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Report of the CPIM / AIDWA delegation to Gujarat

» Introduction Read
» Godhra, Panchmahal district Read
» In the rural areas outside Godhra Read
» Officially recognised deaths / Politics Read
» Destruction of property, loss of lives, compensation Read
» Ahmedabad Read
» Relief Camps Read
» Voices of anguish / Conclusion Read

Officially recognised deaths:
The administration account of the deaths as on March 11 is as follows:
Date Taluka Village No. of dead
28.02 Khanpur Pandunda 1
Divda 1
1. 03 Ghoganbi Rinchia 1
Kadana Devada 1
Khanpur Pandharwa 21
Halol Halol 5
2, 03 Kalol Kalol 16
Linnawada Linnawada 1
Khanpur Limdia 8
Kalol Aral 7
Halol Rameshra 2
3 – 4 - - -
5. 03 Santrampur Anjanvar 8
6 -7 - - -

The politics:
Maulvi Husain Umarji, Messrs. Khatudi,. A.A. Hasan,. Charkha all advocates and others who are organisers of the camp told us that Godhra has a mixed population which is 40% Muslim and 60% Hindu. While there was rioting in the town in 1980 since then there have been no incidents, not even in l992. There are individual disputes they say that people try to convert into communal friction but there have been not communal clashes in this entire period. They said, however, that political events were vitiating the atmosphere for some time before February 27th. The BJP had not been a major political force in the area but in the last Parliamentary election, a BJP MP, Bhupendra Singh Solanki, was elected. He had been arrested under NSA in l989 for fomenting communal tension. There were no MLAs from that party in the district. After the last town area elections, Shri Raju Darji of the BJP was elected President. In April, 2001, a no-confidence motion against him was moved by Shri Mohd. Hasan who had the support of 24 corporators, eight of whom were Hindus. The motion was passed and, in May, Shri Mohd. Hasan was elected President of the town area. He is now under arrest as the main accused in the Sabarmati Express case. He has no previous criminal history. We were told that as far as the camp organisers knew, the ghastly event of February 27th was triggered off by an altercation between tea vendors, at least one of whom was a Muslim, and ‘kar sewaks’. They did not think that it was a pre-meditated attack and were convinced that the political events of the town were also responsible for the way in which the incident was being presented by BJP leaders. They believed that with the political isolation of the BJP this type of violence was geared only to regaining its hold in view of the forthcoming elections next year.

They told us that no incident of any kind took place in Godhra town after the train atrocity on the 27th. But later, planned attacks were made from February 28 till March 3. The attacks, though fewer, were continuing till the date of our visit, the 11th of March.

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