Frontline

March-April  2002 
Genocide


Patan

Place:
Ghasiavas, Radhanpur, Patan district
Witness:
Nanabhai Pyarmohammed G. Shaikh, tailor

(Has lodged an FIR with the officer in-charge, Radhanpur, via Registered AD. CC has a copy.)

FIR: We complainants truthfully complain that we are residents of Ghasiawas in Radhanpur and earn our living by tailoring. Accused no. 1 from the below-mentioned accused is the MLA from Santalpur division of Radhanpur. Accused no. 2 is the chief of the Radhanpur taluka BJP unit. Accused no. 3 and others are members of Bajrang Dal, RSS and Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

On March 1, when the VHP declared Bharat bandh, all these accused came by tractors to close down Radhanpur and to spread terrorism. They started burning shops with petrol and diesel, which they had brought in cans. From Lalbaug to Patni Gate, they were looting and burning only those shops which belonged to the minority community. The mob then pulled down and set fire to a religious place of the minority community, which is known as Gol Otla.

At that time my nephew, Ghulam Jelani Ghulam Rasul Shaikh, was standing at Patni Gate with other boys from our locality (of whom one was Ghulam Nabi Kalubhai Shaikh) and watching the frenzied mob. Accused no. 1, Shankarbhai Lakhdhirbhai Chaudhri, shot first my nephew, Ghulam Jelani, in the chest without any provocation, and then Ghulam Nabi Kalubhai Shaikh. As the bullets hit both in the chest, they were injured and fell down. The other people of our locality, who were also standing there, tried to take the injured boys in the jeep to the Referal Hospital. The driver of the jeep was Yakubbhai Nabibhai Chauhan.

As the jeep left Patni Gate and passed Gol Otla, the mob standing there tried to stop the jeep. The driver got scared and he raced the jeep. When the jeep reached Lohanawadi, an electric pole was lying across the road blocking it. The driver was forced to stop the jeep. The mob that was standing around started throwing stones at the driver who got injured and being frightened, he ran to the police station to save his life.

When the above-mentioned jeep stopped on the road, there were two wounded persons in it, including Ghulam Nabi Kalubhai Shaikh. When he came out, he was attacked on the head with scythes and the above-mentioned Ghulam Nabi Kalubhai Shaikh was then taken to the hospital by the police. The other person who was in the jeep was burned alive together with the jeep.

Although we were very keen on informing the police about the above-mentioned incident, we were unable to reach the police station because of the mob standing outside Patni Gate. Subsequently, we called the police station several times but no one paid attention to what we said. As curfew was later clamped down on the town, we could not come to lodge the complaint. Now that the curfew is partially lifted, we have come personally to the police station to lodge the complaint. There has been a delay in lodging the complaint due to the above mentioned reasons.

Another FIR was sent by Registered AD to the Radhanpur police station.

The deceased: Ghulam Jelani Ghulam Rasul Shaikh, first shot at, subsequently burnt inside a jeep while being taken to hospital.

The accused:

1. Shankarbhai Lakdhirbhai Chaudhri (Arbuda Society; MLA Santalpur,Radhanpur)

2. Pravinbhai Thakkar Mahalakshmi, whose fatherís name I do not know (Radhanpur; chief of the Radhanpur taluka BJP).

3. Prakash Keshavlal Thakkar, who is known as Prakash Dakshini and whom I would recognise.

4. Doctor Rawal, whose hospital is in Lalbaug and whom I would recognise.

5. Kanubhai Deri, whose fatherís name I do not know but whom I would recognise.

6. Vinod Kumar Goklani, whose fatherís name I do not know.

7. Satishbhai Thakkar sells dish antennae and whom I would recognise.

8. Thakore Ajmalbhai Abhabhai (Chalwada, taluka Radhanpur).

9. Bharatkumar Kalyanji Thakkar (Dandia suburb, Radhanpur; business: Ambika Electronics, Lalbaug, Radhanpur)

10. Ratilal Vyas, whose fatherís name I do not know. He is the vice-chief of Santalpur taluka panchayat. (Varahi).
Also other residents of Radhanpur city and taluka, a mob of more than 700 Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, and RSS.

11. Sukhadia Bakulkumar Pannalal (Gogasheri, Radhanpur)

The accused have been accused under IPC, sections 147, 148, 149, 307, 427, 436.

Policemen indicted: Ghasiawas police post, Radhanpur taluka, Patan

Place: Ghasiavas, Radhanpur, Patan district
Witness:
Ibrahim Miyabhai Shaikh, driver

(Has lodged an FIR with the officer in-charge, Radhanpur, via Registered AD. CC has a copy.)

FIR: We, complainants, truthfully complain that we are residents of Ghasiawas in Radhanpur and earn our living by driving. Accused no. 1 from the above-mentioned accused is the MLA from Santalpur division of Radhanpur. Accused no. 2 is the chief of the Radhanpur Taluka BJP unit. Accused no. 3 is a BJP worker. Accused no. 4 has a dispensary in Lalbaug. Accused no. 5, Kanubhai Deri, is ex-member of the corporation. In addition there was a crowd of about 600 to 700 persons.

On March 1, when the VHP had declared Bharat bandh, all the accused came by tractor and Mahindra utility van, with cans of diesel and petrol, to Radhanpur town to spread terrorism and started burning and looting shops. They came up to highway cross roads and started looting, destroying and burning shops belonging to the minority community. The mob was attacking a shed on the Round Otla outside Patni Gate and set fire to the neem tree on the otla.

At that time, I and others from my locality were standing within Patni Gate and watching the vandalising mob. Ghulam Jelani Ghulam Rasool Shaikh from my locality and my nephew, Ghulam Nabi Kalubhai Shaikh, were standing a little distance away from me, outside the Patni Gate. Suddenly Shankarbhai Lakdhirbhai Chaudhri, who was amongst the mob, aimed his gun and fired. The bullets hit my nephew, Ghulam Nabi Kalubhai Shaikh and Ghulam Jelani Ghulam Rasul Shaikh, felling both to the ground. They were carried by others from our locality and brought in.

At that time, a resident of Radhanpur, Noormohammed Vora, had come to our locality by jeep. He put both the boys in his jeep and the driver, Yakubbhai, was taking them to the hospital. The mob was still standing outside Patni Gate and as he approached them, several people from amongst the mob tried to stop the jeep. Realising the seriousness of the situation, the driver Yakubbhai did not stop the jeep, at which the mob started chasing it. The driver Yakubbhai thought it was dangerous to take the wounded to the hospital so in order to save their lives and his own, he raced the jeep.

When the jeep reached Lohanawadi, there was an electric pole placed across the road, blocking it, and a mob was present there also. The mob started stoning the driver of the jeep Yakubbhai, who was injured in the head. Realising that his life was in danger, the driver Yakubbhai left the jeep and the injured in it and ran away to the police station. Thereupon, one of the injured, Ghulam Nabi Kalubhai Shaikh came out of the jeep, when he was attacked in the head with a scythe. The same Kalubhai was thought to be alive and admitted by the police to the hospital.

The other wounded, Ghulam Jelani Ghulam Rasool Shaikh being more seriously injured, was lying in the jeep and the mob burned him to death along with the jeep. We were unable to inform the police about the above-mentioned incident immediately as we were afraid of the mob. When we tried to complain over the telephone, no one paid attention to us. As there was a curfew in the town, we were unable to come to the police station to lodge our complaint, that is why we are sending this complaint by Registered AD. I request you to arrest the accused mentioned in this complaint at an early date and give me justice.

The deceased: Ghulam Jelani Ghulam Rasul Shaikh, first shot at, subsequently burnt inside a jeep while being taken to hospital.

The accused: Shankarbhai Lakdhirbhai Chaudhri (Arbuda Society); Pravinbhai Thakkar Mahalakshmi, whose fatherís name I do not know (Radhanpur); Prakash Keshavlal Thakkar, who is known as Prakash Dakshini; Doctor Rawal, whose hopital is in Lalbaug and whose fatherís name I do not know; Kanubhai Deri, who is a former corporator and whose fatherís name I do not know.

The accused have been accused under IPC sections 147, 148, 149, 307, 427, 436.


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