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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 04/11/2012, 00.00


    Massacres in Gujarat: Narendra Modi minister acquitted of all charges

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Fr. Cedric Prakash, director of the "Prashant" Center for Human Rights, Justice and Peace, complains of procedural errors in investigations: witnesses not listened to and telephone calls not put on record. In 2002, Gujarat was the scene of violent riots between Hindus and Muslims: over 1,000 confirmed dead, 253 missing, 523 places of worship destroyed.

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A "very bitter" verdict for the survivors after "a full investigation that was suspect beyond all reasonable doubt", says Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ, Director of the Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace Ahmedhabad Prashant.  He is critical of the sentence handed down today by an Indian court, which exonerates Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, of all charges of involvement in the massacres of 2002. The court acquitted 58 other co-accused.

    In particular, the priest denounces procedural errors committed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court. "The way the investigation was carried out - said Fr. Prakash, a native of Gujarat - says a lot about the verdict. Witnesses never heard and telephone calls not recorded in the minutes is sufficient reason to believe that the entire investigation is suspect. But all is not lost yet. The struggle for justice and truth will continue until the end. "

    On 27 February 2002 a group of Muslims attacked and set fire to the Sabarmati Express, aboard which were Hindus - mostly women, children and elderly - returning from a pilgrimage to Ayodhya. The attack, which killed 58 people, sparked violent inter-confessional riots in Gujarat. Among these, there is also the slaughter at Gulbarg Society, an Islamic residential complex in Ahmedhabad. On 28 February, a crowd set fire to houses, killing 68 Muslims. Among these, even the politician Ehsan Jafri, a leading figure at the time of the Congress Party.

    Jafri's widow has always accused Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, the Hindu ultra-nationalist party in government) of conspiring in the riots, for failing to control the situation and has tried not to ascertain the truth.

    In the massacre, the Muslim community of Gujarat paid the highest price: of the more than 1,000 confirmed deaths, 790 were Muslims and 254 Hindus. At least 253 people were declared missing, 523 places of worship, including three churches, were damaged, 27,901 Hindus and 7,651 Muslims were arrested.



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    See also

    29/10/2010 INDIA
    After seven years, courts can rule on Godhra massacre
    The Supreme Court clears the way for Gujarat courts to rule on the 2002 train fire, which set of bloody communal violence that left more than 2,000 people dead.

    09/11/2011 INDIA
    31 people sentenced to life imprisonment over Gujarat massacres
    The ruling relates to Sardarpura disorders, in which 33 Muslims, including 22 women, were killed. 73 accused stood trail in the case. The incident is among the many episodes of violence which erupted after the Godhra train burning in 2002, in which 50 Hindus were killed.

    20/04/2006 INDIA
    Gujarat High Court revokes arrest warrants without bail, "tools of repression"
    Jesuit Fr Cedric Prakash is satisfied the court order will limit intimidation by the authorities against human rights activists.

    01/03/2011 INDIA
    Eleven sentenced to death for Godhra train massacre in Gujarat
    The Ahmedabad special court created to judge attack on Sabarmati Express hands down sentences. Suspected mastermind of “plot” acquitted. Responsibility of the Prime Minister of the state, Narendra Modi.

    28/04/2009 INDIA
    Chief Minister of Gujarat under investigation for massacre of more than a thousand Muslims
    The Supreme Court sets up a commission to verify the responsibility of Narendra Modi in the violence against the Islamic minority in 2002. A polemical reaction from the Bharatiya Janata Party, which considers the governor of Gujarat a candidate for Indian prime minister. The Chief Minister, a leading figure of the new party, accuses: "it is a conspiracy of the Congress party to put me behind bars."

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