March-April  2002 


Naroda Gaon and Naroda Patiya


About 15 kms from Ahmedabad city, Naroda Gaon and Naroda Patiya have been home to around 1,000 daily wage earning Muslims. Many of the residents here are migrants from Karnataka and Maharashtra. The area lies on a stretch of the outer city, situated along a deserted highway road. The Gopinath and Gangotri housing societies situated nearby are home, the survivors allege, to many of the attackers. The government’s ST warehouse is located across the wide road.

Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gaon have a long history of VHP provocation. Police sources revealed to CC that in 1999, a dargah was broken down and an idol installed in its place. At the time, the local police repaired the dargah and arrested 10-15 persons, including Dr. Jaideep Patel, Maya Kotdani and Amrish Pandey. Pressure was mounted by the then home minister, Haren Pandya, but the police stood their ground and the law-breakers backed down.

Place: Noorani Masjid, Naroda Patiya
Nasir Khan Rahim Khan Pathan,
Principal, Sunflower School.

(Interviewed at Shah Alam Relief Camp on March 22)

I teach English and Maths to students of Std. IX & X. In our school, Hindu and Muslim students share the same bench and study. On Feb. 28, the day Gujarat bandh was declared, a large mob of 5-10,000, dressed in khaki half-pants or chaddis, saffron banians, and a black hair-bands set upon us. They had spears, swords, acid bombs and petrol bombs. They used gas cylinders, too, for their work.

(Gas cylinders belonging to Indian Gas, manufactured by IPCL Baroda, were used and supplied, it is alleged, by one of the accused, the owner of Uday Gas Agency).

First, around 10-10.30 a.m., the minaret of the Noorani Masjid was destroyed. Next, the family of Shabir Ahmed Khurshid Ahmed and Mehmood Ahmed Khurshid Ahmed was mercilessly burnt alive. The mobs were attacking Hussain Nagar and Jawarhar Nagar.

I was an eyewitness to the shameful rape of Khairunnisa, daughter of Mahrukh Bano. It was an animal-like mob of 11 who gang raped her. I was hiding in the toilet of my house at that time. After this, they burnt the entire family alive, one by one. The head of Khairunnisa’s mother was cut off. I saw them mixing some solvent in the petrol. The bodies found later were in a horrifying condition.

I saw with my own eyes, petrol being poured into the mouth of 6-year-old Imran. A lit matchstick was then thrown into his mouth and he just blasted apart.

At least 80 people were burnt alive and thrown into the well, Tisra Kuan, near Gangotri and Gopi Park, behind ST workshop. Even a 70-year-old woman, Tarkash Bibi Abdul Ghani, was burnt alive. The message was, "Mussalmanon ko zinda jalao" ("Burn the Muslims alive!"). The police was completely inactive and this provided inspiration to the mob. The shocking thing was that the SRP also supported the mob.

Tear gas was being flung at the Muslim mohalla, which was already the target of attack. Diesel and petrol was used from the ST warehouse — are the ST karmacharis not government servants of Gujarat?

Jaideep Patel, second in rank to PravinTogadia of the VHP, was the leader of the mob. Gudda, son of Mukesh Jiwanlal Banya, Ratilal, son of Bhavani Singh, a driver of the AMTS (Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service), Mungna Chara, owner of Manoj Video, Murli Naran Sindhi, Satish Mahadik, Bipin Panchal (he is a dangerous person who owns a lethal gun, also owns Uday Gas Agency) are the main accused. Ratilal, AMTS driver, Mungna Chara and owner of Manoj Video were the rapists.

(Bipin Panchal, also known as Bipin Sindhi, is believed to have had 4-500 gas cylinders in stock. Many of them were used to explode homes and other buildings. It is believed that trucks from the Shola Satellite area were commissioned for the huge, murderous mob to move freely from place to place.)

I saw as many as 120 persons burnt alive and had the misfortune of witnessing four rapes. Besides, 5-10 young girls were whisked away to God knows where.

I was helpless, hiding in the toilet, many of us trying to save our own lives as we witnessed these horrible tragedies.

The accused: Jaideep Patel, second in rank to PravinTogadia of the VHP, was the leader of the mob. Gudda, son of Mukesh Jiwanlal Banya, Ratilal, son of Bhavani Singh, a driver of the AMTS, Mungna Chara, owner of Manoj Video, Murli Naran Sindhi, Satish Mahadik, Bipin Panchal are the main accused. Ratilal, AMTS driver, Mungna Chara and owner of Manoj Video were the rapists.

Place: Hussain Nagar, Naroda Patiya
Amina Aapa

(Interviewed at Relief Camp on March 4 and March 22)

It was between 9-10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28. I was busy making tea at home. Suddenly, I heard girls from the mohalla abandon their housework and run frantically outside. They were shouting that Bajrang Dal men were coming. I too ran out of my house.

Between Kalupur station and Naroda Patiya, I could see a crowd stretching endlessly. All I could see were heads and more heads everywhere. They seemed to be countless in number, maybe about 15,000. I could identify them as Bajrang Dalis, members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, because of their leaders who are known members of these organisations and their saffron headbands. And local people belonging to the Chara community.

There were thousands from Krishna Nagar, the rest were workers from the Central Government Workshop. That day, even the Central Government Workshop was used for torching and killing. Muslims from the staff were given leave, while Hindus were kept on duty. Diesel for burning our people and our homes was provided by the Central Government Workshop. One Solanki, a watchman on duty at the gate of the workshop, helped the mob get fuel from inside.

First, the Noorani Masjid, which is behind the basti along the road, was targetted by a mob of about 50-100 persons. Then, Shafiq, an 18-year-old boy ,was critically injured in firing. He bled to death.

This, despite the fact that we made several hundred calls to the commissioner of police, the IGP and the Naroda police station between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. that day. The PI, KK Mysorewala is responsible for the massacre. He burst tear gas shells at us when we were running towards him for protection. When approached for help, he replied: "Jao, mera to upar se order hain" ("Go away, I have orders from above.")

All these three (the IGP, the CP and Mysorewala) are killers of our people. Mujhe Salam ki kasam, maine aakhon say dekha hai ki hamari khoobsurat ladkiyon ka balatkar kiya gaya, unke tukde tukde kar ke unkho jayala. (I swear, I have seen with my own eyes, our beautiful daughters being raped, cut to pieces and then torched.)

We saw three Maruti cars, all white in colour. Their numbers are GJ-61418, GJ-1-B-1593 and GJ-1-3631. (Since the cynically planned massacre went on for hours, neo-literate victims had got youngsters to record these numbers on scraps of paper.) Their occupants were the ones who led and directed the mob.)

That terrible day, I was hiding with some others on the roof of my house. From there, I saw my dearest friend Kauser Bano (resident of Pirojnagar, opposite Noorani Masjid, Kumbhajini Chawl, Naroda Patiya) raped, her unborn baby slashed out from her womb before being tossed into the fire to be roasted alive. Thereafter, she too was brutally cut up and torched. She was 9 months pregnant. Kauser had a slight deformity on her upper lip, which I had helped her rectify at the Civil Hospital. It was her dream to get married and have a baby.

There is not a single woman resident of Hussain Nagar whose dignity was left intact. They were all raped, cut to pieces and burnt. Hamaree aurton aur bachchon ko antim sanskar ke kabil bhi na rakha. Mai aap ko puchti hun, ye zameen kiske liye hai. Kya Musalamanon ka haath Hindustan ki azadi ki ladai mein nahin tha? (Our women and children were denied even the possibility of a decent burial. Tell me, to whom does this land belong? Have Muslims not played a part in the freedom struggle?)

In seconds, using our own gas cylinders, they blasted apart our lives. Hamare log jal kar kabaab ban gaye. Chat se sab kaam hua. (Our people were reduced to grilled meat in seconds. It was all over in a flash.)

The only thing that saved some of us was that they did not come to the terrace where we were hiding.

The accused: Bajrang Dal/VHP activists.
Policemen indicted:
The IGP, CP Pandey, and PI KK Mysorewala.

Place: Naroda Patiya
Aarif Khan

(Interviewed at Shah Alam Relief Camp on March 4)

Three of my children are still missing from that day. My wife, who had also been lost somewhere else because she was in the house and I was in my shop, joined me in the Shah Alam Camp only yesterday (March 3). Our three children who are missing are Ruksana (10), Kaneez (8), Nazneen (4).

After what I saw happen to other women and girls, I shudder to think of what may have happened to them. They were in the madrassa, studying when the attack came. I personally appealed to PI Mysorewala for proper bandobast. But he refused to help. Instead he said, "Baith kar dekho, kya hona hai." ("Sit and watch whatever happens happens.")

Suddenly, in the morning, the phone lines were cut so we could not appeal for help from outside. The police did not help; the irony is that the SRP quarters are just next door to Naroda Patiya. No one helped us, over 300 lives from Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gaon were lost because of the deliberate absence of the police.

After I came to the Shah Alam Camp, one PSI from Naroda who visited the camp yesterday (March 4) looked at me in surprise and said, "Arre tu abhi bhi zinda hai kya?" ("Oh! You are still alive?")

The accused: I personally saw and recognised Vasant Rathod, Solanki, Dr. Jaideep Patel, Ashok (MLC), Vallabh (MLC), Mayabehn Kotdani, PravinModi, Langda Chara, Guddu Chara, Natarajwala Sindhi, Sangeet Furniturewala Sindhi. The crowds were shouting, ‘Jai Bhavani!’ I saw Langda Chara and Guddu Chara leading the gang rape of women.

Policemen indicted: PI KK Mysorewala

Place: Dariakhan Ghumbat Relief Camp
Dawood Bhai Ghadiali, Camp volunteer

(Interviewed at Dariakhanni Ghumbat Relief Camp on March 20)

After the gruesome incident of Feb. 28, it was only on March 3 that we were contacted by the Civil Hospital RMO. He said he wanted to hand over the dead bodies so that we could ‘carry out the last rites as per Muslim custom’.

I went there under police protection and was totally horrified on seeing the condition of the dead bodies. The corpses were not even distinguishable as male or female. They were so badly mutilated that there was no way anyone could make out even the gender.

I had the unhappy task of organising the digging of huge pits and arranging a mass burial. I still cannot sleep because of the condition of the bodies that I saw. In many cases, the skull was just not there. The charred bodies were lying in a heap at the Civil Hospital. I can swear that I saw 3-400 bodies lying there. Unfortunately, we could bury only 192 of them over a period of 16 days. The volunteers who did this work had to steel their hearts, wear gloves, sprinkle dettol, use attar.

I keep wondering what happened to the rest of the bodies. Were they given some dignity at least in death?

(The evening Narendra Modi became chief minister, he said, "I have come to play a one-day match." Survivors at many camps in Gujarat recalled Modi’s comment to this correspondent, adding, "He has played more than a one-day match with the blood of Muslims.")

Place : Shahibag Relief Camp
: Raja Bundubhai (11-years-old)

(Interviewed at Shahibag Relief Camp on March 20)

have only a brother, a sister and my father, who is quite old, left now. My mother Jerina and my other sister Nasreen were stabbed, burnt and killed. I saw it all happening. My sister does not stop crying, my father does not speak. I only know that those Hindus were attacking Muslims. I saw it all happen.

The previous day we were told that some trouble might happen. When nothing happened at night, we thought it was just a rumour and went back thinking that nothing would happen. In the morning, a crowd started pelting stones. We ran towards Gangotri and Gopinath society but it was residents from these societies who got the tolas (crowds) together.

While I stood on a wall, I saw my mother and sister being stabbed. Then they sprinkled kerosene on both and burned them alive. I was so shocked I fell down. When I got up, a man hit me on the chest and on the abdomen.

They even said, "Chop his head off." But an elderly person in the group said, "Do not kill the child." Though others argued, he told me to run away. He said, "Bhag ja beta"("Run away, son.") I ran. I still remember the face of the old man.

I had to stay inside a small shed with another woman and through a tiny entrance, we watched these people kill. Later, I crawled quietly into one of the SRP quarters and found my aunt there. I lived there for three days. My whole family had been separated.

Then I was taken to the Shahibag Relief Camp where my sister, who is here with me now, had come looking for me from the Shah Alam Camp.

The accused: Residents of Gangotri and Gopinath housing societies.

Place: Hussain Nagar, Naroda Patiya
Mariambi Hasan Bai Sayed

(Interviewed at Relief Camp on March 20)

Mera apang, palnevala baccha tha voh (He was a handicapped son whom I had brought up with so much care). His name was Moinuddin. He was 18 years old. Though disabled, he had passed his GSC exams from Nasir Sir’s School in 1999.

What could they gain by killing a boy like that? I am the unfortunate mother who saw it with my own eyes. I was in the kitchen. They made him drink kerosene, tied him to the bed and torched him. I was trying to save a young girl from the neighbour’s family. In trying to save her, I lost my own son. We were living at Hussain Nagar in Naroda Patiya. We saw many bodies burnt and dumped into a well.

Place: Naroda Patiya
Akhtarbi Ayub

(Interviewed at Relief Camp on March 20)

I was right there when it happened. My 40-year-old son, Mohammed Ayub and his wife, Zulekha Begum, were burnt to death after she was sexually abused. My son was a tailor. Ever since my husband died three years ago, he was the only earning member. Now, there are my son’s six children and his two small brothers left behind. We come from Karnataka and have been living there(Naroda) for 40 years.

When I tried to scream and stop them from humiliating my daughter-in-law, they said, "Shut up, or we’ll kill you as well." Apart from killing, they destroyed every thing we had in the house, 5-6 sewing machines and a rickshaw. Among the killers, I saw Chara goonda and Suresh from the locality, with my own eyes.

The accused: Chara goonda and Suresh.

Place: Naroda Patiya

(Interviewed at Relief Camp on March 20)
rom Thursday to Monday (February 28-March 4), I remained hidden in the locality. I hid inside the SRP quarters along with seven children of the locality. My whole family was scattered here and there. My two-year-old son was with my mother-in-law and I found them later.

Before escaping to the SRP quarters, I witnessed Kausar Bano being brutally raped in the Javar Nagar Maidan. Her stomach was carved opened, her baby flung into the fire before she was sexually abused, cut up and burnt.

The attack was spearheaded from Gopinath society and Gangotri society. Mumtaz Bano was another victim. Other women who were similarly brutalised and killed were Ayesha Bibi, Shaheen Bano, Noorjahan, Najma Begum, Hasan Ali, Zainab Bano, Noorjahan Alori and Sufia Bano. I also saw Sadiq Salim Sheikh being killed brutally, his head smashed with an iron pipe.

The accused: Residents of Gangotri and Gopinath housing societies.

Place: Naroda Patiya
Mansoor Yusuf

(Interviewed at Shah Alam Relief Camp on March 20)

I was behind the Bank of India Bldg. when I saw a 5,000 strong mob, carrying guns and accompanied by the police. The mob burnt down Mayur Hotel, the masjid and the dargah.

After we were all ruined, we came to the Shah Alam Relief Camp. The police was pushing us around instead of protecting us. The tear gas was being flung at us, the victims, not at the mob that was attacking us. At Naroda Gaon, four girls were burnt to death just outside the police station, with the PSI present.

The camp at Shah Alam was set up on the night of February 28 itself and all of us came here from Bapu Nagar, Saijpur Patiya and Saijpur Gaon, Kumbhar Chali and Pirana Road and Meghani Nagar. There are as many as 8,000 people here, there is no access to a hospital, no access to medical help. At least 7-800 people are injured due to private firings, and burns, apart from many victims of trauma.

Policemen indicted: PSI on duty

Place: Noorani Masjid, Naroda Patiya
Abdus Salaam Shamshuddin Shaikh, Pesh Imam

(Interviewed at Shah Alam Relief Camp on March 4)

"0 mullah! Bol, Jai Shri Ram! Otherwise you all be massacred." This was Narendra Modi’s sponsored terrorism wreaked upon the minority community of Gujarat. I am the Pesh Imam of Noorani Masjid. It was around 9.15 a.m. on February 28, when a large crowd of miscreants with saffron headbands arrived in trucks and other vehicles and made the masjid a target of their attack.

I pleaded with the crowd to spare the mosque. But, shouting "Jai Shri Ram!" they entered the masjid. They set the prayer carpets on fire and threw in a gas cylinder which burst after some time. The holy Quran was kicked around and then set on fire. We escaped from the scene with great difficulty.

When we came on to the highway, we saw shameful scenes in a locality inhabited by Muslims. The custodians of Indian culture and parampara were openly raping young girls and then throwing them into fire. This was all in the name of Ram, the Maryada Purushottam. Will the conscience of India wake up? Will Muslims who were equal partners in the struggle for freedom bear the brunt of Hindu fundamentalism and fanaticism for all time to come?

Place: Naroda Patiya
Sharif Bhai, Member, Management Committee, Shah Alam Relief Camp.

(Interviewed at Shah Alam Relief Camp on March 4)

On Feb. 28, despite over 50 calls to the CP and the control room, there was just no response. I myself spoke to the commissioner two or three times. His response was: "Main kya kar sakta hoon? Police law and order nahin sambhal sakti" ("What can I do? The police is not in a position to restore law and order.)

The total population of this area is about 12-15000, of which there are 4,000 voters on the electoral rolls. Presently, there are 6-700 people missing. A mass burial of 134 persons was held on March 4.

At Naroda, many of the victims tried to seek shelter inside the SRP headquarters in a desperate bid to save their lives. Some officials allowed them in, but others did not. If all seeking refuge were allowed in, many more lives would have been saved.

It was after midnight on Friday (March 1) that we managed to reach the SRP headquarters with the help of ACP Tandon and brought back four busloads of people under police protection. I cannot describe the condition of the victims when we brought them. They were terrorised and traumatised — many women did not have any clothes on their body. We made ten rounds in these four buses, from 12 midnight to 3 a.m., to shift 3,000 persons from Naroda to the Shah Alam Dargah.

On Friday, the camp was filled with people from Hindav, Sundaramnagar and Ramol Gaon. Totally there are 7,000 persons at the Dargah at present.

(When this correspondent visited Naroda Patiya and the burnt down Noorani Masjid, the tanker which, according to the survivors, had carried the inflammable fuel and gas cylinders to explode and burn homes and people, was still parked there. The vehicle carried the number plate, GJIT 7384.

While I was standing just outside the destroyed Noorani Masjid, I saw signs of habitation inside a home that carried a nameplate which read, Rashmi Parmar, advocate Rashmi, who responded to my call ,said she had returned for the first time that day to check out the condition of her house.

"Where were you for so many days?" I asked.
"I ran away to the home of relatives when I saw what was happening to the neighbours."
"What was happening?"
"In the name of Hindus, they were slaughtering the whole basti," she replied.)

Place: Naroda Patiya, Ahmedabad
Yakub Bhai A Vora,
Junior assistant, ST workshop, Naroda Patiya.

(Interviewed at Kheda on March 9)

There are four of us (Muslims) living in Kheda, who work at the ST workshop in Naroda Patiya. That day (February 28), we escaped in an ST Bus up to Narol and then had to walk 12 kilometres before we reached home. I saw huge attacks with gas cylinder on the chawl behind the ST workshop at Naroda. I saw how Noorani Masjid at Naroda was reduced to nothing. Through the day, the situation had became impossible and very dangerous.

At about 4 p.m., the ST management made arrangements for us to leave by bus. We drove from Naroda to Narol. Just as we came out of the ST workshop at Naroda, a 2,000 strong mob stopped the bus and asked, "Are there any Muslims inside?" The staff was supportive and said there were no Muslims. That is how the four of us got saved. The bus took us to Nabha from where we had to take a tempo to Narol.

On the way, I saw 20-25 trucks and tempos burnt down. I had to walk over 10 kilometres, tense and worried, all the way back home to Kheda. I saw burning trucks and vehicles along the way. It was eerie.

Names of those who were killed and whose bodies could be identified on February 28 
between Noorani Masjid and Naroda Patia

1. Inayathussain Rahimbhai Sayyed
2. Sufiyaappa Inayathussain Sayyed
(wife of Inayathussain)
3. Shabana Hassan Sayyed
4. Salman Inayat Hussain Sayyed
5. Abidmiya Hamiedmiya Pathan
6. Moinuddin Hassanbhai Sayyed
(invalid, burnt after being tied to bed)
7. Safibhai—mother’s name Salmabivi Shaikh
8. Mohammed Ayyub Ilabakhsh Shaikh
9. Nasirkhan Chhotekhan Pathan
10. Kanijabivi Chhotekhan Pathan
(invalid, died in the fire)
11. M. Yunus Mohammed Rajak Ansari (Cut to pieces)
12. Ibrahimbhai Bapu

13. Naeembhai Ibrahimbhai Bapu

14. Abeda Ibrahimbhai Bapu

15. Sajadaben Ibrahimbhai Bapu

16. Nagmaben Ibrahimbhai Bapu

(The Bapu family were locked up in the house which was then set on fire)

17. Saberabivi Ajujbhai Agbanwala

18. Mohammed Faud A. Kader Syyed (Foreman)

19. Hussainmiya Golewala

20. Hajrabivi Rahimbhai Syyed

21. Jalaluddin Alibakhsh Khan Rangrej

22. Asif Sharmuddin Shaikh (Burnt with acid)

23. Kausarapa Samruddin Shaikh

(Pregnant, thrown into the fire)

24. Rafik Samruddin Shaikh

25. Javedhussain Ismailhussain Shaikh

26. Begum Javedhussain Shaikh

27. Khudratbegum Khursheedbhai Shaikh

28. Shabbir Ahmed Khursheedbhai Shaikh

29. Jubeda Shabbir Ahmed Shaikh

30. Shabbir Khursheedbhai Shaikh

31. Shabbir Khursheedbhai’s three children

32. A. Kadar A. Rashid Anori

33. Mohammedhasan A. Kader Qureshi

34. Salimbegum Sardarbivi Shaikh

35 Asrabanu Kabirali Shaikh

36 Mohammed Ayyub Baseer Ahmed Shaikh (Family)

37 Mohammed Ayyub Baseer Ahmed Shaikh

38 Anisbhai Naseerkhan Mansuri

39 Ruksana Anisbhai Mansuri

40 Anis Naseerkhan’s wife

(together with her 4 children)

41 Parvinbivi Gulamhussain Shaikh

42 Samruddin Shaikh

43 Sufiyabegum Ismail Shaikh

44 A. Karim A. Rasul Radal

45 Chandmiya A. Rasul Radal

46 Sadiq Salim Shaikh

47 Mehboob Babubhai Shaikh

48 Sabiyabanu Jainanabuddin Shaikh

(together with two children)

49 Mumtaj Ali Mansha Ali Ansari

50 Amtaj Mumtajali Ansari

51 Samruddin Khasim Sa’ab Chaudhapsar

52 Abdul Wahab A. Shabbir Gujali

53 Sarmuddin Mohammed Munavar Lambu

54 Shermabanu Iqbal Ahmed Shaikh

(The list of those dead and who died under suspicious circumstances were made as witnessed by me or by those who had witnessed it also, This is absolutely true.

Altafbhai Iqbalbhai Gandhi, SRP Road, next to Dhanushdhari temple, Behind Noorani Masjid, Vativ, Phone: 2819307)

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