Hate Hurts, Harmony Works



Lok Sabha Polls 2004 Sabrang Election Media Monitor
Click here...

India Shining - but Roti, Kapda Aur Makaan?
Peoples Agenda - Elections 2004

Northerner moors

CJP: The Legal Battle

Gujarat 2002 
Will there be justice and reparation?


  Communalism Combat  
  - Archives  
  - Feedback  
  - Subscription  
 - Advertising
 - Other Publications
 - Combat Themes


  - About Khoj  
  - Teaching Tolerance  
  - Khoj for Teachers  
  - History  
 - Quiz for Kids
 - Articles on Khoj



Peoples Agenda - Elections 2004

Punish the Guilty

 Gujarat Carnage 2002 

I.         Implement all the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

II.         Prosecute all those indicted in the NHRC report, including the Chief Minister and his ministerial colleagues who have aided and abetted the violence by word and action, under the relevant provisions of Indian Law –Indian Penal Code (IPC), Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The Tribunal is also of the view that Shri Modi is guilty of crimes against humanity and of genocide under the relevant international statutes. It is the view of the Tribunal that the CM and his concerned ministers are not fit to hold public office since they are guilty of the aforesaid crimes. The Tribunal is further of the view that the interests of the country are not safe in the hands of people like Shri Modi and of those who hold his views and have his attitude and approach in public life.

IV.              The Tribunal recommends immediate banning of the VHP and the BD under the relevant provisions of the Unlawful Practices (Prevention) Act, 1967, for committing an “unlawful activity” and “unlawful association” within the meaning of that Act. “Unlawful activity” under section 2 of the Act relates to an individual or any association and “any action taken by such individual or association (whether by committing an act or by word, either spoken or written, or by sign or by visible representation or otherwise) (i) which is intended or supports any claim, to bring about, on any ground whatsoever, the cession of a part of the territory in India or the secession of the territory of India from the union, or which incites any individual or group of individuals to bring about such cession or secession; (ii) which disclaims, questions, disrupts or is intended to disrupt the sovereignity and territorial integrity of India. “ Unlawful association” means under section section 2g of the Act (i) which has for it’s object any unlawful activity, or which encourages or aids persons to undertake any unlawful activity, or of which the members undertake such activity; or ii) “which has for its object any activity which is punishable under Section 153-A or Section 153-B of the Indian Penal Code 1860 (45 of 1860) or which encourages or aids persons to undertake any such activity; or of which the members undertake any such activity.” 

5.2             By their public utterances and behaviour, that includes provoking their armed cadres through hate propaganda, they are disturbing the law and order machinery of different states in a democratic country like ours. This publicly proclaimed hate propaganda and celebration of violent pogroms against the country’s minorities, makes public their secret agenda ––an agenda, moreover that is not contained in the written Constitution(s) of these outfits. Through this public agenda that clearly violates the Act, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal are holding the country to ransom. Moreover, the declared agenda,  is being promoted by senior office bearers, who travel all over world.

V.                   Immediate steps must be taken by both the central and the state governments to prohibit the distribution of trishuls and swords since by these means attempts are being made to arm civil society and prepare a section of Indian society to unleash violence against other sections; an altogether dangerous and fragile situation for peace and internal security within the country. The Tribunal recommends that the law and order machinery seize and confiscate, not merely in Gujarat but in all other parts of the country, the trishuls and the swords which have been and are being distributed for the purpose of generating terror against other sections of the people.

            The Tribunal observes that the distribution of trishuls particularly to young men all over the length and the breadth of the country have nothing to do with the traditional practices of Hindu religion. Yet through a government resolution, the central government has exempted it under the Arms Act. The Tribunal recommends the withdrawal of this central government resolution and the seizure of all the trishuls forthwith.

VI.              V.  .       The government of Gujarat should crackdown on the arms training camps being conducted by the RSS/VHP and BD as these are breeding grounds for home bred terrorists who lead violence against sections of Indian society and hence a threat to internal peace and security.

VII.               The Tribunal recommends the arrest of, and immediate criminal action against, those guilty of violence and of incitement to violence in Gujarat, including politicians, policemen, administrative officers and all those named by the victims of the violence and also others guilty of dereliction of the duty. (The list of the accused so named is annexed separately).

(i)                 We have evidence before us which discloses the direct complicity and active participation in the carnage of the Chief Minister and other ministers; of leaders of VHP and Bajrang Dal at the state and local levels; of complicity of the then Commissioner of police and several others at the level of inspectors, sub inspectors and the constabulary.

(ii)             Examination of the evidence also shows that elected representatives, including cabinet ministers supported and led large unlawful assemblies that indulged in large-scale arson, loot, murders and other offences against women.

(iii)           Our inquiry shows that the entire bureaucracy of the state, with a few exceptions, exhibited a callous and culpable indifference to what was going on in the state from February 28 onwards. A  former  Chief Justice who appeared before us summed up the situation succinctly. Constitution Law and Authority Stood suspended for Seventy two hours. No preventive measures were taken against Hindu marauders. This attitude is inexplicable and unpardonable. Despite the presence of provisions for keeping peace and public tranquility in the Criminal Procedure Code; the provisions of the National Security Act, the state laws providing for the preventive detention of anti social elements or their externment; the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967

(iv)                        Every one of these officers should be proceeded with for this culpable indifference by charging them for utter incompetence and inefficiency.

(v)                   The Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues should be dismissed forthwith even from the caretakers' status he and his colleagues are enjoying now.

(vi)            As many of our political parties increasingly reflect an absence of proprieties and non-adherence to basic principles of democracy and rule of law, there is a necessity for a law defining constructive liability of individual ministers and the political government collectively, when such gross crimes take place. This  alone will enable people to hold their representatives accountable.


VIII.         The Tribunal recommends immediate detention and prosecution of Praveen Togadia and Ashok Singhal of the VHP, and Narendra Modi of the BJP, who repeatedly and with impunity are not merely inciting communal hatred and violence,  through their rabid armed cadres, against the country’s minorities in violation of sections 153A and B of the IPC and 295 etc of the CrPC, which in themselves are serious enough offences, but are also disrupting public peace and order, are vitiating communal peace and harmony and are creating an atmosphere of insecurity, tension and active conflict.

IX.              The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) noted the need to take firm action on provocative statements which have the potential to incite communal tensions and violence. In its "Final Order on Gujarat dated 31st May, 2002", the NHRC has stated that it "had urged that these [statements] be examined and acted upon, the burden of proof being shifted to such persons to explain or contradict their statements."

X.                 The promoting of enmity between different groups on grounds of religion is a recognised criminal offence under Indian law. Indian Statutory Law also gives effective protection the rights of minorities whether in Gujarat or the rest of the country.  The Indian Penal Code (IPC) prescribes criminal prosecution for "wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot"  (section 153); "promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion" (section 153A); "imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration" (section 153B); "uttering words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person" (section 298); "statements conducive to public mischief" (section 505 (1), b and c); and "statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes (section 505(2).)

XI.              The Judiciary is also empowered to initiate suo moto action which it has been loth to do under these circumstances. Section 108 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, in addition, allows an Executive Magistrate to initiate action against a person violating section 153A or 153B of the IPC.

XII.            The "Guidelines to promote communal harmony" issued by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs in October 1997 point at the precise responsibility of the state machinery to deal with potentially inflammatory statements in the context of communal tension. Guideline 15 states that "effective will needs to be displayed by the district authorities in the management of such situations so that ugly incidents do not occur. Provisions in section 153A, 153B, 295 to 298 and 505 of IPC and any other Law should be freely used to deal with individuals promoting communal enmity".

XIII.           Besides, Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, which India ratified in 1979, affirms that "Any advocacy of
national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to
discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law". Despite thee existence of these provisions have been observed in their breach and both the executive, law and order machinery and the judiciary have shown a marked reluctance to haul up the offenders.

XIV.           The Tribunal recommends that the state government urgently provide adequate security to the sections of the Muslim population of Gujarat who wish to return to their original places of residence and business.

VII.            The Tribunal recommends independent investigation of the cases under the direct supervision of the Chief Justice of the state. The CJ may also be requested to select the sessions judges and magistrates who should try these cases exclusively. Special courts should be set up to try the guilty. Inquiries must be instituted by the CBI against senior police officers and bureaucrats suspected of dereliction of duty.

(Note: Trial in riot cases of 1985 in Gujarat, registered against the then Health Minister, Shri Ashok Bhatt -- one of those who sat in the Police Control Room in Ahmedabad during the carnage in 2002— , and against Harin Pathak are yet to begin, even after 18 years. The cases have been stayed in the wake of a High Court order. In the 60 cases registered against the 263 persons accused of faulty construction, leading to the death of nearly 800 people in the January 2001 earthquake, a year-and a half later, trial has not begun in a single case. This is a sorry record of the justice delivery system).

VIII.         The impartial and swift prosecution of those guilty of violence, both in the Godhra massacre and the incidents throughout the state thereafter, would go a long way in building confidence in and in re-establishing the credibility of the state administration. Without legal and social justice all talk of peace and the question of healing of the traumatised survivors will simply not be addressed. 

IX.              The establishment of the State Human Rights Commission in Gujarat is a matter of urgency and should be accomplished forthwith.

X.                Suitable amendments need to be made in the existing law of sexual assault that does not recognize all the different kinds of sexual assaults. Testimonies before us narrate that there were numerous instances of gruesome sexual violence that involved insertion of all kinds of objects into the women’s bodies, and sexual mutilation of all kinds. The existing definition of rape is totally inadequate to deal with various kinds of rape that took place in the context of the genocide in Gujarat.

XI.              Immediate suspension of, and action against, the District Magistrates /Collectors of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bharuch, and Himmatnagar since these officials have violated various laws and Service Rules.

XII.           The Chief Justice and not the state government should do the appointment of Public Prosecutors. Among the Public Prosecutors, there should be an adequate representation of the minority communities. To this end, the Tribunal recommends an amendment to the CrPC, as has been made in the Civil Procedure Code with effect from July 1, 2002, to ensure that the appointment of the Public Prosecutors are made by the Chief Justice of the concerned High Courts in consultation with at least five Judges. (At present, the appointment of the government pleaders in all the districts is being made by the state government in consultation with the district judge).

XIII.         The quick manning of the police stations and relief operations by a sizeable and significant number of the representatives of the minority community (See section below on ‘Recommendations—Police’).

XIV.        On account of the brutal manner in which the people were attacked, killed and burnt across the length and breadth of the state, including in the far-flung hitherto `unaffected' rural areas, many who were killed could not be identified. These may be termed `missing' persons, though they have all been killed. Formalities and paper work has not been possible, including post-mortem examination, in these cases where the bodies were destroyed with no trace left. Hence as part of it’s wider duty, the state government should compile and declare the list of ‘missing’ persons and expedite the payment of compensation to their eligible family members. In cities like Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bharuch, Ankleshwar, Anand and elsewhere, victims deposing before the Tribunal complained of a completely indifferent attitude of the administration in the matter of the payment of compensation, in general, but especially to the relatives of the ‘missing persons’ who have been mute witness to the brutal deaths of their near and dear ones and yet there is no proof  (like a post-mortem or any other record) of their deaths.

XV.           Many sections of the IPC, the CrPC and other laws pre-date the Indian Constitution and have not undergone a thorough revision, restructuring and orientation in keeping with the fundamental principles of democracy, equity, freedom and equality contained in our Constitution. While the Constitution of India was framed in 1950, after India attained independence, the criminal laws date back to the colonial period and have not been modified to conform to the constitutional provisions in many respects. Therefore, a new law, termed the National Human Rights Law, should be formulated along a rights-based perspective. Hence,

i] The provisions of the existing criminal justice laws such as the IPC, CrPC and the Evidence Act should be suitably incorporated in the new law.

ii] A legal framework should be developed to institutionalise the rights of the victims of wanton violence to compensation and restitution from the State, along with relief and rehabilitation.

iii] A legal framework should be developed to enable the victims of violence to participate in conflict resolution.

iv] A legal framework should be developed to promote the rights of the victims of violence and underdevelopment, and to ensure their right to humane treatment and humane development and governance in the light of the UN reports on human development and in the light of the Mahbub-ul-Haq Human Development Centre reports on humane governance.

v] An independent monitoring system should be established to monitor government operations in conflict situations and to ensure the rights of the conflict affected communities to adequate protection, compensation, relief and rehabilitation.

vi] Conflict-affected communities, especially women and the most vulnerable among them, should be given a voice in determining the course of action to prevent, mitigate and resolve structural and political violence. Only by reversing the process of disempowerment engendered by structural violence and conflict can sustainable strategies for development be achieved. 

(Note: a. The newly enacted constitutional amendments to institutionalise Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), empower the PRIs to deal with specific developmental functions but leave out regulatory and police functions. The PRIs should be empowered to deal with police functions and the DM and the SP should be placed under the Panchayat chief of the district.)

b. The sections of the Commission of Inquiry Act that do not make the report of the commission statutorily binding on government need to be amended.

c. Another is the provision under the IPC that requires the government to grant sanction for the prosecution of the persons spitting venom orally and in writings that violate sections 153 A and B of the IPC.  The Tribunal recommends the repeal of section 197 of the IPC, which precludes any individual from criminally prosecuting persons for hate speech until the government has granted sanction.

XVIII.  The Tribunal believes that no rehabilitation is possible without the guilty being brought to book. Wherever the accused have been named, the government needs to take necessary action and instil confidence in the people to restart their lives. The Tribunal condemns all measures of forcing compromises in the form of withdrawal of the names of the accused. Instead the Tribunal demands that:

i] Proper FIRs be registered and action be taken immediately. The Police should collect and investigate forensic evidence.

ii] Wherever possible searches be conducted to get back the goods that   have been looted from the people's houses or to pay compensation for them.

iii] In view of the extraordinary circumstances under which the crimes against women were committed and the evidence that the state machinery was not accessible to the victims, there is a need to relax some normal requirements of the law to goad the legal process into swift and speedy action.

iv] Wherever the plots of land and the properties belonging to the minority community have been occupied illegally by the Hindu villagers, as in many districts and villages, urgent and immediate action needs to be taken to restore the land to the rightful owners.

v] Thorough investigation procedures have been consistently ignored by the police. The culpability of the police personnel where they have failed to follow the basic investigative procedures should also be referred to the Grievances Authority (See section below on ‘Recommendations – Police’).

XIX.          Peace committees in the affected areas should be encouraged. All efforts must be made to prevent further ghettoisation of the Muslim community. To this end, specific interest needs to be shown in the matter by the state government, the civil society and the central government and their agencies.

XX.          The government should take all steps to restore confidence amongst all communities. The state government has not addressed the question of the betrayal of trust by the various sections of the administration and the consequent sense of extreme insecurity felt by the victims. Since rehabilitation has been totally ignored by the state and the central governments, till now, the government has treated the post-violence scenario as a matter of law and order and of the maintaining peace only. It has also tried to sweep under the carpet the enormity of the crimes committed. Eight months after the Sabarmati Express attack, the towns and villages of Gujarat continue to fester and simmer. The government and the party that controls the government should not indulge in any activity which undermines public confidence and harmonious relations between the communities.

(Source: Recommendations Short Term, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY—GUJARAT 2002, VOL II)





United Nations/International Community

I.     Until that happens and because national legal mechanisms are very inadequate to deal with crimes of this magnitude where State Complicity of the very highest level has been found;  where there are no laws to deal with issues of genocide, sexual violence against women in these circumstances, and so on --there is an urgent need for international agencies to intervene and help in the process of justice for the victims of the Gujarat Genocide.

Hence the Tribunal appeals to the International Community to use all the influence at it’s command with the Government of India and Gujarat government to ensure the speedy carriage of Justice.

II.            To impress upon the Government of India through its Parliament to legislate mechanisms for the implementation of the Genocide Convention--- which India has both signed and ratified --- and to use these mechanisms to prosecute and punish all those who participated in the planning and execution of murder, sexual violence, theft, and destruction in the state of Gujarat in the recent months.




1.                  Action needs to be taken against those who gave provocative speeches on TV channels and made statements in the newspapers, as well as against the newspapers and the TV channels who have published the same as well as published the news with a communal colour, as confirmed by the report  and recommendations of the Editors’ Guild of India. (see Annexure__)

2.                   The role of sections of the media, particularly the Gujarati language press, in spreading and inciting the violence should be investigated and all facilities provided to it, such as advertisements from public authorities and bodies, postal and transport concessions, credentials, entry cards and passes should be withdrawn.


Relief & Rehabilitation - Recommendations

I.                    Restoration and repair of places of worship damaged and destroyed during the violence, in consultation with the community concerned.

II.                 Constitution of a tribunal for compensation/reparation to victims. This tribunal should have enough benches spread over an entire city like Ahmedabad and also have benches in the districts. The tribunal should be given clear guidelines for the assessment of compensation in respect of the loss suffered by every individual in the violence. The loss would include the loss of and damage to homes, belongings, loss of life, injuries sustained, destruction or damage to business and loss of means of livelihood, as well as the impact of the sexual assaults on women and their relations. It is the view of the Tribunal that such tribunals (like those set up after the Dockyard Explosion in Bombay in 1944 by the colonial power) should be set up without any further delay to restore a feeling of justice in the victims of the state-sponsored carnage.

The benches of the Reparation Tribunal must have:

i] the status of independent judicial authority to assess the loss suffered and to award and enforce compensation payment.

ii] specific time frames for their functioning.

iii] necessary infrastructure to discharge.

III.               In the meanwhile the victims should be rehabilitated on available land, including government land at government expense.

IV.       Survey of Damage to Life and Property

The state government should immediately conduct a detailed survey of the loss of life, dignity, property, livelihood and business to the victims and the compensation if any given to them so far. The findings of the survey should be made public as at the time of the earthquake. The findings should include:

A.                 The manner in which the amount of Rs 150 crore given by the central government as aid to ensure rehabilitation have been disbursed.

B.                 Detailed tabulations on the amounts of housing compensation disbursed.

C.                 Detailed survey of the affected persons and the manner in which they are affected.

D.                The identification of destitute women and orphans.


V.        Quick disbursal of Relief:

i] The government has put a low ceiling of Rs. 50,000 in assessment of house damages. The vast majority of payments made are well below this amount; some assessments and surveys have claimed the damages are as low as 5,000 and 10,000. Even on a cursory glance it is easy to see that in the majority of the cases the damages caused are much higher than the ceiling. In the light of the almost uniform and extensive damage of houses and shops, a minimum of Rs. 50,000 should be given to all the people whose houses and shops have been damaged. These payments should be made immediately as minimum compensation pending the detailed assessment by the tribunal, as suggested above. There should be no ceiling on the compensation awarded.

(i) The State  should be ensure, along with groups and organisations from among the affected community and civil society, that everyone affected gets the compensation.

iv] It should be ensured that the foodgrains ration reaches the camps and thereafter people from affected communities who have tried to rehabilitate themselves but are still facing loss of livelihood, and impending hunger and starvation, because of the economic and social boycott being faced by them.

v] The rations provided should be adequate and the camps should not be closed till the inhabitants are properly rehabilitated.

vi] The state should have taken complete responsibility for the running and maintenance of the camps in a humane manner. It is imperative that the appalling sanitary conditions in the camps are improved and better health care is provided. The camps should also get adequate security.

In particular:

vii] Adequate facilities to address the health needs of pregnant women and trauma therapy to all the camp residents, particularly women, must be provided.

viii] Adequate and nutritious food should be made available to all, and in particular to women and children. Lactating and pregnant women should be given extra attention.

ix] Provision should be made in the camps of adequate sanitation facilities, which allow for privacy and hygiene, particularly during menstruation period.

 x] Comprehensive health care, including counselling for trauma, should be provided on a regular basis and free medical aid be given to all victim-survivors. In view of the trauma the victims, especially women and children, have suffered free medical aid, including psychiatric care, should be provided to them. As there has been widespread rape, including of the minor girls, special counselling by medical personnel as well as by social workers should be organised.

xi] Surveys and panchnamas should be rapidly and properly conducted to ensure timely disbursement of the interim and other relief.

xii] Interim and other relief should be handed over to women and men of a family, jointly.

xiii] Ration cards and other identity cards be provided immediately to those who have lost such documents.

xiv] The educational documents/certificates be provided to those who have lost such documents immediately. Full protection be provided to those who wish to return to their homes, and legal/ownership documentation be provided expeditiously in cases where they have been destroyed.

xv] The state should allocate land for people who want to shift from the camps into safe localities of their choice and a special rehabilitation package be provided for widows, single women and female-headed households.

xvi] The government policy regarding compensation to heirs of the ‘missing’ persons should be changed in view of the abnormal circumstances in which the people went ‘missing’.

xvii] A single window system be established to complete all administrative formalities, including those for relief and rehabilitation.

xviii] Proper procedures be laid down to ensure transparency and the right to information, including those in the case of arrests, relief and rehabilitation measures.

xix] Specific measures be taken to give relief to the sections of the survivors who do not fall under the current rehabilitation schemes, especially widows, female-headed households and single women.

VI.       Economic rehabilitation needs to be undertaken on an urgent footing. Economic rehabilitation should not be equated only with the interim relief. Although interim relief is crucial in the short term, the State has to address its concerns to the long-term employment opportunities for those affected by the violence. The compensation and relief package announced by the government of Gujarat does not reflect the extent of losses sustained nor does it allow for a reasonable opportunity for economic rehabilitation. The compensation package does not take into account ground realities and is, at best, mere token relief.

A.     The Tribunal recommends an urgent and quick disbursal of interest- free loans for business through a single window clearance system.

B.     Quick disbursal of insurance claims.

C.      The evidence recorded by the Tribunal from different districts of the state reveals the depth of communal polarisation in different sectors, helped by the party in power in Gujarat. Small and big businessmen and traders who deposed before the Tribunal testified to the communal and partisan attitude of the assessment officers of the Oriental Insurance Company that showed that even those who have insured their businesses and trades are being denied fair pay back by the insurance company. The government must look into this matter and take the guilty to task.

D.    Job opportunities for women and men be encouraged by creating a pool of information particularly for those on daily wages. The provision of interest-free small loans for those wishing to set up laaris (handcarts), stalls and small shops or any other small business be made.

E.     Steps should be taken to ensure education and employment opportunities for women of the minority community.

VII.      Education/Children

I.                    Mass promotion of children who have not been able to take annual and the Board examinations be made to prevent the loss of the academic year.

II.                 To facilitate the process of school transfer for those displaced by the   

violence; school transfer should be provided without insisting on a formal transfer certificates.

III.       The Tribunal recommends the immediate withdrawal of textbooks in Gujarat and elsewhere that distort history, sow communal discord and teach communal hatred.


VIII.     Reparation, not compensation

The devastation of a section of the population on a mass scale such as the one witnessed in the present case in Gujarat has to be distinguished from the sporadic violence against a few individuals resulting in loss of life and property. In the former, an attempt is made to uproot people through an organised plan with the connivance and support of the state, with a view to leave no trace of theirs. In such cases, the usual compensation doles cannot recuperate the losses suffered by the people in question. What is needed is their complete rehabilitation physically, psychologically and spiritually. The loss in such cases has to be calculated not only in terms of the loss of men and material, but also the loss of human-self of the survivors who have to be resuscitated as human beings and induced to start a new life by overcoming the trauma of the devastation. The cost of such revival is inestimable. The loss of all that is near and dear, including the lives of close relatives, the complete defacement of past existence, the shattering of all dreams, hopes and aspirations, and the cruel uncertainties of the future are all that the survivor is left with. He or she has to live with it every moment of his or her life. What is needed in such circumstances is not mere rehabilitation of material existence but the dignified restoration of all the survivors in all aspects of societal life. Hence what is needed to be paid is not only compensation for the material loss but also the cost of reparation as a societal being. The government therefore is duty bound to assess these costs in human terms as well while calculating the losses suffered by the victims.

Psychological rehabilitation

In view of the trauma the victims, especially women and children, have suffered free medical aid, including psychiatric care, should be provided to them. As there has been widespread rape, including of the minor girls, special counselling by medical personnel as well as by social workers should be organised.


The Tribunal recommends the immediate withdrawal of textbooks in Gujarat and elsewhere that sow communal discord and teach communal hatred.


Civil Society

Peace committees must be set up in all localities, including the unaffected ones. These committees should be involved in creating a conducive atmosphere for the victims to return home once their residences are reconstructed.


National Human Rights Commision

I.                   In compliance with Article V of the International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948 that India has signed in 1948 and ratified in 1958, a State that is Signatory is bound to effectively act upon and legislate upon the intents of the Legislation. Our country has not done complied with this requisite in the Convention though more than five decades have passed. The Tribunal has clearly held that the crimes in Gujarat were crimes against humanity and Genocide. But,  to date there is no law for punishing these people. Under the present political circumstances, the Tribunal does not expect either the State of Gujarat or the Union of India to enact such a much-needed law.

II.                 Despite the fact that there is no law on genocide at present, the Tribunal holds that the Covenant on Genocide has become part of the customary law as it doesn’t conflict with any other existing law. Such an interpretation of the law is imperative and binding on the NHRC. Such an approach would help the NHRC to conduct a detailed investigation into the crimes in Gujarat and submit a detailed Report to the Government and the nation. The facts narrated in the NHRC’s Summary Report on Gujarat already add upto a prima facie accusation of genocide. The Commission has a present and urgent obligation to the people and a mandatory obligation to posterity to inquire into Gujarat violence and record its findings so that no political party and no government in future ever resort to such brutal practices.

III.              As part of this obligation, the NHRC must prepare a Model Statute on genocide including provisions for effectively taking preventive measures to protest religious ethnic and linguistic minorities from being attacked. This is mandatory because under the International Criminal Code genocide and crimes against humanity are declared as offences. State actors may not follow this but Human Rights Commissions set up by various countries will have to enforce them however limited their jurisdiction might be ‘’Genocide is an attack on human diversity as such, that is upon a characteristic of the’’ human status without which the very words ‘’mankind’’ or ‘’humanity’’ would be devoid of meaning’’ (Hannah Arndt)












I.          A Standing National Crimes Tribunal be established, forthwith, to deal with all cases of,

--         Crimes against humanity, pogroms,

--         Offences in the nature of genocide,

--         Cases of mass violence and genocide,

--         Cases of riots and incidents where there is a large-scale destruction of lives and property including caste, religious, linguistic, regional, ethnic and racial violence.

A.                       A suitable Statute should be enacted for the purpose by


B.                       The Standing National Crimes Tribunal (SNCT) should be an  

independent body, the personnel of which should be selected by a committee consisting of the Chief Justice of India, the Prime Minister of India and the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. Persons with legal and judicial background should be appointed on the tribunal for a fixed tenure of not less than 7 years.

C.                             The members of the SNCT should be free to follow such procedure              as they may find fit notwithstanding the provisions of any other law.

D.                            The SCNT should have the power to investigate the offences          through it’s own investigating agency created for the purpose. The SNCT should have for it’s independent use a special investigating and enforcing agency.

E.                             The SCNT should take cognisance of mass crimes as soon as they occur. Once the cognisance of such crimes is taken, no court should have the power to deal with them. The SNCT should depose of the cases within a time bound frame.

F.                              The SNCT will have the power to arrest, try, and punish the accused as well as to compensate, and rehabilitate the victims and their dependents.

G.                            Jurisdiction, Admissibility and Applicable Law

For the purpose of the statute to be enacted, “mass violence and genocide” should mean, as it does in the international convention on  Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy in whole or in part an ethnic, racial caste or religious group:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated   to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

In addition the following acts should also be punishable under the proposed statutes:

(a) Genocide;

(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;

(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;

(d) Attempt to commit genocide;

(e) Complicity in genocide.

II.        Crimes Against Humanity

Within the definition of crimes that fall under the definition of crimes against humanity, sexual crimes against women should be recognised as crimes against humanity. Sexual crimes should not include only rape in the conventional sense; but should also include sexual slavery, debasing, enforced pregnancy, enforced sterilisation; forcible insertion of any object into the vagina. The definition of crimes against humanity should also include attacks on the lives and dignity of a section of the people, attempted or actual obliteration of a section of the people, economic annihilation of a targeted section, as well as their religious and cultural obliteration.


III.       Gender Crimes

i] The definition of rape and sexual assault under the new statute should recognise that it cannot be restricted to the act or the proof of the penis forcibly entering a woman’s vagina. Any object used to abuse a woman’s body and even verbal assault should be considered a part of the same crime. The present laws of evidence and procedures involve medical examination of the victim as well as of the accused, as proof of such assault. In situations such as that of mass rapes and gang rapes during the recent violence in Gujarat this is an impossibility because where the victims have fled for days on end if they have survived the assault at all, or where the police has refused to file any complaints or have deliberately filed incorrect complaints no accused may be apprehended. It is important that the onus of proof in all such cases of mass and gang rapes should rest on the accused and the victims should not be burdened with proof of the crime. The testimonies of the witnesses in cases where women have been burnt or killed have to be given due weightage as those of the victims themselves.

ii] In most cases, the accused might be unknown or due to the presence of a large number of people, it might be difficult to identify the persons involved directly in the crime. In such situations, the State has to be held responsible for the crime, for not protecting its citizens. The persons holding responsible offices must be made accountable for the same.

iii] The concept of justice has to be widened in such cases. It is not only punishment of those found guilty of the crime,  but also reparation for the women who suffer bodily and mental injuries should be considered as such assaults further curtail women’s right to be a part of mainstream social life besides inflicting a long term damning impact on the coming generation. Precisely for this failure to protect the basic human rights of these citizens the State has to provide reparation. Financial reparations are no doubt extremely important, but ought not to be seen as full compensation. Since all individual women are not in a position to register their complaints, reparation should be provided to all women of the affected community.

iv] Women and witnesses who have come forward to give testimonies should be given adequate protection by the SNCT, holding the State and the offenders responsible and punishable for any harm that may be caused to them.

IV.       Justice and the Judiciary

The near collapse of the criminal justice system in our country has made the deliverance of justice an exception rather than the rule. It is a painful reality and has to be acknowledged by all. Hence, when situations like the Gujarat carnage/genocide occur, where mass scale violence takes place; it is unrealistic to expect prompt justice from the present system. It has therefore become necessary to suggest a mechanism such as the SNCT above, with special composition, status, power and procedure. Section 11 of the UN Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, 1985 envisages such a Tribunal.

Supreme Court


The Tribunal therefore recommends that all necessary steps including a

seeking direction from the Supreme Court and making statutory recommendation to the Government of India to (i) appoint such a Tribunal for fixing responsibility for acts and omissions of officials and political executive in the Gujarat riots of February- March 2002 and for making persons found derelict to make restitution, reparation and compensation for all sufferers of riots (ii) enact a law on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (iii) such a comprehensive law on riots and disorders should take into consideration detailed recommendations made by the National Police Commission, the NHRC & the NCM.



I.          A long term and systematic plan should be worked out by the civic and town planning administration in urban centres in Gujarat, with the assistance of the Housing Boards and Housing Financing Authorities to actively break the aggressive, violent and enforced ghettoisation of Gujarat’s cities, especially Ahmedabad, Vadodara and the like. This can be ensured with adequate political and moral will committed to the belief that enforced ghettoisation makes communities more vulnerable as target groups for mass violence and also actively prevents interaction that breeds toleration between the communities.

The Municipal Authorities and the Housing Boards of the cities in the state need to prepare plans that encourage mixed, inter-religious, inter-caste housing. This is vital for the future health of all the sections of the population.

II.         Provision of alternative housing to those who are not in a position to return to their old homes and the formation of mohalla committees to rebuild trust in the mixed neighbourhoods will also go a long way in the direction of rehabilitation.

III.       Dissemination of accurate information about the Muslim community, including their comparative socio-economic development indices, statistics on bigamy etc. in an easily understandable form, will help prevent false propaganda against them.

IV.       Dissemination of information on the history of the struggle for independence and the part played by the different communities, classes and tribes in the freedom struggle will increase knowledge of the deep interdependence and contribution of all to the building of India as a nation.

IV.              Recruitment of a non-partisan, gender-sensitive police force and bureaucracy by building gender sensitivity and impartiality indicators into the selection process and following it up with periodic training programmes is a must and must be followed strictly.





I.          Recommendations of the National Police Commission [1979-81] to establish the autonomy of the police and free it from undue political control should be accepted and implemented immediately, especially in relation to:

i)         the setting up of a composite State Security Commission to deal, among other things, with the selection of the police chief to ensure his autonomy, independence and professional functioning, and to confer on him the fixity of tenure to remove fear of punitive transfer and to empower him to act within the ambit of his statutory authority;

ii)        the evaluation of the performance of the police and receipt of complaints from police officials about illegal and irregular orders from above;

iii)       recasting of the Police Act of 1861.

II.         An independent Police Complaints Authority should be created, on
the lines of the British model, to hear complaints from the
public against police misbehaviour. In the recent violent
incidents in Gujarat, a large number of complaints about human
rights violations by the police had to be registered with the
very same police authorities who had committed the violations in
the first place, creating a very bizarre situation. The
creation of an Independent Police Complaints Authority is
essential to obviate such a situation in the future.

III.       The Tribunal is of the view that it is the urgent need of the hour that law-enforcement is made impartial, effective and humane. The functioning of the police must be independent of political direction and interference for impartial law-enforcement. The provision of a course on human rights in the training courses of the police and the eradication of caste and communal prejudices, as well as the humane riot control methods should be added in the training programme of the police and other law-enforcement agencies. The training of police personnel on the especially sensitive matter of dealing with communal violence is also necessary. The examination of video footage telecast by the local TV channels as well as by the police videos to identify and prosecute those found guilty of making provocative speeches/statements and indulging in the acts of violence should be considered.

IV.       The social composition of all law-enforcement agencies should be diverse, wherein the presence of at least 25% of the personnel from the minorities and women should be ensured. For this purpose, a study should be undertaken to assess the present representation of these categories in the police and the deficiency should be made up.

V.                 Recommendations of the Committee on Police Training, 1972, should be implemented especially in relation to social justice, and attitudinal reorientation of the police through appropriate training on social justice issues.

VI.              The need for the existence of the centralised All India Services such as the IAS and the IPS should be examined in the light of increasing democratic decentralisation in the country. An Administrative Reforms Commission with a comprehensive mandate should be set up to examine a gamut of issues that arise in this connection. .    

VII.            Official and NGO inquiries and investigative reporting by eminent persons have noted the partisan role of the police during riots. These reports include those of the Justice Madon Commission (1970), National Police Commission (1981), studies by NC Saxena (1983) and VN Rai (1996), and finally, by the Justice Shrikrishna Commission on Mumbai riots (1992-93). (See Annexure ___)

Such partisan role of the law-enforcement agencies has been generally attributed to the following four factors:

i] The culture of governance making police function as a subordinate body carrying out orders and directions of the political executive.

ii] Deeply entrenched communal prejudices in the minds of a section of the officials and the police personnel.

iii] Social composition of the police and of the other wings of the law-enforcement and criminal justice system, wherein minorities are persistently under-represented.

iv] Lack of training in humane and effective mob control by the police. This is a state of affairs that needs to be rectified and rectified quickly. The Tribunal notes with anguish and concern that no political party has ever initiated the urgent need for radical police reform. The Tribunal recommends that this be a matter that is debated and legislated upon with the utmost urgency. Let it not happen that more carnages take place and are condoned by the political class, simply because they lack the moral courage to initiate and push for an independent police authority in the country.

VIII.         Legal provisions must be enacted to ensure restitution of rights and compensation to sufferers/victims of the riots. (The rationale and modalities for taking these measures have been discussed in the National Commission on Minorities) Report on Communal Riots: Prevention & Control (1999).


Civil Society

1.         Joint forums of all social group – castes, religions, etc. -- should be created to discuss, debate and deliberate upon all matters of common concern.

2.                  Common festivities and festivals should be organized not only on national occasions but also to celebrate the special occasions of all religious groups.

3.                  Discourses to educate people on the merits of each religion should be held and the denigration of any religion should be statutorily banned and made punishable.

4.                  Mixed localities, housing complexes, housing societies, clubs, educational and recreational institutions should be promoted and social inter-course and interactions including voluntary inter-caste, inter-religious marriages should be encouraged.


Feedback | About Us
Sabrang Communications India 2004 All rights reserved.