Memorandum of action to be taken (ATR) by Government on the report of the commission of inquiry Appointed for making enquiries into the incidents of communal riots which occurred in the police commissionerate of Mumbai area during December 1992 and January 1993 And serial bomb blasts which occurred on 12th March 1993
In this report, regular (straight type face) letters have been used for
observations and recommendations of the Commission while italic letters are
used for Government’s comments)
the demolition of Babri Masjid, at Ayodhya, communal tension and disturbances
erupted in Mumbai.
For five days in December 1992 (6th to 10th December 1992) and 15 days
in January 1993 (6th to 20th January 1993) Mumbai witnessed unprecedented
riots, mob violence of great magnitude and ferocity, resulting in the
incidents of stabbing, arson causing large–scale loss of lives and damage to
properties. Police had resorted to firing to quell the disturbances. Army was
also requisitioned to help the police to deal with the serious riots. As the
situation was returning to normalcy after the riots were over, the serial bomb
blast rocked the city on 12th March 1993.
In exercise of powers conferred by Section 3 and Section 5 of the
Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 (60 of 1952), and all other powers enabling it
in this behalf, the Government of Maharashtra, by Notification, Home
Department No. FIR–5693/Bombay/1/Appointment/Spl–2, dated 25th January
1993 constituted a Commission of Inquiry consisting of Hon. Justice Shri B.N.
Srikrishna, a sitting Judge of the High Court of Judicature at Mumbai, for the
purpose of making enquiry into the matter with the following terms of
The circumstances, events and the immediate cause of the incidents,
which occurred in the Bombay Police Commission-erate area in December 1992, on
or after the 6th December 1992 and again in January 1993, on or after the 6th
Whether any individual or group of individuals or any another
organisations were responsible for such events and circumstances;
The adequacy or otherwise of the precautionary and preventive measures,
taken by the police preceding the aforesaid incidents;
Whether the steps taken by the police in controlling the riots were
adequate and proper and whether the police firing resulting in deaths was
justified or not; and,
The measures, long and short term, which are required to be taken by
the administration to avoid recurrence of such incidents, to secure communal
harmony and also to suggest improvements in law and order machinery.
2,126 affidavits were
filed before the Commission, of which 02 were by Government, 549 by the police
and 1,575 by the members of public. The Commission has recorded the evidence
of 502 witnesses, whose depositions run into 9,655 pages and also took on
record 2,903 documents as exhibits (15,000 pages) and 536 orders were passed.
Congress–I was the party in power in the state when the Notification
appointing the Commission was issued, but went out of power in the Assembly
elections of 1995. The coalition Government of Shiv Sena–Bharatiya Janata
Party came into power on or about 15th March 1995. After the bomb blasts
occurred, these parties had demanded that there should be a probe in the link
between serial bomb blasts of March 1993 and the communal riots of December
1992 and January 1993. But this demand was not accepted by the then
Congress–I Government. Therefore, when Shiv Sena–Bharatiya Janata Party
Government came to power, considering earlier demand, it requested the
Commission to go into the background, immediate causes, link as well as common
design between December 1992 and January 1993 communal riots and the serial
bomb blasts in March 1993. Accordingly, the following additional terms were
referred to the Commission:
The circumstances and the immediate cause of the incidents commonly
known as the serial bomb-blasts of 12th March 1993, which occurred in the
Bombay Police Commissionerate area;
Whether the incidents referred to in term (i) have any common link with
the incidents referred to in term (vi) above; and,
Whether the incidents referred to in term (i) and in term (vi) were part of a
By Notification of Home Department, No. FIR-596/Mumbai-1/Appointment/JC,
dated 23rd January 1996, the Commission was disbanded since the report was
likely to take unduly long time and the report even when produced was only
likely to open old wounds which had just healed.
Government at the Centre changed and Bharatiya Janata Party-led
coalition Government assumed power for about 2 weeks. During those two weeks,
the then Prime Minister, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, addressed a latter to the
Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Manohar Joshi, advising him to revive the
Commission and the Commission was reconstituted by Notification, Home
Department, No. FIR-5696/Mumbai-1/Appointment/JC, dated 28th May 1996.
Government had expected that after the Commission was reconstituted and
particularly when the Government had given all the co–operation to the
Commission in discharging its responsibility, it would take due note of
Government’s sporting and liberal spirit. But this expectation has been
Government had initially given time of 6 months to the Commission for
submitting its report. In spite of this, the Government granted extensions to
the Commission whenever asked for from time to time and the Commission
submitted its report to Government on 16th February 1998.
The Commission has submitted its report in two Volumes — Volume–I
consists of seven chapters and covers the background leading to the riots of
December 1992 and January 1993 and gives its findings and recommendations on
terms of Reference Nos. 1 to 8. Volume–II of the Report discusses the
“evidential nuances” and detailed narration of events in respect of 26
police stations in the jurisdiction of Mumbai police Commissionerate. In
addition, Volume-II contains the analysis of the statements by political
leaders, journalists and certain police officers.
of the riots
While analysing the reasons for these communal riots, the Commission
has observed that the Hindus and the Muslims were united in the freedom
struggle. However, towards the end of the freedom struggle, “‘Two–Nation
Theory’ advocated by Mohd. Ali Jinnah led to the partition of the country
and heightened the communal tension”. The Commission has further observed
that “apprehensions entertained by minorities should have subsided with
guaranteed fundamental rights of minorities”. However, the special
privileges given to the minorities contributed to further irritation to the
majority community. An atmosphere of mutual distrust and a feeling of “us”
and “them” got built up. In addition, the Ram Janmabhoomi–Babri Masjid
problem was mishandled since a long time. Had the problem been resolved
amicably at an appropriate time, the further complications and consequent
demolition of Babri Mosque could have been avoided. The Commission has observed
that the kar seva planned in Ayodhya, the Ghantanaad programme and the
increasing opposition to these programmes by the Muslims, especially Students
Islamic Movement of India and Bombay Muslim Action Committee, led to
increasing tension. The demolitions carried out by the Bombay Municipal
Corporation further contributed to this tension. Some extremist Muslims and
fundamentalists took advantage of this situation to further incite communal
feeling among the Muslims.
Government broadly agrees with the observations of the Commission about the
background of the riots. The Government also feels that the Special Civil Code
for the minorities, reversal of decisions in the Shah Bano Case, opposition to
the singing of Vande Mataram, use of loudspeakers for Namaaz and the
inconvenience caused to the public because of the obstructions on streets
created by Namaaz offering mobs, the honorarium granted to Maulvis, the
concession granted for Haj pilgrimages also led to further bitterness between
Hindus and Muslims. This alienation and mutual distrust is responsible for the
occasional occurring riots and the riots started on 6th December 1992 and
thereafter and 6th January 1993 and thereafter.
The Government has accepted most of the recommendations made by the
Commission in Chapter V, Volume–I. A summary of the conclusions and the
action taken thereon is given below.
Volume–I of the report
1.4 The discretion of SHOs in registration of offences and in investigations
should be used strictly in accordance with law. Senior Police officers need to
carry frequent, datailed and stricter investigations.
Appropriate instructions would be given to the Mumbai Police to ensure
thorough, detailed and regular investigations are carried out and to see that
offences are registered strictly as per law.
Police have classified a large number of offences in “A” summary.
It is necessary to re–investigate these classifications made without a
A Committee comprising officers from Home Department, Law and Judiciary
Department and Senior Police officers would scrutinise all “A” summary
cases. Re–investigations will be undertaken wherever necessary.
There is a lack of professionalism in documentation of police work and
methods of investigation. There is no proper education of the investigating
officers in techniques of interrogations.
Refresher courses imparting training in modern techniques of interrogation
would be organised to improve the interrogation methods of police.
The canker of corruption has eaten into the entrails of Indian society
and police department is no exception. All acts of the police personnel must
be fully documented and transparent, leaving no scope for slightest doubt
about their integrity. If any police officer is found indulging in corruption,
exemplary punishment should strictly follow. Senior Police officers must keep
a hawk’s eye on the persons at lower level and in the event of slightest
doubt regarding integrity, remedial action must surely and swiftly follow.
All necessary steps will be taken to eradicate corruption in the police force.
i) Punishment for
corruption, brutality, dereliction of duty and mala fide exercise of authority
should be prompt and no less than dismissal from service, apart from
prosecution under the criminal law.
There is need to make amendment to Police Act and Service Rules so that
punishment for gross violation of duties and corrupt practices is swift and
sure. Similarly, honest officers and men who act professionally must be
rewarded by out–of–turn increments and promotions based purely on
excellence of record.
Necessary changes will be made in the Police Manual and Service Rules.
Frequent transfers of police personnel on grounds other than
administrative convenience and nepotism and corruption in the matter of
posting, allotment of quarters and even grant of leave, have haunted the
police administration for long. Political interference at all levels has
aggravated the problem. It is hoped that the Supreme Court, which has evolved
a mechanism for insulating the C.B.I. from political interference, would also
lay down guidelines for similar freedom of the police administration from
Appropriate steps would be taken to reduce political interference in police
i) The Commission has noted that senior officers are afraid of leading
on account of scrutiny by judicial commissions which are generally set up
after any serious incident of communal nature.
The Commission has also noted about the lack of continuous interaction between
the senior officers and the officers and men at the junior level and has
suggested that this needs to be improved upon with the lead coming from the
officers of police.
will be suitably brought to the notice of all police officers.
Justice delayed is justice denied. More so, in the case of a criminal
trial. Very often the delay is on account of the unpreparedness of the
Investigating Officer. It is also noticed that the police are very slow,
careless in matters of drawing F.I.R.s, statements of witnesses, panchnamas,
holding of identification parades and complying with other statutory
requirements. Every Investigating Officer
must investigate the offence with the object of securing a conviction in a
trial. Of course, by fair means. There is cynicism in the minds of the public
that the criminal justice administration system is skewed. Innocent people are
punished, while the influential and moneyed invariably get away. There is
imperative necessity for dispelling (this impression).
Instructions would be issued to the police department to ensure effective and
effective utilisation of intelligence
i) There should be meticulous and effective consideration of
intelligence collected for maintenance of law and order and prevention of
crime. Records and diaries required to be maintained under Standing Orders
were not maintained.
Existing instructions in Police Manual would be reiterated.
There is a need for ongoing process of training at the hands of Senior
Police officers and outside renowned experts.
Government often organises training, refresher courses and seminars for
police. However, instructions would be again given for holding such training,
seminars and conferences regularly and on a larger scale. Instructions would
also be given for improvement of quality in intelligence gathering and its
Frequent transfers of Senior Police Inspectors in charge of police
stations prevent them from knowing their areas and good and bad people in
their jurisdiction. Transfers of key officers must be done after sufficient
Appropriate instructions would be issued in this regard.
Police intelligence machinery could not trace communally inciting
material, both from the Hindus and the Muslims. Rumour mongers of both the
communities were contributing factors leading to communal riots. Police were
unable to trace the sources of these rumours even in one case. Acknowledgement
of failure is no absolution.
The officers at all levels must realise that the best way of feeling
the pulse of the people is by moving with them and not travelling in vehicles
with excessive security.
and Physical Fitness
i) There is much wanting in the physical fitness of the members of the
Physical fitness in modern times does not require costly equipment or
long workouts. An average man can have adequate physical exercise through
Yoga, Aerobics etc. at his residence within 30 to 35 minutes. It would be
better if the State administration invested some money for building of sports
clubs for police officers and the men where facilities are available at
nominal or no charge.
Standards of physical fitness should be implemented strictly and
followed by officers and men of the police force. If they are not fit, they
should be kept away from duty till they attain their physical standards. Not
only the top officers but even the police constables must be in shape.
steps would be taken to keep the police force trim and fit.
Constant training and newer inputs are necessary for carrying out any
job efficiently. The police personnel at all levels need to be given training
in policing techniques and new improvements. At the end of each session, there
should be a test to see the impact of training methods. This should result in
boosting the confidence and morale of the policemen.
Appropriate action will be taken.
Training sessions should include legal provisions, and subjects like
Criminology, Social Behaviour and relations with public. It should be stressed
that policemen are friends of the public. Citizens should also be invited for
Attendance in training sessions, P.T., parade should be made
Steps would be taken to improve training programmes in the light of the
and Peace Committees
i) It is necessary to
disseminate authentic and correct information through authorised channel. It
is essential to have proper public relations machinery. As a general rule,
police officers should not give information to journalists or citizens. Only
the Commissioner should have the right to hold the Press Conferences and Press
Briefings either by himself or through his nominated officer.
Appropriate instruction would be issued.
Peace Committees should comprise respectable persons from the locality not
connected with the political parties, viz., professionals, merchants or social
workers with no political linkage.
However, Government feels that presence of local political leaders in Peace
Committees will help in resolving disputed issues.
i) Weapons available with the police in the police stations were
inadequate, both in quality and quantity to meet the contingencies which arose
during December 1992 and January 1993.
Fire arms available to police are .303 rifles and .410 muskets. Even
these are not available in sufficient numbers; .410 muskets appear to be
303 rifle is an adequate weapon to
deal with riots. 7.62 SLR is a quality fire-arm with additional advantage that
it is self-loading. Adequate arms should be provided to the police so that
every policeman can have at least one fire-arm. This will boost the confidence
and morale of the police.
Every police officer should be issued a revolver till his retirement.
Regular review would be taken to ensure the adequacy of quality and quantity
of police weaponry.
Lathis are heavy and cumbersome. Policemen may instead be
provided with truncheons. Truncheon can be hooked to the belt and the hands of
the policemen are free for better use. Truncheons are better in hand-to-hand
fights while lathis can be snatched away.
Training in use of fire–arms should be given so that investment in
fire arms is useful.
Appropriate action would be taken.
The metal helmets given to the policemen are heavy and cumbersome.
Helmets of lighter material and hand–shields, which are strong enough to
stop stones and sharp objects, should be provided for protection.
Appropriate action would be taken.
Bullet-proof vests should be provided to the policemen.
Appropriate action would be taken.
Riot control methods used in Western countries should be considered.
The standard equipment issued to the policemen in those countries may be
studied and implemented. Rubber bullets, electric shotgun and water cannons
are freely used for controlling communal riots.
Appropriate action would be taken.
The study of riot controlling techniques in advanced countries should
not be used merely as an excuse for foreign jaunts. It should be used for
effective implementation of a useful technique in indigenous conditions
in communication systems
i) Phone must be picked up within the third ring. A responsible police
personnel, while answering the phone, should also note the incoming call and
enter it in a register which would form part of the Police Station’s Record.
If necessary, more telephone lines or EPABX equipment must be sanctioned.
Appropriate action would be taken.
During the riot periods, it was found that unauthorised messages were
given and police frequencies were sometimes used for vituperative and
conflicting message. Greater vigilance is required in this. Secret codes of
channels should be known only to authorised persons. Outsiders should not be
able to use them.
are noted. Radio Trunking System has been sanctioned to the Mumbai Police for
preventing intrusion into wireless network.
Alpha-numeric pagers, cellular telephones and computers which can be
inter-linked has made communication easy. These equipment need to be provided
to the Mumbai Police.
Necessary steps have been taken to provide computers to every police station
with networking to the Main Frame.
of Records with reference to Communal Riots
i) It is necessary that the police stations maintain an accurate
updated list of communal goondas. There has been scant attention paid
to this. This is one of the weaknesses of the present riot–control scheme.
are noted. Necessary instructions in this regard will be issued.
Interrogatory sheets maintained under the present system are
significantly silent on some vital issues. These need to be revised and
Appropriate action would be taken.
There is a lack of information about the political or other affiliation
of the accused. This information would help the police to easily zero in on
the accused for future preventive actions.
Police should revamp the proforma of interrogatory sheets and devise a
special proforma for the accused in communal offences. This would facilitate
availability of necessary information and identification of possible
associations and connections of the accused.
The Commission strongly recommends that the State Government set aside
sufficient finances to overcome the problem of lack or inadequacy of
stationery in the police stations.
Necessary steps would be taken to provide adequate funds to make available
required stationery to the police.
Each police station must be provided with computers and should be
linked with Headquarters and other police stations with computer network so
that there is a fast exchange of vital inputs.
Appropriate action would be taken.
The Control Room records need to be maintained in better form. Control
Room has a system of simultaneously audio recording of wireless messages, so
that a Log Book can be prepared on the basis of such audio records. It was
further noticed that there is insufficient supply of audio–cassettes in
Control Room. Utmost care must be taken to maintain such equipment by
providing stand-byes for emergencies.
Steps will be taken to provide adequate number of audio–cassettes. Mumbai
Police would be instructed to duplicate the records and keep audio–cassettes
as permanent records.
Control Room should maintain a Log Book comprising the following information:
Name and address of the spot where trouble took place;
Date and time of incident, when controlling operation started and
The nature of
operation, in case of firing, number of rounds fired, number of deaths, number
of injured, how many persons arrested, number of persons sent to hospitals —
with the name of hospitals; and
Any other relevant information.
Steps will be taken for properly maintaining Log Books in the Control room
with relevant information.
Maintenance of riot diaries, though suggested by several Commissions,
seems to have been ignored. This needs to be done with immediate effect.
Instructions would be issued to the police for strict compliance with the
i) It is very necessary to have effective policing of slums. Every slum
should have a police station or a self-sufficient Out-Post, so that officers
and men attached to the police station have a good knowledge of the area.
Appropriate action would be
Mohalla Samitees should have equal representation of
different communities living in the slums. Mohalla Samitees should be
made to work in close contact with the local police so that an exchange of
information and ideas is possible.
Appropriate action would be taken.
Officers with a thorough knowledge of slums and slums dwellers should
be posted to the slums. These officers should not only know respectable
citizens but also undesirable elements and establishments, such as liquor
Appropriate action would be taken.
Proper lighting should be provided in the lanes and bye–lanes.
Necessary steps will be taken to comply with the recommendation
i) Four Rapid Action Squads having high mobility and striking power
must be established and stationed at strategic locations so that their help is
readily available. Minimum 7 Companies (6 active and 1 reserve) may be given
training in riot control methods. Four of them should be located at strategic
locations as Rapid Action Squads.
Necessary steps will be taken to create Rapid Action Squads in Maharashtra
Each Rapid Action Squad should be fully equipped with vehicles in top
condition, communication equipment, gas–guns, tear–gas, helmets,
truncheons and shields of good quality and in adequate quantity.
Appropriate action will be taken.
i) Manpower available with the police is extremely inadequate and as a
result an average policemen is required to work for at least 12 hours. These
constables are poorly paid and over–worked. It is imperative that the number
of personnel should be increased so that every police officer/policemen will
be able to go home after normal duty. It is high time that Government looked
into the matters of finances regarding the reduction of working hours for
Appropriate action would be taken.
Instead of viewing police security as status symbol, it should be given
only to persons who need security. Charges may be recovered from these persons
who demand security from the police.
Appropriate action will be taken.
i) There is an acute shortage of houses for lower functionaries in the
police department. Wherever police quarters are available, they are
insufficient and there are long waiting lists which lead to corruption in
allotment of houses. This matter should be urgently tackled.
Steps are being taken to build more houses for the police to augment the
During December 1992 and January 1993 a fault was noticed in the system that
adequate Reserve Force was not available to deal with the riot. At a given
time, at least five groups should be in reserve.
Appropriate action will be taken.
and use of loudspeakers
i) Religious activities in congested areas led to communal flare–up.
Similarly, announcements on loudspeakers and religious observances in public
places led to avoidable tension among different communities.
There should be a strict control in the matter of religious processions
and a deposit of Rs. 5,000 should be taken from the processionists. They
should give a written guarantee that they will conduct the procession in a
peaceful manner. In case of any trouble, deposit should be forfeited and
action taken against them.
The number of policemen required to accompany the procession should be
determined by the Senior Police Inspector of the Police Station.
Religious observances by Hindus, Muslims or any other communities which
cause an annoyance or obstruction to the citizens should be handled firmly by
the police. Action should be taken against persons who defy orders of the
i) Such orders should be strictly enforced and any defiance should
result in penalty. The police must take into confidence the political leaders
and other organisers and inform them about the strict enforcement of the
order. The public should be informed of such orders and repeated announcements
should be made on T.V.
Appropriate action would be taken.
i) Politicians should be prohibited from visiting Police Station and
interfering in the police work. It is noticed that communal goondas get entry
into the police station and they try to browbeat the police officers. This
should be stopped at all costs. Any information required by the Ministers and
dignitaries should be routed through the Police Commissioner and they should
contact only this officer.
Prosecution launched against rioting persons or for communal offences
should not be withdrawn. Senior officers have the
responsibility to ensure that police are
not pressurised into registering the offences, not registering offences,
arresting or not arresting the person related to communal riot. Honest and
bona-fide action taken by the police should be backed by the top officers.
with Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and other Central Agencies
i) It was noticed during the riots that police failed to make effective
use of army columns. The army columns were only sent for flag marches and
rioters were not afraid of army in spite of clear–cut provisions in law and
Army Manual. There was no co–ordination between the police and army
does not accept that there was lack of co–ordination between police and army
authorities. However, necessary instructions would be issued for more
The top officers should not feel below their dignity to seek the
assistance of the army during the riots. Army columns should immediately be
given operational duties.
Instructions regarding the procedure of seeking army assistance by
civil authorities should be clearly issued and these must be circulated right
up to the level of inspectors. They must be well trained in the subject and
the relevant law.
Appropriate action will be taken
Better co–ordination is necessary between the police and the army
after army is requisitioned.
i) Police stations must be established taking into account the crime
figures. Whenever housing complexes are established, it should be obligatory
for the builders, societies to provide accommodation for police station.
the police force
i) The evidence before the Commission suggests that there is
polarisation in the police force on communal lines in some measure.
stray exceptions, the police force in Mumbai, by and large, is secular and
non–communal. Efforts will be made to weed out communal elements to enhance
the secular character of the police force.
Communal thinking by common citizens may not produce visible and
harmful results. Communal thinking by the police is dangerous. It is necessary
to exorcise the police force of this evil and to inoculate it against it.
Appropriate action will be taken.
Continuous process of education will ensure that members of the police
force attain maturity and become secular. They should not be affected by
communal thinking by coming into contact with such literature or communal
talks. Highly motivated social workers should communicate with the police to
combat communalism. The officers at the level of Deputy Commissioner of
Police, Assistant Commissioner of Police and Senior Police Inspector, should
regularly interact and deliver talk to combat communalism. Deviant conduct on
the part of police personnel must be brought to the notice of the seniors.
Such persons should be first counselled and if the communal behaviour
persists, suitable action may be taken.
Appropriate action will be taken.
Top officers must keep a vigilant eye on the postings, promotions and
transfers to ensure that communalism is not at work.
is taking precautions to insulate postings, promotions and transfers from
communalism. However, instructions for greater vigilance will be issued.
Regular weekly parades and attendance should be made compulsory.
Necessary instructions will be issued.
i) This scheme needs to be revamped in the light of experience gained
during the riots of December 1992 and January 1993. The deficiencies thrown
in countering rumours which spread like wild fire, and the inability of
the system to identify the source, need to be remedied.
Appropriate improvements would be carried out.
Control Room organisation needs modernisation with boards and charts
etc. so that information is readily available. The officer–in–charge
should be senior and experienced.
process for computerisation of records and control room is already on.
Control Room should have a computer for a quick analysis. There is
sufficient technology available in our country for this purpose.
Appropriate action would be taken.
of police personnel
The evidence before the Commission indicates that some police indulged
in arson, looting and actual participation in the riots. The Commission
recommends strict action against such persons.
Commission has indicated some officers and policemen in Mumbai Police for
their delinquency in the handling of riots. A Committee under the Director
General of Police and consisting of representatives of Home Department, Law
and Judiciary Department and Director of Prosecution will examine the cases
for taking appropriate action.
In addition, the Commission has (Para 1.25, Chapter II) observed that
rising unemployment, insecurity of jobs, rapid growth of slums, huge
population, changing political discourse and polarisation of communities led
to a psychology of frustration and aggressive behaviour among people which
further caused riots and violence in Mumbai.
generally agrees with this conclusion. However, Government would also like to
add that activities of criminal gangs in Mumbai, the role of ISI of Pakistan
in instigating riots and increasing fundamentalism are also important factors
for causing communal riots in December 1992 and January 1993 and also for the
series of bomb blasts.
Similarly, the Commission has observed (Para 1.28, Chapter II, Volume
1) that the effete political leadership, vacillation for political reasons and
the confusion caused by conflicting orders given to the police were also
important reasons for spreading of the riots.
agrees with these observations. In addition, in Government’s view, one of
the important reasons for the riots flaring up was the efforts of one–upmanship
over the other between the then Congress Chief Minister, Shri Sudhakarrao Naik
and the then Defence Minister, Shri Sharad Pawar. Because of the differences
between these two, the administration of the Maharashtra Government was not
only weakened but it also lost its reputation and the riots which should have
been brought under control immediately, continued for weeks and weeks. Once
again the psyche of both the communities got divided causing on the whole
incalculable loss. Mumbai metropolis which was famous for its communal
harmony, suffered a blot for all time to come.
above discussion would show that the Government has accepted, as they are, a
majority of the recommendations made by the Commission. The Government has
also decided to take action on the recommendation and in some cases, action
has already started. [For example: Increase in the constabulary, increase in
the number of police stations, improvement in Wireless System (Radio Trouncing
System), computerisation of work, provision of modern weapons and vehicles,
creation of new Regions (North-East, North-West and Central Region and
appointment of Additional Commissioners of Police)].
Chapter I to IV from Volume I
the Commission and comments of the Government
However, Government does not agree with many conclusions of the
Commission recorded in chapters I to IV, Volume 1, for the following reasons:
The Commission has observed (Para.2.4, Chapter 1, Volume I) that
slogans like “Mandir vahin banayenge” and “Is desh me rahna
hoga to Vande Mataram kahna hoga” are communal and there was less of
religion and more of politics in these activities.
feels that a demand for construction of a temple cannot be communal because
such a demand can be made under Fundamental Right guaranteed by the
Constitution of India. “Vande Mataram” has been given the status equal to
the National anthem and, therefore, Government does not find anything
objectionable in the slogan. “Is Desh me rahna hoga to Vande Mataram kahna
The Commission observes (Para.1.1, Chapter III, Volume I) that the
demolition of the Babri Mosque caused a spontaneous reaction of Muslims and
this led to outburst of riots. The Commission observes that “The December
1992 phase of the rioting was a spontaneous reaction of leaderless and
incensed Muslim mobs. This commenced as a peaceful protest but soon
degenerated into riots”.
Government does not agree with the opinion that the riots in December 1992
were a spontaneous reaction of the Muslim mobs as fully explained in sub–para
The Commission observes (Para 4.2, Chapter 1, Volume I) that a mob had
gathered near Ambedkar Garden near Charni Road around midnight on 6th December
ascertaining the facts, it was noticed that the said Ambedkar garden is not at
Charni Road but at Chembur. The gathered crowd had not collected for any
communal reason but to commemorate the Mahaparinirvan day of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
which falls on 6th December, every year.
Similarly, in the same sub–para, the Commission observes that there
was trouble near Bharat Cafe in Chembur at 00-45 hours.
said Bharat Cafe is not at Chembur but at Ghatkopar. The Police Mobile visited
the place and found that there was no trouble there as reported.
Similarly, the Commission notes in Para 4.3, Chapter I, Volume–I that
there was trouble reported near Bombay Municipal Corporation Building Dargah,
Lohar Chawl, within the jurisdiction of L.T. Marg Police Station, at 11-34
ascertaining the facts, no such trouble seems to have occurred.
The Commission further notes (Para 4.8, Chapter I, Volume I) that in
Dharavi jurisdiction, local leaders of Shiv-Sena took out a cycle rally of
200-300 persons through several congested and predominantly Muslim areas.
Several provocative speeches were made at this meeting.
ascertaining the facts, it was found that the said rally was not to celebrate
demolition of Babri Mosque but it was a pre–scheduled rally for construction
of Ram Temple.
In addition, the Commission observes (Paras 4.9 to 4.13, Chapter I,
Volume-I) that there was trouble at Imam Wada, Bhendi Bazar, Masjid Cross
lane, Hazrat Nagar, Jogeshwari
and Kala Killa. The Commission further observes, “500 people are reported to
be indulging in stone throwing at 23–22 hours near Minara Masjid in Pydhonie
jurisdiction.” This becomes intensive and police becomes the target. The
police use force and disperse the crowd successfully by 23–26 hours
(Para.4.14, Chapter I, Volume I). While discussing this event in detail (Para.
1.3 A (ii), Chapter II, Volume–I), the Commission observes, “even at this
stage, if the mobs had been handled tactfully and with sensitivity by the
police, the protests would have peacefully blown over. The police mishandled
the situation and by their aggressive posture turned the peaceful protests
into violent demonstrations”.
Muslim mob had gathered at Minara Masjid around 23–22 hours. The Commission
has also noted that the Babri Masjid
was demolished around 12–30 hours. Thus, gathering of a mob around
midnight cannot be said to be a spontaneous reaction of the Muslims. On the
contrary, the mob seems to have come prepared for the protest after 10 to 12
hours. The Commission has also called this mob as leaderless and agitated but
protesting peacefully. Here it must be said that damaging the municipal van
and pelting stones on the police are not signs of peaceful protests. Moreover,
the Commission has itself observed earlier that the police used force and
successfully controlled the trouble which started at 23–22 hours within 4
minutes by 23–26 hours.
Government cannot, therefore, agree that police misdiagnosed and mishandled
The Commission has also observed that in the beginning of January 1993
some people posing as officers of MHADA went around surveying the houses owned
by Muslims in Pratiksha Nagar in Antop Hill Police Station jurisdiction. These
could have been Shiv Sainiks (Para 1.7(vii), Chapter II, Volume I).
cannot agree with this observation of the Commission since the Commission has
commented in Para. 2.6, Chapter I, Volume–I that this was a motley group of
youths in the age group of 18–25 years. They have not been referred to as
Shiv Sainiks. Government cannot understand how “group of youths” in
Volume–II can become “Shiv Sainiks” in Volume–I”.
Commission has also observed that Shiv Sainiks launched attacks with
military precision with list of Muslim establishments and voters’ lists in
cannot at all agree with this conclusion as no strong and reliable evidence
has been presented before the Commission which warrants such a conclusion.
The Commission itself observes (Para. 1.3(D), Chapter II, Volume –I)
that the situation started improving from the 9th
December 1992 and law and order was under control and peace was restored by
the 12th December 1992.
Second Phase of Riots
While drawing its conclusion about the second phase of riots, the
Commission does not accept (Para. 1.27, Chapter II, Volume–I) that the
murders of Mathadi workers and Radhabai Chawl incident were reasons for
outburst of riots in January 1993. According to the Commission, Muslims and
their properties were being attacked from 12th
December 1992 to 15th
January 1993. Professional criminals carried out several stabbing incidents in
different areas of the city for instigating communal riots. The Commission has
also concluded that provocative writings in newspapers, in particular in Saamna
and Navakaal exaggerated reports of the murders of Mathadi workers
and the Radhabai Chawl incident and incited the communal passion. The
Commission, in addition, blames the Hindutvawaadi organisations and leaders
for the second phase of riots.
cannot agree with these conclusions of the Commission. The Commission has
itself noted that there were a large number if stabbing incidents and all
these stabbing incidents were mostly in Muslim areas, such as Dongri, Pydhonie,
Nagpada, V.P. Road and also majority of the victims were Hindus (Para 1.7)
(iv), Chapter II, Volume-I). The Commission accepts in the same sub–para
that the stabbings were carried out by Muslims with noted goondas Salim
Rampuri and Firoz Konkani in the lead. It is worth noting that all these
incidents took place before the inhuman incidents at Radhabai Chawl and the
gory murders of the Mathadi workers. In addition, the Commission also accepts
that the stabbing incidents were carried out with a view to instigate communal
riots. The Government is certain that all these attacks were well planned and
carried out with full preparation. Similarly, the Commission itself notes that
the attacks were carried out with a motive to whip up communal frenzy. Hence,
the conclusions of the Commission, “that the killers were criminals was
under–played by the Hindus; that they were Muslims was all that mattered,”
and the Hindus gave a communal colour to
these incidents are, according to the
Government, contradictory and erroneous.
On the night of 5th
January 993, a Mathadi worker employed in the godown of Vijay Transport
Company was suddenly stabbed to death and three more Mathadi workers who came
to help him were also stabbed to death. According to the Commission, this
incident is not responsible for the January 1993 riots.
cannot accept this observation of the Commission. The Commission itself
accepts that the Mathadis were asleep, that one of them had gone to relieve
himself at night. He was suddenly done to death and three more Mathadi workers
who went to help him were also stabbed to death. The said Mathadi workers were
Hindus and they worked with Vijay Transport Company owned by a Hindu. The
murders took place with full knowledge of these facts. The Governments feels
that the Commission is unjustified in making a comment that “Hindus kicked
up a furore that the murders had been committed by Muslims”. Government is
of the view that the murders of innocent and sleeping Mathadis in this fashion
was a provocative act inciting communal riots.
The Commission has also observed that from 8th
January 1993, the Shiv Sena and Shiv Sainiks carried out organised attacks on
Muslims and their properties under the leadership of Shiv Sena chief Bal
Thackeray who acted like a veteran general.
Government totally disagrees with these distorted statements of the Commission
as no concrete evidence has been presented before the Commission which can
warrant such an inference, let alone conclusion. On the contrary,
anti–national Muslim forces, within and outside the country, instigated
these communal riots, continued them for a long period and carried out serial
bomb blasts on 12th march 1993, in which 257 people died and 713 were injured.
These were mostly Hindus. Property worth Rs. 27 crore was destroyed.
Government notes with distress and surprise that
the Commission has not even cared to take serious note of these incidents.
The Commission observes that during the wee hours of 8th January 1993,
at about 00–30 hours, some of the Hindu residents in a Chawl, called
Radhabai Chawl were locked from outside and set on fire by miscreants. One
male and 5 female members of a Hindu family (Bane) and their neighbours were
charred to death and three other Hindus sustained serious burn injuries. One
of the victims was a handicapped girl (Para. 1.11 (i), Chapter II,
Volume–I). The Commission dismisses this highly horrifying, beastly and
grisly incident by making a distorted comment, “This incident was
sensationalised by the media by giving exaggerated and provocative reports”.
feels that the above actions were highly provocative, pre–planned and
carried out with full preparation. This was such a horrifying, cruel and
gruesome incident that even an ordinary person would have got highly excited
and would have lost his mental balance. Government is surprised as to how the
Commission does not acknowledge this incident with adequate gravity and, on
the contrary, blames some parties for inciting religious frenzy and alleges
that some Marathi newspapers gave exaggerated reports and sensationalised the
issue. Government cannot accept these conclusions because the news items were
indeed based on facts.
A series of stabbings and
these two incidents worried the Hindus about their future and a spontaneous
reaction for self-protection started. The Commission has not even acknowledged
the communally–inciting, exaggerated, provoking and vituperative writing in
Urdu newspapers which was totally contrary to facts and even asked for
“Jehad” (For example, there is a ban on reading of Koran, Muslims are
being butchered and Muslim women are being outraged, etc). This
propaganda was totally false and misguiding. When the Urdu newspapers were
giving provocative, totally unfounded and false news, Government does not deem
it appropriate to blame only certain Marathi newspapers.
In addition, the Commission, while referring to the incidents of 7th
January 1993, observes that, “the stabbing incidents resulted in death of 16
Hindus and 4 Muslims and injured 41 Hindus and 12 Muslims (Para. 1.10(i),
Chapter II, Volume-I). The analysis of these events made by the Commission
leads to the conclusion that even the January 1993 riots were caused because
of the aggressive behaviour of Muslims and not of the Hindus.
One more example of the aggressive behaviour of the misguided Muslims
is that, during December 1992 and January 1993 when a large number of
policemen were on duty at sensitive and highly sensitive spots and the army
was patrolling trouble spots, 57 Hindu places of prayer were attacked.
Similarly, both the riots continued for more than a week. It is thus clear
that the Muslims carried out the riots in pre–meditated, well planned and
organised manner. The target of riots was especially police, which is the
visible symbol of Government’s authority. Attacks on police are nothing but
attack on the Government. It is necessary to note this; this cannot be
dismissed as an ordinary matter. Government, therefore, cannot agree with the
conclusion of the Commission blaming the Hindus for inciting the Muslims and
starting the second phase of the riots.
When action and reaction are taking place rapidly, it is difficult to
investigate as to where they started. To say that the Hindus started the riots
is to ignore the facts. The Commission has referred to Shri Balasaheb
Thackeray and his interview in the Time magazine. Shri Balasaheb Thackeray has
denied the statement attributed to him in the interview. Anita Pratap, who
published the interview, could not even produce the simple tape of the
interview before the Commission. Since no other supporting evidence is
available, the denial of Shri Balasaheb stands.
The Government has also noticed that provocative statements made by
many Muslim leaders were ignored by the Commission. Some of these leaders had
called for a boycott of Republic Day and had given a call for wearing black
ribbons and black flags. It is improper to blame only one
group during such surcharged atmosphere when leaders from both the
communities were hurling invectives at each other.
There is a substantial
population of Muslims in cities such as Delhi,
Madras, Bangalore and Calcutta. The Government wants to highlight that
large–scale and prolonged riots occurred only in Mumbai. Therefore, riots in
Mumbai must be clearly understood. Mumbai is the economic and commercial
capital of the country and hence inimical forces were at work, both inside and
outside the country, had planned to destroy the economic base of the country
by fomenting trouble. This line of reasoning is amply borne out by the
subsequent events of March 1993. The government feels that the Commission did
not fully understand the implication of these factors.
The Government would also like to bring to the notice that several
organised, cruel and violent criminal gangs are operating in the city and some
of their leaders are located outside the country. Such gangs received help,
encouragement and incitement from the I.S.I.; they took full advantage of this
to foment communal strike. Young boys were recruited and sent to Pakistan for
training and they came back to indulge in war–like operations in their own
The “theory of retaliation” attributed to S/Shri Madhukar Sarpotdar
and Manohar Joshi, adversely commented upon by the commission, is explained by
Shri Joshi in his deposition before the Commission. He says that the word
“retaliation” has been used to mean “Pratikriya (reaction)” in
Marathi. It denotes a spontaneous and natural reaction for the actions which
were taking place. The use of the word “retaliation” in the statement was
to denote “aggression” but “self-protection”. Asking the people to
take care for self–protection cannot be termed as improper. Even the legal
provisions allow the right of private defence when one’s life or property is
seriously threatened. Hence, the call given by S/Shri Sarpotdar and Joshi for
self–protection was proper and justified. The Commission has made elaborate
comments on the “retaliation principle”, but it has not even cared to take
note of the call of “Jehad” given by the Muslims. The call to Jehad was
clearly an act of sedition. This contributed to whipping up of the religious
frenzy amongst the Muslims which continued unabated during both the phase of
The Government is of the opinion that the large number of stabbing
incidents of Hindus, ghastly murders of Mathadi workers and blood–curdling
and horrifying incident of Radhabai Chawl led to a spontaneous reaction of
Hindus and to the second phase of riots. In the government’s view, the
stabbing incidents, murders of Mathadi workers and the terrifying incidents at
Radhabai Chawl were carried out by the aggressive Muslim leadership in a
pre–planned manner. Government feels that a leaderless mob alone could not
have sustained such horrifying, rancorous and prolonged riots. The Government
is surprised and shocked that the Commission could not identify its main
leaders steering the riots from behind the curtain. The Government does not
agree with the conclusions given by the Commission on term of reference No.
(ii): “Whether any individual or group of individuals or any other
organisation, were responsible for such events and circumstances” which
blames the Hindus for inciting the Muslims. In the light of the above
appraisal. the government feels that the above conclusions are one-sided,
reached without considering all the facets and against the principles of
Chapter IV, Volume I
Conclusions of the Commission
and comments of the Government
In chapter IV, the Commission has discussed the term of reference III:
“The adequacy or otherwise of the precautionary and preventive measures,
taken by the police preceding the aforesaid incidence”; and term of
reference IV: “Whether the steps taken by the police in controlling the
riots were adequate and proper and whether the police firing resulting in
deaths was justified or not”. The Commission has observed that the
precautionary and preventive measures taken by the police before the above
incidents were inadequate. The intelligence machinery did not give information
in good time about the possible damage to Babri Masjid and no accurate
assessment of the situation arising out of such a contingency was made. The
police failed to get crucial intelligence about the closed–door meetings
held by the Bombay Muslim Action Committee on 2nd December 1992 at Madanpura
and by Shiv Sena at Sena Bhavan on 29th December 1992. On several occasions,
the police stations did not have Urdu–knowing persons who could interact
with Muslims, feel the pulse of Muslim community or even read and understand
Urdu writing. They, therefore, failed to keep themselves abreast of the
communal Urdu writing circulating in the city.
Government does not agree with the above conclusions of the Commission. The
Government wants to say firmly that the State administration and the police
machinery was fully geared to deal with the situation arising out of the
proposed kar seva at Ayodhya on 6th December 1992. The Government and Mumbai
Police had taken several meetings with their officers. There was a close watch
on the movements and meetings of certain groups. Even before 6th December 1992
a large number of preventive arrests, numbering 1,298 persons were made.
The Commission has itself noted (Para. 1.3 Chapter II, Volume I) that
the situation started improving within three days in the December 1992 riots
because of effective handling by the police. The police were successful in
bringing the situation fully under control by 12th December 1992.
The first armed attacks were on the police and even the Commission
accepts that the police were the first targets, in the first phase of riots on
6th December 1992. The Government feels that the police had left no inadequacy
in collection of intelligence, combing operations and preventive arrests
either before or during the riots. On the contrary, the Commission itself
accepts that police acted firmly. Although there was shortage of manpower by
30–35 percent, the weapons and equipment were obsolete, and their vehicles
and communication systems were inadequate, the police could control both the
riots in short periods. The Government feels that the Commission should have
also taken note of the physical and mental tension which came to the lot of
the police for a long period of two months of these riots.
The Commission has observed that the police were biased against the Muslims.
The Government cannot accept these conclusions of the Commission. The
Commission has itself accepted the explanation given by the Commissioner of
Police and has further written that (Para. 1.4, Chapter II, Volume I), “the
aggressive and violent mobs in the initial stages comprised Muslims and,
therefore, Muslim casualties were higher.” The Commission itself dismisses
the theory (Para.1.5, Chapter II, Volume I) that disproportionately large
number of Muslim deaths indicate that police had targeted and liquidated
Muslims because of bias. The Muslims took a greater part in the riots and
violence by the mob. Therefore, larger number of Muslim deaths took place. The
Commission itself says that “the explanation of the Commissioner of Police
that the aggressive and violent mobs in the initial stages comprised Muslims
and, therefore, Muslim casualties were higher does not appear to be as
far-fetched as it has been made out by Muslims” (Para. 1.4, Chapter II,
Although it is true that the number of dead in the December 1992 and January
1993 riots was 900, 347 of these deaths were due to stabbing. 91 in arson, 80
because of violence by mobs, 22 by private firing and 4 because of other
reasons. It is worth noting that the majority of victims in stabbing incidents
The commission blames the police for not having been able to control
the riots effectively. However, the Government feels that although the police
suffered from the paucity of number and resources, they brought the riots
under control in minimum time and handled the riots effectively. The police
opened fire 153 times in the first phase of riots during December 1992. In
this, 30 Hindus, 133 Muslims and 11 others died and 93 Hindus, 189 Muslims and
10 others were injured. In the second phase, police opened fire 308 times,
i.e., double the number of the first phase. In this, 80 Hindus, 90 Muslims and
1 other died and 326 Hindus, 146 Muslims and 5 others were injured. If the
number of dead and injured from both the communities is seen and the
leadership and the role of the two communities in the riots is considered, the
actions taken by the police does not show any bias against any community.
Barring some exceptions, the Government cannot agree with the conclusion of
the Commission that police assumed the role of mute spectators during the
riots or that they even took part in the riots or that they had lost moral
authority to control the riots. On the contrary, while controlling the riots,
two police officers and 5 policemen were killed and 184 police officers and
312 policemen were injured. This shows that police sincerely tried to control
the mobs firmly and impartially with complete disregard to the grave dangers
to their lives.
The Government feels that barring some stray exceptions, the police
force is, by and large, secular, impartial and free from bias. The Government
cannot accept the conclusion of the Commission based on stray evidence of one
or two officers that the entire police force of Mumbai was communalised or
polarised. The Government feels that such a statement could be the personal
opinion of that police officer. The impartial way in which Mumbai police have
handled these or other communal riots for the last many years, have adequately
proved their secular and impartial character.
The Commission also observes
(Para 1.2, Chapter IV, Volume 1) that the Mahaartis were used for
political purposes, communally–inciting speeches were made in them and the
dispersing crowds after the Mahaartis indulged in attacking, damaging
and looting Muslim establishments. The Commission says that Mahaartis
were erroneously treated as purely religious activity and given full freedom
in spite of the above evidence. The responsibility for dealing with such
assemblies on the public street is of the police but the police could not
handle it promptly and effectively and could not give clear–cut directions.
Government cannot accept the above conclusion. While discussing the background
of the riots, the Commission has itself noted that the special privileges
given to the Muslims irritated the Hindus and a feeling of mutual distrust
grew between the Hindus and the Muslims. Moreover, even before the riots, the
crowds gathering for the Friday Namaaz swelled in numbers, came on streets and
created obstruction in traffic. The Mahaartis started as a spontaneous and
natural reaction of the Hindus who were inconvenienced and irritated because
of the action of Muslims to read Namaaz on streets. Thus Muslims were reading
Namaaz and the Hindus were singing Mahaartis, both spilling on streets. In
such a surcharged atmosphere, to ban only Mahaartis, both spilling on streets.
In such a surcharged atmosphere, to ban only Mahaartis would have been
one–sided and provocative and would have further heightened the tension.
Moreover, barring some exceptions, there were no major violent incidents after
Mahaartis. Such a general conclusion by the Commission is not supported even
by the report of the Commission.
The Commission has observed (Para.1.9, Chapter IV, Volume I) that the
police did not use the army properly and on time. Police were reluctant to
take aid of army to disperse unlawful assembly and this led to avoidable loss
of life, limb and property.
cannot agree with this conclusion of the Commission. As elaborately explained
earlier in Para. 15, the police could bring under control the riots started on
6th December 1992 by 9th December
1992, and 12th December 1992, the police were successful in stopping the riots
altogether. Hence, it must be said that the action taken by the police was
effective and the flag march by the army helped in preventing the riots.
Government, therefore, holds a view that the presence of army was definitely
useful in controlling the riots. During the second phase of riots in January
1993, when the police realised that help from the army had become essential
for successfully controlling the rioters, they effectively used the army.
While taking all these actions, police carried out preventive arrests of
people from both the communities during December 1992 and January 1993. In
these were 5,103 Hindus, 3,456 Muslims and 414 others. This shows that the
police brought the riots under control according to the Guidelines for
controlling communal riots. They took all measures, including use of army, for
The Commission has observed
(Para. 1.19, Chapter IV, Volume I) that the police firings, one in the Suleman
Bakery incident in Pydhonie jurisdiction and the other Hilal (Hari) Masjid in
R.A.K. Marg jurisdiction were not justified and resulted in killing of
stated in the Para 48 of this memorandum, appropriate enquiry would be made in
For the above reasons, Government cannot accept conclusions of the
Commission that the precautionary and preventive measures taken by the police
were inadequate and the steps taken by the police in controlling the riots
were inadequate. Government would like to reiterate that police had taken all
possible steps in gathering of intelligence and taking precautionary and
preventive measures. As said earlier, although the police had paucity of
manpower, weapons and equipment, they could control the riots within a short
period by taking effective help from army, wherever necessary.
VI: Terms of reference
Nos. VI, VII and VIII
of the Commission and comments of the Government
The Commission has discussed terms Nos.VI, VII and VIII in Chapter VI.
The terms are as under:
The circumstances and the
immediate cause of the incidents commonly known as the serial bomb–blasts of
the 12th March 1993, which occurred in the Bombay Police Commissionerate area;
Whether the incidents referred to in term (i) have any common link with
the incidents referred to in term (vi) above, and,
Whether the incidents referred to in term (i) and in term (vi) were
part of a common design.
Government agrees with the conclusion of the Commission that the
circumstances and the immediate cause of the serial bomb blasts of 12th March
1993, arose from the riots in December 1992 and January 1993. 257 people were
killed, 713 were injured and property worth Rs. 27 crore was damaged, during
the serial bomb blasts. Out of these, 203 Hindus, 17 Muslims and 37 others
died and 643 Hindus, 45 Muslims and 25 others were injured. It is, therefore,
evident that the serial bomb blasts were carried out with an objective of
wreaking vengeance and was part of a conspiracy to liquidate Hindus. The
Commission has itself taken note of this fact. Anti-national elements made use
of the angry and frustrated youths with evil objective of destabilising the
country. Some anti–national elements, encouraged by ISI, inflamed the
enraged youth to take revenge for the alleged insults and miseries heaped upon
them. A huge conspiracy was hatched in collusion with some Muslim youths to
carry out bomb blasts at important places and Hindu–dominated areas. They
were given appropriate training and appointed for undertaking a vendetta.
After hatching of this conspiracy, some frustrated and angry Muslim
youths were taken to Pakistan for training in sophisticated weapons and
explosives. As a part of this conspiracy, smugglers like Dawood Ibrahim and
Mohd. Dosa smuggled a huge stock of AK–56 rifles, hand grenades and
sophisticated explosives called RDX into India with the help of some criminals
and similar elements in Mumbai. Some stocks were unloaded secretly on the
coast of Raigad District and some others on the coast of Gujarat. The said
goods were secretly transported to Mumbai and also out of Mumbai. They were
stocked at convenient locations, waiting for the signal for their use.
The Commission has itself observed that the serial bomb blasts (Para.
1.3 (iv), Chapter VI, Volume I) were carried out at highly sensitive and
economically and otherwise important places in a pre–determined manner.
These included Air India building, Stock Exchange building at Fort, Century
Bazaar at Worli, Sena Bhavan at Dadar, Hotel Centaur at Juhu and Sahar
International airport. A hand grenade was also thrown towards a parked
The Commission has observed that the enquiry revealed a special role
played by Tiger Memon and his family. Tiger Memon was a kingpin of smuggling
activities and he was the chief accused for supervision of the implementation
of the conspiracy from Mumbai. The Commission further says that “all the
accused, except 2 or 3 are Muslims and there is no doubt that the major role
in the conspiracy, at the Indian end as well as foreign end, was played by
45. The Commission itself accepts (Term No. VII, Para 1) that “there was one common link between the riots of December 1992 and January 1993 and bomb blasts of 12th March 1993. Three or four accused involved in riot cases are also accused in the serial bomb blasts”. Another common link is also acknowledged by the Commission when it further says that the chief plotter of serial bomb blasts, Tiger Memon and his family, had suffered extensively during
riots and, therefore, had deep–rooted motive for revenge. A trusted
accomplice of Tiger Memon, Javed Dawood tailor alias Javed Chikana, had
suffered a bullet injury during the riots and, therefore, he also had a motive
for revenge. Apart from these two specific cases, there was a large body of
angry, frustrated and desperate Muslims, keen to seek revenge for the
perceived injustice done and atrocities perpetrated on them and some others of
their community. It is this sense of revenge which spawned the conspiracy of
the serial bomb blasts.
In term No. (vii), the Commission accepts the common link between the
riots of December 1992 and January 1993 and the serial bomb blasts. However,
in spite of such an overwhelming
evidence, the Commission does not accept that this was a part of a common
design. Government can never agree with this conclusion of the Commission. In
fact, the Government is taken aback that the Commission has not given adequate
importance to the serial bomb blasts although 257 innocent people were killed
in a dastardly manner, 713 were injured and a huge loss of Rs 27 crore was
caused. It is strange that the Commission did not take adequate note of such
unprecedented, horrifying and totally opprobrious and barbarous incidents..
The Commission has devoted 600–650 pages of the original Report for detailed
analysis, minute examination, prolonged discussion and sharp observations
about the riots. Government is surprised that the Commission has chosen to
dispose of terms of reference Nos.VI, VII, and VIII within 3 to 4 pages in a
frivolous and cursory manner.
The Commission itself accepts that the serial bomb blast was a part of
a pre-determined conspiracy. Hence, Government is of the opinion that a
treacherous conspiracy was hatched after the communal riots of December 1992,
and January 1993 with the sole objective of destroying Mumbai, the economic
power house of the country. This was the sole objective of the serial
bomb–blasts in March 1993.
Finally, all the lapses/inadequacies as observed by the Commission will
be brought to the notice of the Director General and Inspector General of
Police, Maharashtra State, Mumbai and others concerned. They will be directed
to take necessary action in the matter.
From January 1993 to February 1998, Hon’ble Justice Shri B.N.
Srikrishna has taken pains to go through a plethora of records and taken
evidence of a large number of deponents. The Government of Maharashtra is
indeed grateful to him for undertaking this enormous, complicated and
difficult exercise of going through this evidence with dedication and
The persistence of communal riots is indeed a very serious problem and
has defied an enduring solution. (That) the communal riots that first surfaced
over a century ago should still continue to plague us even in the Golden
Jubilee Celebration Year of Independence is a matter of deep concern not only
for the State of Maharashtra but for the country as a whole. One of the main
objectives before the Government while constituting the Srikrishna Commission
was that it will bring out certain basic and fundamental concepts and ideas
with recommendations for preventing and controlling riots and Government gave
all co-operation to the Commission. The Government was hoping that the
conclusions and recommendations made by the Commission would be useful like a
beacon not only for the present but would help safeguard our future. Earlier,
too, a number of serious and violent communal riots had taken place in
Maharashtra. We have not still forgotten the 1967 riots of Malegaon, 1970
riots which engulfed Bhiwandi, Jalgaon and Mahad and 1984 communal riots of
Mumbai. Against this background it was expected that the Commission would come
out with suitable directions on the violent and unprecedented riots and serial
bomb blasts of 1992–93. It is, however, regretfully noted that the
Commission did not fulfil this expectation. It is indeed unfortunate that the
Commission while making observations and recommendations did not take a
comprehensive view of all the facets and elements responsible for the riots
and this has led to one–sided conclusions. One community and its leadership
has been held responsible while the other has been more or less absolved. The
difficulties of the police, the exceptional mental stress and physical strain
which the entire force underwent over the prolonged period of 3 months,
braving brutal and violent attacks on them has not merited the attention that
it deserved. Numerous individual instances of bravery and gallantry by
policemen do not find any mention. The entire force has been tainted without
taking into account that it was working beyond its functional capabilities and
physical endurance. Instead, based on the evidence of one or two police
officers, the Commission has come to the unacceptable conclusion that the
entire Mumbai Police is biased. The Commission has not even considered the
tremendous adverse impact it will have on the morale of police and the common
public. The Government has accepted most of the recommendations of the
Commission relating to police administration and effective controlling of
riots. But Government is of the view that some of the conclusions are
one-sided, biased and arrived at with a view to indict a particular person or
community. Therefore, the Government rightly fears that after 5 years, the
wounds, instead of getting healed, will be reopened again and may start
festering. The Government, therefore, reiterates that on account of the
reasons given above, it cannot agree with the conclusions of the Commission
recorded in Chapters I to IV of Volume I of the Report.
The Indian culture having a glorious and uninterrupted tradition of
thousands of years commends tolerance towards different faiths, recognising
that even if the religions are different, our culture is one. Our Constitution
itself is based on liberty, fraternity and dignity of the individual which are
the eternal principles of human existence and the common man is still hopeful
that injustice, atrocity, intolerance and slavery which distort human life,
will come to an end in the near foreseeable future. This Government has always
given priority to reducing religious differences, communal riots and tension.
It is significant to note that there has been no large–scale communal riot
in the State in the last 3 years. Although there could be differences with the
Commission about certain conclusions, the Government would like to assure that
it is committed to creating an atmosphere of friendship, goodwill and harmony
between different religions. The Government is of the view that discord in any
form is not going to serve any purpose. On the contrary, all the disputes can
be resolved by following the principles of universal brotherhood,
understanding and love. This is precisely what the famous Marathi poet
Kusumagraj has highlighted in his poem ‘Prem Yog’:
Mansachya Sanskruticha Saransh
Tyachya Abhyudayachi Aasha
the epitome of human culture,
It is the
conclusion of history
And it is the only hope
Of his future).