Gujarat government of the BJP, headed by Narendra Modi was blind to the mushrooming of madrasas in the state. Not only that, the previous government headed by Keshubhai Patel too was equally blind to the same. From India Today we know that it was because of fear of harming the BJP’s newly discovered ‘secular’ image that the party did nothing to control the madrasas. It reported in its issue of 18th March 2002: “The general perception is that this was the venting of a latent anti-Muslim sentiment fostered by the unchecked activities of radical Islamic schools in the state. Being debated just as hotly is the question of why the authorities failed to check the blood-letting. Was it because the BJP feared its new-found secular image would suffer if it came down heavily on the fundamentalists? Or was it plain administrative inefficiency?”
So, the BJP did not want to risk losing its ‘secular’ image. Maybe even if there was no such fear, the government would have been neutral and efficient in dealing with riots. But with the NDA allies at stake, ‘secular’ image at stake, and the powerful electronic media which was hostile, BJP Government of Gujarat was definitely determined to prevent riots.
The Gujarat government had to face the most difficult situation in trying to control the post-Godhra riots. That’s because Gujarat is an extremely communally sensitive state and often even minor things like kite flying and cricket matches are enough to cause riots.
To understand this issue fully we have already seen the horrific massacre in Godhra carried out on February 27. Gujarat has along history of communal violence-dating from 1714 AD and in the recent past saw horrible riots in the pre-Independence period of the 1940s and then again riots after Independence. The Times of India in its issue dated 13 April 2002 carried a report saying- “Trivial reasons sparked earlier riots” and begins with the sentence–
“If it took a shocking massacre like Godhra to trigger off massive communal riots in the state in the 21st century, history shows that trivial incidents caused most riots in the 20th century…”
Now the situation was far worse in February 2002- after the gruesome killings in Godhra. But the Godhra killings were not the only cause. At that time, in 2002, there were war clouds between India and Pakistan following the attack on Parliament. There was great anger in Gujarat over terrorism and anti-national activity and over the growth of madarsas. Added to that was the Godhra incident and the rubbing of salts into people’s wounds after Godhra by the media and politicians.
The Telegraph, published from Kolkata, also reported on 1st March 2002: “(On Feb 28) “There is a fire inside us. Our blood is boiling,” Mangalben, a woman from Dariapur, said. “What is the fault of those children who died? There is a volcano of anger.””
In other words-there was a volcano of anger among the masses, whose blood was boiling after the Muslims brutally roasted 59 kar sewaksincluding 15 children in Godhra.
Steps taken on February 27 (Wednesday)
On 27th February 2002 occurred the Godhra carnage at around 8 AM.
In brief, the steps taken on 27 February (Wednesday) were:
1) The Gujarat Chief Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, rushed from Ahmedabad to Godhra and gave shoot-at-sight orders and imposed curfew at 9:45 am as reported by the English dailies at that time.
2) The entire police force of 70,000 was deployed in Gujarat as reported by The Hindustan Times the next day as well as The Telegraph (UK).
3) All companies of Rapid Action Force in the state were deployed in Ahmedabad, Godhra and other sensitive areas by the state government as reported by The Indian Express and Mid-Day on 28 Feb.Congress loyalist weekly Outlook also reported this online on 27 Feb.
http://www.outlookindia.com/printarticle.aspx?214725 (Paragraph 8 of this report).
4) The Central Government rushed CRPF personnel to Gujarat, as reported by The Indian Express and Mid-Day both the next day. The Gujarat Government had requested the Centre to send 10 companies of CRPF personnel as reported by The Times of India.
5) The state government imposed curfew in Godhra at 9:45 am- within 2 hours of the Godhra carnage and in other sensitive areas.
6) 827 preventive arrests were made. Narendra Modi said this in an interview to India Today dated 18 March 2002. India Today of 18 March 2002 admitted preventive arrests without specifying the number. Even the SIT appointed by known anti-Modi judges of the SC like Aftab Alam and Arijit Pasayat admitted 827 preventive arrests.
7) The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the Gujarat Government urged Hindus not to retaliate and maintain peace.
Narendra Modi talked to TV channels in Godhra on 27 Feb evening and urged people to maintain peace and not retaliate. NARENDRA MODI HIMSELF MADE AN APPEAL TO THE PEOPLE TO MAINTAIN PEACE IN AN APPEAL BROADCAST ON NATIONAL TV (DOORDARSHAN) ON 28 FEBRUARY AFTERNOON.
8) The RSS and VHP also appealed to Hindus to maintain peace and not retaliate. The RSS appeal was reported by The Telegraph, The Hindu along with weekly Organiser in its issue of 10 March 2002 covering events till 27 Feb (See detailed RSS statement later in Myth 14 and Chapter 2). The VHPs appeals were reported by The Times of India. Gujarat VHP leaders urged ‘Every Hindu to stay indoors the next day i.e. 28 Feb’ while VHP Senior Vice-President Acharya Giriraj Kishore said ‘Hindus should maintain calm and keep patience’.
9) CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) units were also deployed as reported by PTI.
10) The Centre sounded a nationwide alert in the evening as reported by The Indian Express the next day i.e. 28 Feb.
The Daily Breeze, a US newspaper, reported on 28 February:
“Fearing the attack (Godhra train roasting) would ignite sectarian riots, Indian officials immediately stepped up security across this vast, religiously divided nation. The prime minister urged Hindus not to retaliate.”
Even Xinhua news agency also reported this online on 27 February 2002– that Vajpayee appeals for peace.
These were the steps taken by the Gujarat Government on February 27 itself to quell the violence- or prevent the violence. But on February 28, large –scale riots happened. That was due to the extreme anger of the masses over Godhra, the reaction from the media and politicians on it, and great anger over terrorism and anti-national activity.
On February 28 (Thursday)
Now-the government faced genuine difficulties in controlling the anger of the masses in view of the limited police force. India Today dated 18 March 2002 reported:
“Ahmedabad has a police force of 6,000, including 1,500 armed personnel. In addition, the entire state has just four companies (530 jawans) of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) of which only one company could be spared for Ahmedabad. Considering that the mobs that simultaneously surfaced at nearly half a dozen places (on 28 Feb) numbered from 2,000 to 10,000, the forces proved woefully inadequate. At one point on February 28 there were at least 25,000 people targeting the Muslim localities in Ahmedabad alone…
Last Thursday (i.e. Feb 28), the Ahmedabad police received at least 3,500 calls for help from fear-stricken residents, mostly Muslims, against the normal average of 200. The fire brigade which has the capacity to handle 100 fire calls received 400 calls on February 28. Says Ahmedabad Police Commissioner P.C. Pande: “In my 32-year career I have never seen something like this. It was an upsurge, unstoppable and unprecedented. A stage came when it became physically impossible for the police to tackle mobs running into thousands.”
The Hindu also reported the next day that mob fury reached its crescendo on 28 February 2002. The Times of India reported on 2ndMarch 2002- “Neither the Army nor the shoot-at-sight orders given to the Gujarat police could control the mob frenzy in Ahmedabad on Friday (1st March 2002) as the city witnessed a total collapse of the law and order machinery for the second straight day taking a heavy toll of human lives…”
And this was on 1st March- when the violence was much less as compared to 28 February. If even the Army and shoot-at-sight orders couldn’t control violence when it was much less, what must have been the situation on 28 February- when the Army was not present during the day and the violence was far more?
But the state government dealt with the situation firmly, harshly and effectively.
In brief, the steps taken on 28 February were:
1) The riots began in Ahmedabad at 11 AM. India Today dated 18 March 2002 reported that the Chief Minister Narendra Modi informally contacted the Central Government to send Army at 12 noon – i.e. within 1 hour in an article titled ‘Chronology of a Crisis’. Curfew was imposed by 12:20 at noon at all places and at some places right since morning, even before the riots began from the reports of The Times of India of 28 Feb.
2) As per the report of The Hindu the next day– Narendra Modi “frantically” called the Army units to Gujarat on 28 February.
3) Narendra Modi requested the Union Defence Minister George Fernandes to come to Gujarat as reported by The Indian Express & Times of India the next day as well as India Today.
4) Curfew was imposed in 26 towns and cities in Gujarat as reported by all English dailies the next day and weeklies Outlook and India Todayboth in their issues dated 11 March covering events till 28 February.
5) There were around 250 people in the housing complex of Ehsan Jafri and the mob killed 69, with the police saving about 200 Muslims despite being overwhelmingly outnumbered by the mob, which was 10,000 strong and the crowd going mad by Jafri’s firing. Police shot dead 5 Hindus outside his house as reported by India Today dated 18 March 2002 and Times of India online of 28 February. The Times’report at that time said 6 were injured of whom at least 3 were critical and 5 died ultimately.
6) The police fired at least 1,000 rounds (Exact number 1496) in the state including at least 600 in Ahmedabad. These are the official statistics.
7)The police shot dead 10 Hindus in Ahmedabad and injured 16. These are official records and can also be seen from the report of The Hinduthe next day where it said:
“At least 30 others were killed in police firing, stabbing and other incidents in different parts of the city while the casualty in other cities and towns in the State was put at over 50…Till evening, police fired 46 rounds in Ahmedabad, in which at least 10 persons were believed to have been killed.”
In fact, the BBC reported online on 28 February when the death toll reported by it was a mere 40 for the entire state of Gujarat i.e. when violence was going on-“The army has been deployed there (Ahmedabad) to counter Hindu youths…They included six people who were shot dead by police in Ahmedabad as they tried to restore calm. (Final figure was 10)”
At least 2 were shot dead outside Ahmedabad in Nadiad and Godhra as reported by The Telegraph (Kolkata) the next day.
8) Gujarat Government requested Army deployment within 1 hour. At 4 PM- a press conference was held- in which this decision was publicly announced. All procedures needed for this were done very quickly- Cabinet meeting of Central Government was held at 6:45 PM, it approved Army deployment and Army units reached Ahmedabad after midnight from India Today‘s article Chronology of a Crisis as well as The Indian Express’ report online of 28 Feb.
9) The Army units reached Ahmedabad so quickly that newspapers like The Hindu, The Indian Express had time to report their arrival on 28 February 2002 (Thursday) itself and publish it on 1st March 2002 (Friday)!
10) Defence Minister George Fernandes reached Ahmedabad so quickly that newspapers like The Indian Express reported his arrival the next day!
11) Police escorted 400 Muslims to safe areas and gave them accomodation in Naroda Patiya after dispersing the mob in Naroda Patiya as reported by The Times of India. Total of 95 people were killed- at least 900 Muslims were saved, since The Times of Indiareports that 1,000 Muslims lived in the attacked area in Naroda Patiya.
12) The Gujarat Government requested neighbouring states to send additional police force. All these states were ruled by the Congress. Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan did not send. Only Maharashtra sent a mere 260 personnel.
13)700 people were arrested by the police in the state, including around 80 in Godhra on the very first day of the violence when situation was out of control as reported by The Tribune the next day.The official statistics show that 4297 tear gas shells were also burst, i.e. nearly 4300 tear gas shells burst in the whole state.
Nowhere was it alleged that the police deliberately turned a blind eye to the rioting. No mention of police being involved in the violence or giving a free hand to the rioters. No mention of any delay in calling the Army. These charges of “Police turning a blind eye, allowing killings for 3 days, not calling Army until 3 days had passed…etc” were made after the riots. If these charges were true- the newspapers would have screamed and gone downtown on the very next day. Nothing like this happened. And of course- no charge that the riots were being ‘sponsored’ by the Gujarat Government!
On March 1 (Friday)
The Hindu reported on 2nd March 2002-“ (On 1st March)The Army began flag marches in the worst-affected areas of Ahmedabad, Baroda, Rajkot and Godhra cities and the `shoot at sight’ order was extended to all 34 curfew-bound cities and towns in Gujarat”.
On this day- the violence was much less as compared to 28 February (Thursday). And also the Muslims started a backlash on this day, according to The Hindu dated 2nd March 2002 which reported “But unlike Thursday (Feb 28) when one community was entirely at the receiving end, the minority backlash (On Friday, 1 March) caused further worsening of the situation.”
The steps taken were:
1) On morning of 1st March, George Fernandes bravely took to streets to check violence in Ahmedabad, at a great risk to personal life. He was pummeled with stones. Later he left for Vadodara as reported by The Times of India which praised him, but not Modi who called him in the first place.
2) 24 Hindus were shot dead by police and 40 injured-these are official records. The Indian Express reported on 2nd March-“The police, its credibility lowest than ever, tried to salvage its reputation intervening in some clashes by opening fire. Twenty were killed in police firing across the state, 12 in Ahmedabad.”
There are two things to be noted from this very vital statement. First- the police did their best to control the violence and could not be accused by anyone, even The Indian Express of negligence from this day onward- the second day of the riots i.e. 1st March 2002. And second, there were “clashes” going on between Hindus and Muslims- not one sided massacres of Muslims.
The Indian Express reported on 2nd March, 2002: “(On 1st March) Tension escalated in the walled city areas just before the Friday prayers. There were violent clashes between mobs in Jamalpur, Bapunagar and Rakhial.” Clearly, Muslims were on the offensive. And The Times of India also reported the same day: “There were signs of retaliation in areas like Juhapura, Kalupur, Dariapur and Shahpur….” This clears all possible doubts.
The slight difference in the number of people killed in police firing as per official records and this report is because many injured were alive when The Indian Express wrote this, and died later, so the number of killed in police firing increased. And also, The Indian Express could have deliberately kept the number of people killed lower than the true figure due to its horrible anti-Narendra Modi and anti-BJP bias.
3) The Army staged flag marches in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot’s worst affected areas as reported by The Hindu the next day.
The website www.indianembassy.org reports:
“The next brigade of the Army was also deployed in Rajkot and Vadodara on 1 March 2002 itself. Three columns allotted to Godhra reached in Godhra, Lunawada and Halol on the early morning of 2 March 2002.
Thereafter the Army has been shifted in Surat and Bhavnagar as and when the situation warranted such a shift.”
4) Shoot-at-sight orders were extended to all 34 curfew-bound cities and towns in the state.
5) 2500 (Two thousand five hundred) Muslims were saved in Sanjeli, a town in North Gujarat from a crowd of 8000 armed tribals by the police as reported by India Today dated 22 April 2002.
Official records show that people were also saved at other places- date not known to this writer. There are many other instances as well. Some of them are:
- a) 5000 people from the Noorani Mosque area were saved by Ahmedabad Police
- b) 240 people were saved at Sardarpura of Mehsana district and shifted to safer places
- c) 450 were saved in Pore and Nardipur villages of Gandhinagar district and shifted to safer places
- d) 400 were saved in a Madrasa at Bhavnagar
- e) 1,500 were saved at Fatehpura village of Vadodara district
- f) 3,000 people were saved and shifted from Kwan village of Vadodara district
On March 2 (Saturday)
2nd March 2002 was Saturday. On this day also Muslims were aggressive. Ahmedabad was almost completely peaceful on this day, with major violence occurring in other parts of Gujarat. The police brought the situation under control there and fired on pitched battles between Hindus and Muslims. The Tribune reported on 3rd March 2002 that:
“Ahmedabad, the worst hit by the communal flare-up in the wake of Godhra train killings, was virtually back to normal…”
That is, the Gujarat Government managed to control riots in the state in 3 days after Godhra, and in only 2 days in a communally ultra-sensitive place like Ahmedabad! Reports of The Hindu and The Telegraph of 3rd March 2002 also prove that Ahmedabad was virtually back to normal on 2nd March 2002 itself.
Thus, in brief, the steps taken on 2nd March 2002 were:
1) The police fired more than 1031 rounds and burst 1614 tear gas shells.More than this, because this was the figure till the evening after which more were fired.
2) As per the report of The Hindu– at least 47 people were shot dead by the police in Gujarat- 19 in Ahmedabad, 8 in Godhra, 6 in Vadodara, 5 in Anand, 3 each in Mehsana and Gandhinagar, 2 in Kaira and 1 in Bhavnagar.
As per The Indian Express the next day, 77 people were killed in either police or Army firing.
3) Curfew was imposed in 40 places in Gujarat as per The Hindu.
4) Border Security Force units were dispatched to Surat as reported by The Hindu.
5) 2000 Muslims (Two thousand) were saved in Dahod by the Police.
The efforts of Narendra Modi to control the violence can be clearly seen from India Today weekly dated 18 March 2002 in an article titled“Chronology of a Crisis”.
“FEB 27, 2002
8.03 AM: Incident at Godhra claims lives of 57 kar sevaks
8.30 AM: Modi is informed of the carnage. (This could be 9 AM).
4.30PM: Gujarat Assembly adjourned and Modi visits Godhra where he holds a meeting, giving shoot-at-sight orders to the police.
10.30PM:CM holds meeting with senior government officials at Gandhinagar; orderscurfew in sensitive places and pre-emptive arrests.
FEB 28, 2002
8.00 AM: Special control room set up in CM’s house to monitor the situation during VHP bandh.
12.00 PM:Modi informally contacts Centre for calling in army. Cabinet Secretary T.R. Prasad tells Defence Secretary Y. Narain that army is to be mobilised.
12.30PM: Vice-Chief of Army Staff Lt-General N.C. Vij tells Narain that only twocolumns are available as the rest are deployed on the border.
12.35 PM: Prasad directs Narain to advise Chief of Army Staff Gen Padmanabhan to have troops ready due to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Ahmedabad.
12.45PM: Narain tells Vij to arrange immediate movement of troops to Gujarat.
4.00PM:Modi requests army deployment following consultations with Advani.
6.45PM: Cabinet Committee on Security meets under the prime minister’s chairmanship;approves the immediate movement of troops to Ahmedabad and other parts of Gujarat. Vajpayee deputes Fernandes to supervise the deployment of troops.
7.00PM:The Gujarat Government’s formal request for army deployment is received in Delhi.
11.30 PM: Airlifting of troops begins.
MARCH 1, 2002
2.30 AM: A brigade reaches Ahmedabad. The 54th Division’s General Officer Commanding contacts acting Chief Secretary.
9.00AM: Discussions between representatives of the army and the state take place, followed by troop flag march in Ahmedabad.”
Reports from the biased English media also proved that the real riots had stopped in the first three days. Not just that, the media knew it fully well. The following report from The Hindu dated 4th March 2002 will make it clear:
“AHMEDABAD, MARCH 3. The orgy of violence in Gujarat appears to have ended. Today only two deaths were reported, one from Godhra. Officially the death roll is 431, more than half of them in Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad was quiet, apart from two major arson attacks on a Muslim-owned petrol station and warehouse.
Curfew has been lifted in most areas of the 40 towns and cities where clashes were reported, including Naroda and Meghnaninagar (i.e. Gulmarg Society case) in Ahmedabad, where hundreds were killed. The state administration says that curfew will be relaxed in more areas tomorrow. There was a `sense of normality in the State’ today.
But, the smouldering remains of burnt-out buildings and the acrid smell of burning rubber, five days after the violence began, are a reminder that `normality’ in Ahmedabad is a very long way off.”
This newspaper report clearly proves that the government claim of controlling the riots in 72 hours was absolutely true.
After 3rd March 2002, the riots were mostly all instigated and started by the Muslims and they were limited only to Ahmedabad, Vadodara and some places near Godhra in Panchmahal district.
Like in Sanjeli where 2,500 Muslims were saved, 5,000 Muslims were also saved in Bodeli, a town in Vadodara district, from a crowd of over 7,000. The following is another report quoted from India Today dated 8 April 2002:
“When a Muslim woman was burnt alive by Hindu zealots, (in Viramgam, not far from Ahmedabad) the minorities, who constitute almost 30 % of the 70,000-odd population went on the rampage. Soon, nearly 15,000 Hindus from nearby villages encircled Viramgam and targeted the Muslim localities in the town. It took some deft handling by the police and the Army to save the day.”
And in the 22 April issue India Today said-
“…Take Sanjeli. In the carnage that ensued after the February 27 Godhra killings, 8,000 armed tribals descended on the town of 8,000 in the tribal heartland of Dahod district. Bows, stones and gunshots rained on the fleeing Muslims, killing 15. Police intervention meant another 2,500 were spared a savage death … In an identical display of insanity, around 7,000 armed tribals marched into Bodeli town in Chotte-Udepur tribal area of Vadodara district intent on massacring the Muslims who had taken shelter there after being driven out of the neighbouring villages. While hundreds were saved by the police, Vadodara District Collector Bhagyesh Jha and other senior officers were fired upon by tribals as they tried to rescue the trapped Muslims.
Tragedy was also averted by the police and army at Viramgam town near Ahmedabad where over 15,000 Hindus, mostly armed OBC Thakores, burnt 250 Muslim houses…”
That is to say, the Gujarat police and the Indian Army together saved thousands of Muslims, of the 21,000-odd of the town. If we assume that there was no police or Army presence, 10,000 Muslims of the town may have been killed. On the basis of records available to this writer, we can conclusively say that the Gujarat Police saved at least 17,500 Muslims in Gujarat. As a matter of fact, many sources have told this writer that the Gujarat Police saved 24,000 Muslims in the state in the first three days alone. They may well be quite correct, since we already have on record 7,500 Muslims saved in Sanjeli and Bodeli in the first three days.
The website www.indianembassy.org seems to be an official site of the Indian Embassy in USA. It says-
“In Mora village of Panchmahal district, SDM, Mamlatdar and police rushed to the spot where the crowd was gathered, dispersed the crowd and saved the lives of 400 people by shifting them to a safe place.
On receipt of information on 3rd March 2002 a madarsa in Asoj, in Vagodia,Vadodara district was likely to be attacked, nearly 40 persons including 22 children were evacuated to a safe place.
On the night of 2/3 March 2002, in Dahod, the police escorted over 2000 persons belonging to minority community to a safe place, rescuing them from the mob that had gathered from surrounding 28 villages.
In Surat city, protection was provided to about 60 persons and mosque in Nana Varacha area.On receipt of information that some women and children were trapped in a mosque, Surat police escorted them to a safe place.
On receipt of information that 100 persons were trapped near Rita society opposite Yateem Khana Jain Mandir, the police immediately rushed there and dispersed the mob, but found no persons trapped inside. Surat police immediately provided protection requested for by 12-15 houses of Muslims near Khoja Masjid.
The riots were brought under control in 72 hours. Police records and figures given by the Union Home Ministry as well as figures given by The Times of India dated 7th March 2002 reveal that as many as 98 people were killed in the first three days in police firing. We have already looked at the reports The Indian Express and The Hindu to know that the figure of 98 people being shot dead in the first 3 days is indeed true. This was a record of sorts. Never before were so many people shot dead in police firing for rioting in so few days in the entire history of communal riots in India, and certainly not in Gujarat, which saw far worse riots in 1969 and 1985.
In the entire state of Gujarat, there are 18,600 villages, 240 municipal towns and 25 district headquarters. In the entire state, riots occurred in no more than 70 places. If you include the two big cities of Ahmedabad and Vadodara, by the maximum stretch of imagination, it can be said that 2 % of the state was affected by riots, or was in flames.
The Times of India in a report dated 28 April 2002 reported that “Of the total substantive arrests made by the police, 9,954 are Hindus and 4,035 Muslims. However, in the preventive arrests column, the statistics show that the number of Hindus arrested is much higher — 17,947 as against 3,616 Muslims.”
To quell the violence:
1-Not only did the Gujarat government call the Army as early as possible but also declared this decision publicly on February 28thevening.
2-The Gujarat police arrested nearly 25,204 out of the 25, 486 accused.
3-More than 17,000 of the 25,000 arrested were Hindus.
4-Police fired over 10,500 rounds of bullets-including around 4,000 in the first 3 days, though Army was present for 73 out of 74 days.
5-Police fired over 15,000 tear gas shells.
6-98 people were killed in police firing in the first 3 days- and 170 for the entire period of the riots.
7-The police arrested 35,552 people as on 28 April 2002 out of whom 27,901 were Hindus. About 20,000 were preventive arrests.
Far from the BJP being in any way involved in the riots, rivals of the then Chief Minister of Gujarat instigated riots in the state after 21stApril 2002 so as to target Narendra Modi in their Modi-hataocampaign. The Rajya Sabha debated on Gujarat on 6 May 2002. The NDA allies’ votes were also going to count. To get NDA allies to vote against the Modi government, the Opposition wanted to keep the riots going on in Gujarat. It also hoped for a collapse of the NDA, with allies quitting coalition because of the riots.
Riots in the first three days were all the result of Godhra. But Godhra itself was the brain of local Muslim Congress leaders. The Indian Express of 5 March 2002 reported on Godhra that Congress leaders are accused in Godhra:
1- Mehmud Hussain Kalota, convenor of the Congress district minority cell and president of the Godhra municipality.
2-Salim Abdul Ghaffar Sheikh, president of the Panchmahal Youth Congress.
3-Abdul Rehman Abdul Majid Ghantia, a known Congress worker.
4-Faroukh Bhana, secretary of the district Congress committee.
5- Haji Bilal, a known Congress worker.
When 31 people were convicted for Godhra roasting, 2 Congress men were given LIFE IMPRISONMENT and 1 was given DEATH penalty out of the above 5. Abdul Rehman Abdul Majid Ghantia and Farroukh Bhana have got life imprisonment and Haji Bilal has got death penalty – 3 out of these 5. http://www.rediff.com/news/report/the-men-convicted-for-godhra-carnage/20110222.htmNo 2 , 3 and 15 in this list are the above-mentioned Congress people.