The main stream media and ruling classes are telling us to forget 2002 and move on. See the great development of Gujarat, they say. India cannot afford to post-mortem the 2002 events any more. We have to set our pace with the gold rush; forget the past and grab the future…
Modi has become the symbol of this metamorphosis. Media anchors keeps drilling in peoples’ mind that 67% of their tele-polls connect Modi to development and only 15% connect him to the violence of 2002. They even point out to the skull-caps seen in Modi’s meetings and scoff at us and tell us that even Muslims are accepting Modi.
We have to say, we can forget history only at our own peril. Germans never forgot their holocaust and built a conscious democracy. No amount of development gave the Fuehrer any respectability after the war. History teaches us the wrongs and rights of the past to guide us in the present. Today therefore, when there is an enormous drama being enacted to make the present appear rosy, we go back to that day in the history of Ahmedabad when a mob of twenty thousand people had surrounded the Gulbarg society in the heart of Ahmedabad and Government of Gujarat could spare only one Police Inspector and 15 policemen to “defend” the society which housed several Muslim families including that of the former Member of Parliament Ehsan Jafri.
The mob burnt 64 Muslims alive and the body of Ehsan was never found. The cross examination of the Police Inspector KG Erda (he was later arrested by SIT) in the Nanavati Commission brings out the terrible truth of the 28th February, 2002.
Cross Examination of Police Inspector K. G. Erda
25th September 2004
(Translation of selected extracts from the cross-examination of Erda by Mukul Sinha, Jan Sangharsh Manch)
(On 28.02.2002) Till 12.15 pm a mob of around ten thousand people had already collected….When I again reached Gulbarg society at 2 pm there were twenty thousand people and at that time there were a total of sixteen police men…it is true that at 2.45 pm I had sent a message to the control room that a mob of ten thousand people had set fire in the area of Gulbarg society and surrounded it and that police has also been surrounded and requested for the SRP force to be sent.
At that time me and other six constables had got encircled by the mob and smoke was coming out from the houses in Gulbarg society…On inquiry, it was found that 39 people had died and 31 people were missing. (Note – The Government Pleader stated that out of the people who had died in Gulbarg society, 64 people have been given compensation and some more claims are pending)
Nine dead bodies were found from Bungalow No. 19 and the rest of the bodies were found from other houses and roads of the society. The bodies which were found on the roads were buried under the debris. On 01-03-2002 also the Fire brigade was informed to douse the fire….The dead body of Shri Ehsan Jafri has not been found till today. I had tried to find out the missing people – like I had sent messages to all other police stations and made inquiries..
On 06-03-2002 also the bungalow continued to burn. The fire brigade was informed on that day to remove the debris and put out the fire…I had taken into custody the necessary debris from the Gulbarg society and for that purpose I had called the people from FSL and I had also done the procedure for the scientific inquiry and from the examination of the debris some parts of the human body was found….I did not inquire why the people from fire brigade did not come.. Chief Minister Narendra Modi had come to Gulbarg society on 05-03-2002…
From the debris that were examined on 06-03-2002, 07-03-2002, 08-03-2002, the residues of bones were found, I cannot say as to whose bones they were since no inquiry was done in that respect…
Gujarat CM and newly appointed PM Candidate Narendra Modi now wants us to count the skull caps (topi) that attend his meetings and birthday bashes, but between 28th February to 6th March, 2002, an entire society in the heart of Ahmedabad was kept burning without even the fire brigade turning up to douse the flames till 7 days. As Erda says, only residues of bones were found, not even skulls…