Thursday, December 26, 2013

A sad day....

On February 28, 2002, ex-Parliamentarian Ehsan Jafri was killed by a mob - here are the circumstances of his death, as per Wiki
On February 28, 2002, when riots broke out in Gujarat, he was killed by a rampaging extremist Hindu mob. By early morning, a large mob gathered at the Gulbarg Society in the Chamanpura suburb of Ahmedabad. This was an almost entirely Muslim housing society where the septuagenarian Ahsan Jafri lived. According to First Information Report of the incident filed by police inspector K.G. Erda, the violent extremist Hindu mob started attacking Muslim owned establishments in the morning and were dispersed by the police. However, they reassembled around 1 PM armed with swords, sticks, pipe and kerosene. had blown up gas cylinders to blast through walls in the Gulbarga society. The report also mentions that the rioters were guided by voter lists and computer printouts with the addresses of Muslim-owned properties, information obtained from the local municipal administration. This claim was repeated by at least five Muslim witnesses presented before the Nanavati Commission.
Chamanpura is in central Ahmedabad and barely a kilometer from the police station, and less than 2 km from the Police Commissioner's office. Believing the area to be safe given Jafri's presence, many Muslims in the area had gathered in his compound. Around 10:30 in the morning, the Ahmedabad Commissioner of Police, P.C. Pandey, personally visited Jafri and apparently assured him that police reinforcement would be coming. In the next five hours, Jafri and top Congress officials of the state repeatedly kept calling the police and other government officials requesting safe transport for the residents, but no help arrived. The FIR by Erda further stated that the police station had 130 policemen on duty that day, and were well armed with teargas shells. However, no one was deployed to disperse the crowd, despite Ehsan Jafri and top Congress politicians repeatedly contacting the Director General of Police, Police Commissioner, the Mayor, Leader of Opposition in the State parliament, and other top government officials.
Today the Indian judicial system once again pronounced that there is no case for prosecuting the then- and current- Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi and a slew of top officials of Gujarat.

Fine, maybe they are not involved. But clearly, somewhere between the top officials and the policemen on duty, a decision was made not to try to disperse the mob, or to ignore the calls for help or to be incommunicado from taking orders from the top for no good reason.

What is sad is that the Indian judicial system has failed to nail down the responsibility for this failure to act. 

For the widow Zakia Jafri, who has been fighting for justice for the past decade it must be an extremely sad day, and my heart goes out to her.