such as weekly Outlook in its article dated 3 June 2002 trying to nail Modi forcibly. Obviously, Zakia Jafri engaged some people to do some search and make allegations. This single blunder is enough to see through the claims of people like Zakia Jafri and magazines like Outlook.

But that is not all! Many persons who had either no direct connection with the 2002 riots or had in fact played positive role in controlling the riots have been named as conspirators and abettors in the complaint filed by Zakia Jafri. These seriously militate against the established canons of law and justice. For example, former Ahmedabad police commissioner KR Kaushik who was brought on to the post to control the riots has also been named as an accused. How can Kaushik be accused as an abettor or conspirator when he had been brought in to control the riots and after whose arrival there was further improvement in law and order situation in Ahmedabad ? Actually the Commissioner P C Pandey’s removal was demanded (despite the fact that he too did a commendable job) and as the controversy escalated in 2002, Kaushik was appointed. He was appointed on 10 May 2002, after which riots virtually ended, and the Army did not need to remain in Ahmedabad within 10 days, as it left on 21 May 2002.

The riots, thus, ended very soon after Kaushik took charge.

The complaint has been filed by people who either did not know this fact, or did not know the reason behind Kaushik’s appointment and the fact that after his appointment there was further improvement in law and order in Ahmedabad.

Zakia Jafri has further alleged in her complaint that the remains of the slain karsevaks were purposefully brought from Godhra to Ahmedabad “in a ceremonial procession” on February 27 after the carnage at Godhra railway station in order to instigate Hindus to target Muslims. Of course, this is again wrong on facts!

The fact is that the bodies were brought to Ahmedabad after midnight of February 27 in a very sombre atmosphere and not in a ceremonial procession. Also, the bodies were brought to the then isolated Sola Civil Hospital on the western outskirts of Ahmedabad as a precautionary measure and not to the Ahmedabad’s main civil hospital which is located in eastern Ahmedabad from where most of the killedkarsevaks came. Sola Civil Hospital was in 2002 located in the far outskirts of Ahmedabad and had very little population around it. This shows the Government’s efforts to control the situation.

   Had the Government planned to instigate the Hindus then it would have brought the bodies to the Ahmedabad’s main civil hospital in Eastern Ahmedabad where most of the karsevaksresided and from where it would have been ideal to orchestrate violence against Muslims. The Government conduct clearly implies that it tried to take preventive measures to pre-empt Hindu retaliation after the Godhra carnage. We also seen various other steps taken to control and prevent violence in previous chapters.

Wild allegations

But the most unimaginable allegation she makes against the Chief Minister Narendra Modi is that while issuing instructions to his officials in the February 27 night meeting to give long rope to Hindu riotersModi also indicated that Hindus be encouraged to “indulge in sexual violence against Muslim women”. This whole mischievous and manufactured charge has to be seen in the light of the fact that many Muslim witnesses who claimed to have witnessed acts of rape on Muslim women in their 2003 affidavit before the Supreme Court later told the SIT in May, 2009 that they had been made to make the false charge by human rights activists. India Today weekly’s report titled “Inhuman Rights”in its issue dated 5 April 2010 has, for a change, completely dismantled the human rights lobby.

In the first place, we have already seen in Myth 19 as to fake and phony this charge of Narendra Modi telling officers to go slow on Hindus or ‘allow Hindus to vent their anger’ is. Narendra Modi is also not a fool to openly give such orders to so many officials in such a meeting where any of the officers could have secretly recorded such orders or which would have had 9 witnesses against Narendra Modi. If he did want such orders to be issued, he would have done it through middlemen and other communicators being careful not to come into the picture directly! It is astonishing to see that no one with an iota of common sense has till now raised this point.  Assuming that Narendra Modi did give such instructions in that 27 Feb meeting, is it believable that he would have told police officials and other authorities to tell Hindus to ‘indulge in sexual violence against Muslim women’? This is an utterly unbelievable and far-fetched allegation. And in the third place, irrespective of what Narendra Modi said in that meeting, we know that the police did not at all allow Hindus to vent their anger the next day, or the remaining days. We say how curfew was imposed, 1000+ rounds fired on the first day including 600+ in Ahmedabad, 17 shot dead by police, 700 arrests made etc etc.

In support of her charge that Modi gave instructions to his officials not to act against Hindu rioters in the February 27 night meeting she produces only one piece of evidence, namely the deposition of former Gujarat IPS officer RB Sreekumar who told the Nanavati Commission in an affidavit and later also the SIT that the then Director General of Police VK Chakravarty, who participated in that crucial February 27 meeting, told him that the CM had directed officers to go slow against Hindu rioters and allow them to give vent to their feelings against the Muslims. Chakravarty has denied ever saying this to Sreekumar.

What Chakravarty and many other officials involved with police department at that time told the Nanavati Commission was exactly the opposite. They said Modi had told them to control the riots.Plus, Sreekumar started making anti-Modi charges in the case only after the Government denied him promotion on strong grounds. He didn’t make the same charge in his first two affidavits.

We have already seen in Myth 19 the truth of the 27 February meeting. Also note here that the SIT appointed by the Supreme Court with judges like Arijit Pasayat and Aftab Alam who have commented against the Gujarat Government many times, debunked the claim of Sanjiv Bhat that he was present and blamed NGOs for forcibly trying to find something against Narendra Modi. This is a must read report of the SIT.

Also note that Ehsan Jafri fired on the Hindu crowd outside his house in self-defense on 28 Feb 2002. This was reported by The Times of India online on 28 Feb and in weekly Outlook dated 11 March 2002 also in weekly India Today dated 18 March 2002 and also on 5 April 2010. It is a well established fact that Jafri fired on the Hindu crowd in self-defense. But Zakia Jafri denied even this basic fact as reported by weekly India Today dated 18 March 2002. That is, in its 18 March 2002 issue India Today reported that “Zakia Jafri denies that Ehsan Jafri fired on the mob”. We quote from Times of India online edition 28 Feb night at 9:47 PM “Meanwhile fire tenders which rushed to the spot were turned back by the irate mob which disallowed the Ahmedabad fire brigade (AFB) personnel and the district police from rushing to rescue…Sources in Congress Party said that the former MP after waiting in vain till 12.30 pm for official help to arrive had opened fire on the mob in self-defense, injuring four..”.

Zakia Jafri also has not bothered to mention the following facts:

1- Reinforcements did arrive (as reported by weekly India Today dated 18 March 2002) but by that time the mob had swelled to 10,000. Zakia Jafri herself said as reported by weekly India Today dated 18 March 2002 that “She had never seen such a huge mob”.

2- Though the police were overwhelmingly outnumbered and the mob did not allow the police and the fire brigade to enter Jafri’s house (asreported by Times of India in its online edition on 28 February) the police bravely fired on the crowd at a great risk to personal life and shot dead 5 Hindus outside his house and injured many others, as reported by Times of India and India TodayFalse claim on Ehsan Jafri calling Modi has also been made when so such call was made, this claim too has been comprehensively debunked by us in Myth 11.

3- Police saved 180 Muslims in this episode since there were 250 people inside the house and the mob killed 68 (assuming all missing were are dead) though they were overwhelmingly outnumbered.

The media hid from the public for many years that a top accused in this case was none other than Congress leader Meghsingh Chaudhary himself. He was arrested not by Gujarat police, but by the SC-appointed SIT itself in 2009.

Legal loopholes

There are several law sections applied in the complaint which are simply inapplicable in the manner she has done. Like Jafri has asked section 193 of IPC to be applied which is about giving false evidence in court during judicial proceedings. But this section can be applied only by the court and not an individual. Then Section six of the Commission of Inquiry Act has also been slapped on the accused by Jafri which only a commission of inquiry can apply.

Then the Protection of Human Rights Act too is wrongly invoked in the complaint whose actual prayer is that the complaint should be turned into an FIR for registering cases against Modi and other accused as conspirators and abettors in the 2002 riots.

Interestingly, the many factual and other contradictions in Jafri’s complaint show that old complaints of 2002 filed by Muslims and human rights activists with a view to building a case against the Modi government and having it pulled down under Article 356 of the Constitution had been put together in a footloose manner for Jafri by some low level lawyer in a form of one full-fledged complaint. Clearly, the situation stands reversed. Today, Narendra Modi can now file a defamation case against Jafri. The role of the media in all this is of course, disgusting. It is simply impossible that the “Gujarat-obsessed” media would not have known these facts. But they did not bother to report them. Not a single paper has ever bothered to publish these facts, so much is their hatred for Narendra Modi. The media knows that if the truth of Zakia Jafri’s complaint comes out, even the most biased judge cannot convict Narendra Modi or entertain the complaint and hence it is suppressing all these facts.

Only weekly India Today has published just some of the few errors, and that too much after the case was settled by the Supreme Court of India- when on 12 September 2011, the Supreme Court ordered the case to go back to the trial court and end its monitoringand refused to file an FIR against Narendra Modi. What prevented weekly India Today from carrying all the errors, or most of the errors, when the complaint was filed and still in courts is a question worth asking. Perhaps it wanted the Supreme Court to entertain such a childish complaint of Jafri so that Modi could be crucified. But when it was no longer possible for the Supreme Court to entertain and monitor such a complaint, it just let slip in bits and pieces of the truth. India Todaydid admit that Zakia Jafri’s complaint contained some errors when it wrote “The real reason for the court’s ruling perhaps lies in the series of glaring factual errors and misplaced allegations in Zakia’s complaint. She alleged that Modi gave instructions to officials in a meeting at his residence on the night of February 27, 2002, the day 59 Hindus were killed at Godhra, that the community should be allowed to give vent to its anger against Muslims. She also alleged that the state government “sanctioned sexual violence against women”. The list of officials Zakia has named as being present at the meeting is also inaccurate. She claims the then chief secretary G. Subbarao and Modi’s secretary A.K. Sharma were present, which was not the case.Zakia also wrongly alleged that the burned bodies of the 59 victims of the Godhra carnage were brought to Ahmedabad in a ceremonial procession to inflame Hindu passions. The bodies were actually brought without any brouhaha to Ahmedabad’s western outskirts to be handed over to the relatives. “ 

More details of this complaint’s childish nature and numerous mistakes are given comprehensively in the book, but not in this website.

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