u Examination of the evidence also shows that elected
representatives, including cabinet ministers, supported and led large
unlawful assemblies that indulged in large-scale arson, loot, murders
and other offences, including crimes against women.
u Our inquiry shows that the entire bureaucracy of the state,
barring a few exceptions, exhibited a callous and culpable indifference
to what was going on in the state from February 28 onwards. A former
chief justice who appeared before us, summed up the situation
succinctly. Constitutional law and authority stood suspended for
seventy-two hours. No preventive measures were taken against the Hindu
marauders. This attitude is inexplicable and unpardonable. Despite the
presence of provisions for keeping peace and public tranquility in the
Criminal Procedure Code, the provisions of the National Security Act,
state laws providing for the preventive detention of anti-social
elements or their externment and the provisions of the Unlawful
Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, none of these were applied.
u Every one of these officers should face due procedure for this
culpable indifference and be charged for utter incompetence and
u The chief minister and his cabinet colleagues should be
dismissed forthwith, even from the caretaker status he and his
colleagues are enjoying now.
u As many of our
political parties increasingly reflect an absence of proprieties and
non-adherence to the basic principles of democracy and the rule of law,
there is need for a law defining the constructive liability of
individual ministers and the political government collectively, when
such gross crimes take place. This alone will enable people to hold
their representatives accountable.
The Tribunal recommends the immediate detention and prosecution
of Shri Praveen Togadia and Shri Ashok Singhal of the VHP, and Shri
Narendra Modi of the BJP, who, repeatedly, and with impunity, do not
merely incite communal hatred and violence against the country’s
minorities through their rabid armed cadres, in violation of sections
153A and B of the IPC and 295 etc. of the CrPC, which in themselves are
serious enough offences, but also disrupt public peace and order,
vitiate communal peace and harmony and create an atmosphere of
insecurity, tension and active conflict.
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) noted the need to take firm
action on provocative statements, which have the potential to incite
communal tensions and violence. In its "Final Order on Gujarat dated
31st May, 2002", the NHRC has stated that it "had urged that these
[statements] be examined and acted upon, the burden of proof being
shifted to such persons to explain or contradict their statements."
promotion of enmity between different groups on grounds of religion is a
recognised criminal offence under Indian law. Indian Statutory Law also
provides effective protection for the rights of minorities whether in
Gujarat or in the rest of the country. The Indian Penal Code (IPC)
prescribes criminal prosecution for "wantonly giving provocation with
intent to cause riot" (section 153); "promoting enmity between different
groups on grounds of religion" (section 153A); "imputations, assertions
prejudicial to national integration" (section 153B); "uttering words
with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person"
(section 298); "statements conducive to public mischief" (section 505
(1), b and c); and "statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or
ill-will between classes" (section 505(2)).
Judiciary is also empowered to initiate suo motu action, which it
has been loth to do in these circumstances. In addition, section 108 of
the Code of Criminal Procedure allows an executive magistrate to
initiate action against a person violating section 153A or 153B of the
"Guidelines to promote communal harmony" issued by the Indian ministry
of home affairs in October 1997, specify the precise responsibility of
the state machinery when dealing with potentially inflammatory
statements in the context of communal tension. Guideline 15 states that
"effective will needs to be displayed by the district authorities in the
management of such situations so that ugly incidents do not occur.
Provisions in section 153A, 153B, 295 to 298 and 505 of IPC and any
other Law should be freely used to deal with individuals promoting
Besides, Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, which India ratified in 1979, affirms that "Any advocacy of
national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to
discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law."
Despite the existence of these provisions, voluminous evidence relating
to the Gujarat carnage shows that they have been violated. The
executive, the law and order machinery and the judiciary have shown a
marked reluctance to haul up offenders who are guilty of mass crimes.
Tribunal recommends that the state government urgently provide adequate
security to the sections of the Muslim population of Gujarat who wish to
return to their original places of residence and business.
Tribunal recommends independent investigation into cases relating to the
Gujarat carnage under the direct supervision of the chief justice of the
state. The CJ may also be requested to select the sessions judges and
magistrates who should try these cases exclusively. Special courts
should be set up to try the guilty. Inquiries must be instituted by the
CBI against senior police officers and bureaucrats suspected of
dereliction of duty.
(Note: Trials in the 1985 riot
cases in Gujarat, registered against the then health minister, Shri
Ashok Bhatt — one of those who sat in the police control room in
Ahmedabad during the carnage in 2002 — and also against Shri Harin
Pathak, are yet to begin, even after 18 years. The cases have been
stayed in the wake of a High Court order. In the 60 cases registered
against the 263 persons accused of faulty construction, leading to the
death of nearly 800 people in the January 2001 earthquake, trial has
still not begun in a single case, a year and a half later. This is a
sorry record of the justice delivery system).
The impartial and swift prosecution of those guilty of violence,
both in the Godhra massacre and in the incidents that took place
throughout the state thereafter, would go a long way in building
confidence in and in reestablishing the credibility of the state
administration. Without legal and social justice, the issues of peace
and the process of healing for the traumatised survivors, will, simply,
not be addressed.
establishment of a State Human Rights Commission in Gujarat is a matter
of urgency and should be accomplished forthwith.
Suitable amendments need to be made in the existing laws relating to
sexual assault, to incorporate the different kinds of sexual assault
that occurred during the violence in Gujarat. Testimonies before us
narrate that there were numerous instances of gruesome sexual violence,
which involved the insertion of a variety of objects into women’s
bodies, and sexual mutilation of all kinds. The existing definition of
rape is totally inadequate to deal with the various kinds of rape that
took place in the context of the genocide in Gujarat.
Tribunal recommends the immediate suspension of, and action against, the
district magistrates/collectors of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bharuch, and
Himmatnagar since these officials have violated various laws and service
prosecutors should be appointed by the chief justice and not the state
government. There should be adequate representation of the minority
communities among the public prosecutors. To this end, the Tribunal
recommends an amendment to the CrPC, as has been made in the Civil
Procedure Code with effect from July 1, 2002, to ensure that the
appointment of public prosecutors is carried out by the chief justice of
the concerned High Courts, in consultation with at least five judges.
(At present, the appointment of government pleaders in all districts is
being done by the state government in consultation with the district
Tribunal recommends the quick manning of police stations and relief
operations by a sizeable and significant number of representatives from
the minority community (See chapter, Recommendations: Police).
account of the brutal manner in which people were attacked, killed and
burnt across the length and breadth of the state, including residents of
far-flung and hitherto ‘unaffected’ rural areas, many who were killed
could not be identified. These could well be termed ‘missing’ persons,
although they have all been killed. Formalities and paper work, and even
post-mortem examinations have not been possible in many cases where
bodies were destroyed without a trace. Therefore, as part of its wider
duty, the state government should compile and declare a list of
‘missing’ persons and expedite the payment of compensation to family
members who are eligible. In cities like Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bharuch,
Ankleshwar, Anand and elsewhere, victims deposing before the Tribunal
complained of the completely indifferent attitude displayed by the
administration, as a rule, in the matter of payment of compensation to
victim-survivors and especially towards the relatives of the ‘missing
persons’ who were mute witness to the brutal killing of their near and
dear ones and, yet, have no proof (such as a post-mortem or any other
record) of their deaths.
sections of the IPC, the CrPC and other laws pre-date the Indian
Constitution and have not undergone a thorough revision, restructuring
and orientation in keeping with the fundamental principles of democracy,
equity, freedom and equality as contained in our Constitution. While the
Constitution of India was framed in 1950, after India attained
independence, our criminal laws date back to the colonial period and
have not been modified to conform to constitutional provisions in many
respects. Therefore, a new law, termed the National Human Rights Law,
should be formulated to encompass a rights-based perspective. To this
u The provisions of existing criminal justice laws such as the
IPC, CrPC and the Evidence Act should be suitably incorporated in the
u A legal framework should be developed to institutionalise the
rights of the victims of wanton violence to compensation and restitution
from the state, along with relief and rehabilitation.
u A legal framework should be developed to enable the victims of
violence to participate in conflict resolution.
u A legal framework should be developed to promote the rights of
victims of violence and underdevelopment, and to ensure their right to
humane treatment and humane development and governance in the light of
the UN reports on human development and the Mahbub-ul-Haq Human
Development Centre reports on humane governance.
u An independent monitoring system should be established, to
monitor government operations in conflict situations and to ensure the
rights of the conflict-affected communities to adequate protection,
compensation, relief and rehabilitation.
Conflict-affected communities, and especially women and other more
vulnerable sections among them, should be given a voice in determining
the course of action to prevent, mitigate and resolve structural and
political violence. Only by reversing the process of disempowerment
engendered by structural violence and conflict, can sustainable
strategies for development be achieved.
(Note: a) The newly enacted
constitutional amendments to institutionalise Panchayati Raj
Institutions (PRIs), empower the PRIs to deal with specific
developmental functions but leave out regulatory and police functions.
PRIs should be empowered to deal with police functions and the DM and
the SP should be placed under the Panchayat chief in each
u The sections of the
Commission of Inquiry Act that do not make the report of the
commission statutorily binding on the government, need to be amended.
u Another is section 197 of the IPC, a provision that requires
the government to grant sanction for the prosecution of persons spitting
venom orally and in writing, in violation of section 153 A and B of the
IPC. The Tribunal recommends the repeal of this section, which precludes
any individual from criminally prosecuting persons for hate speech until
the government has granted sanction.)
Tribunal believes that no rehabilitation is possible unless the guilty
are brought to book. Wherever the accused have been named, the
government needs to take necessary action so as to instil confidence in
the people and enable them to restart their lives. The Tribunal condemns
all measures taken by the government to force compromises by
pressurising victims to withdraw the names of the accused from police
complaints. Instead the Tribunal demands that:
u Proper FIRs be registered and immediate action be taken. The
police should collect and investigate forensic evidence.
u Wherever possible, searches should be conducted to recover
goods that have been looted from people’s homes or compensation be paid
for the goods lost.
u In view of the extraordinary circumstances under which the
crimes against women were committed, and the evidence that the state
machinery was not accessible to victims, there is a need to relax some
normal requirements of the law to goad the legal process into swift and
u Wherever plots of land and properties belonging to the minority
community have been illegally occupied by Hindu villagers, as is the
case in many districts and villages, urgent and immediate action needs
to be taken to restore these lands and properties to their rightful
owners. Before this, an urgent official survey, statewide, of such ‘lost
lands’ needs to be undertaken at the earliest.
u Thorough procedures of investigation have been consistently
ignored by the police. The culpability of police personnel, where they
have failed to follow basic investigative procedures, should also be
referred to the Grievances Authority. (See
chapter, Recommendations, Long Term: Police).
u The Tribunal
recommends that the police and courts taken legal cognisance of,
even if retrospectively, of FIRs and complaints sent by victim survivors
and affected communities, by registered AD immediately after the
genocidal carnage, given the Gujarat police’s criminal failure in
accurately recording FIRs. Even though months have passed, this needs to
establishment and activities of peace committees in the affected areas
should be encouraged. All efforts must be made to prevent further
ghettoisation of the Muslim community. To this end, specific interest
needs to be shown in the matter by the state government, civil society
and the central government and by their respective agencies.
government should take the necessary steps to restore confidence amongst
all communities. The state government has not addressed the issue of the
betrayal of trust by various sections of the administration and the
consequent sense of extreme insecurity felt by the victims. So far,
rehabilitation has been totally ignored by the state and central
governments, and, to date, the government has treated the post-violence
scenario solely as a matter of law and order and of maintaining the
peace. It has also tried to sweep the enormity of the crimes committed
under the carpet. Eight months after the attack on the Sabarmati
Express, the towns and villages of Gujarat continue to simmer. The
government, and the party that controls the government, should not
indulge in any activity which undermines public confidence and
harmonious relations between communities.
2. Central Government
2.1. In view
of the breakdown of the constitutional machinery in Gujarat, and the
patent, concerted and systematic challenge to the secular foundation of
the polity; to the extent that it failed to protect the life, liberty,
reputation and property of a sitting High Court judge as well as a
retired High Court judge still in service of the government, both
belonging to the minority community; to the extent that in the very
heart of the commercial capital, the large-scale looting, arson, rape
and killing to which the minority community was allowed to be subjected
in a planned and systematic manner; to the extent that the entire
criminal justice system is being polarised and perverted, the Tribunal
recommends that, under the obligations enjoined on it by Article 356,
the union government should immediately impose President’s Rule and
assure the minorities of the safety and the security of their life,
liberty, reputation and property. The present government, which is in
power even after the dissolution of the Assembly, is an irresponsible
government, not answerable to anyone. It is an anti-democratic
President’s Rule, stringent and extensive measures may be undertaken to
de-politicise and de-communalise the bureaucracy and the police at all
levels. The impartial and efficient functioning of the Gujarat
administration and police force, must be restored in accordance with the
provisions and injunctions of the Constitution.
central government should ensure the criminal prosecution of those
office-bearers in the Gujarat government who are found guilty.
central government must end its apathy and impassivity towards the
minorities and stop the present campaign against them, in the name of
the so-called Gaurav Yatras, which are nothing short of a
shameless exhibition of the perversion and glorification of crimes
committed against the minority community.
deliberate attempts to communalise the polity and to generate the
politics of hate are bound to have both short term and long term impacts
on national life as a whole. These impacts can be wished away but only
at the cost of the unity and integrity of the nation. It is the solemn
responsibility of the central government to keep the nation intact, a
duty, which it has quite patently, chosen to ignore.
centre should take a specific and special interest in measures of
reparation, to enable the rehabilitation of affected persons. Adequate
compensation should be given for the reconstruction of residential,
commercial and industrial establishments that were damaged or destroyed.
The relevant rules must be revised and the centre should provide the
necessary financial support, to complete the task of reparation.
centre must bring in a new legislation to implement the Genocide
Convention, which India has signed and ratified, and must use these
measures to prosecute and punish all those who participated in the
planning and the execution of murder, sexual violence, theft and
destruction in the state of Gujarat during the communal carnage. The
Tribunal finds that the state sponsored crimes committed in the state of
Gujarat are nothing short of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity. Hence
the need to have a suitable legislative measure as required by the
government should suitably amend electoral laws so as to disallow
parties that espouse a particular religion, and which act or behave by
word of mouth, print or in any other manner with a view to secure power
through a religious policy, to contest elections to Parliament, to the
Assembly, to the municipal corporation to Panchayats.
government should appoint three high-powered commissions:
u To determine the extent of communalisation within the
administration (bureaucracy) and to suggest various measures to remedy
the situation so as to ensure a secular, independent administration.
u To determine the extent of communalisation of education and
educational institutions, and to suggest various steps to ensure that
future generations are not in any way communalised before they come out
of the schools and colleges.
u To investigate and
determine the activities of all organisations indulging in communal
activities, to determine whether their activities are detrimental to the
interests of the country.
On December 18, 1992, the UN General
Assembly passed the Declaration of Rights of Persons Belonging to
National or Ethnic, Religious or Linguistic Minorities under which
States and Nations are bound to assure the basic rights, safety and
cultural and religious rights of minorities. While the world was taking
cognisance of the acute need to preserve the life, security and dignity
of all minorities – given the violent ethnic conflicts that erupted in
Europe involving minorities in this period— India, following the Babri
Mosque demolition on December 6, 1992 and violent pogroms thereafter,
launched into a phase in its history where the lives, security and faith
of minorities have become increasingly endangered. Article 1, 2 and 4 of
this Declaration need to be borne in mind. This Declaration, taking
cognisance of Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political rights under Article 1, states that "1. States shall protect
the existence and the national or the ethnic, cultural, religious and
linguistic identity of minorities within their territories and shall
encourage conditions for the promotion of that identity. 2. States shall
adopt appropriate legislative and other measures to achieve those ends."
Article 2 states that "1. Persons belonging to National,. Ethnic,
Religious and Linguistic minorities have the right to enjoy their own
culture, to profess and practise their own religion and to use their own
language in private and in public freely and without any interference or
any form of discrimination .2. Persons belonging to such minorities have
the right to participate effectively in cultural, religious, social,
economic and public life." Article 4 states that " States shall take
measures to ensure that persons belonging to minorities may exercise
fully and effectively all their human rights and fundamental freedoms
without any discrimination and in full equality before the law."
ensure impartial assessment of damages, we call on the Indian government
to bring in the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women as also
the UN Special Rapporteur on Religious Minorities and other UN agencies
for various treaties that India is signatory to, for investigation and
3. UN/International Community
that happens, and because national legal mechanisms are extremely
inadequate to deal with crimes of this magnitude where state complicity
of the very highest level has been found; and where there are no laws to
deal with issues of genocide, sexual violence against women in these
circumstances; and so on — there is an urgent need for international
agencies to intervene and help in the process of justice for the victims
of the Gujarat genocide.
Hence the Tribunal appeals to the
International Community to use all the influence at its command with the
government of India and the Gujarat government to ensure the speedy
carriage of justice.
impress upon the government of India, through its Parliament, to
legislate mechanisms for the implementation of the Genocide Convention—
which India has both signed and ratified — and to use these mechanisms
to prosecute and punish all those who participated in the planning and
execution of murder, sexual violence, theft, and destruction in the
state of Gujarat during recent months.
needs to be taken against those who gave provocative speeches on TV
channels and made statements in newspapers, as well as against the
newspapers and TV channels who have published the same, as well as those
that published news and gave it a communal colour, as confirmed by the
report and recommendations of the Editors’ Guild of India.
(See Detailed Annexures, Volume III)
role of sections of the media, particularly the Gujarati language press,
in spreading and inciting violence, should be investigated and all
facilities provided to it, such as advertisements from public
authorities and bodies, postal and transport concessions, credentials,
entry cards and passes, should be withdrawn.
5. Relief & Rehabilitation
Restoration and repair of places of worship damaged and destroyed during
the violence, in consultation with the community concerned.
Constitution of a tribunal for compensation/reparation to victims. This
tribunal should have enough benches spread over an entire city like
Ahmedabad and also have benches in the districts. The tribunal should be
given clear guidelines for the assessment of compensation in respect of
the losses suffered by every individual in the violence. The losses
would include the loss of and damage to homes and belongings, the loss
of life and injuries sustained, the destruction of or damage to
businesses and the loss of means of livelihood, as well as the impact of
sexual assaults on women and their relations. It is the view of the
Tribunal that such tribunals (like those set up after the Dockyard
Explosion in Bombay in 1944 by the colonial power at the time) should be
set up without any further delay to restore a feeling of justice in the
victims of the state sponsored carnage.
The benches of the Reparation Tribunal
u the status of independent judicial authority to assess the
losses suffered and to award and enforce the payment of compensation.
u specific time frames within which they should function.
u the necessary infrastructure to discharge their functions.
5.3. In the
meanwhile, the victims should be rehabilitated on available land,
including government land, at government expense.
Survey of Damage to Life and Property: The state government should
immediately conduct a detailed survey to determine the loss of life,
dignity, property, livelihood and business suffered by the victims and
the compensation, if any, that has been given to them so far. The
findings of the survey should be made public as was done at the time of
the earthquake in 2001 . The findings should include:
u The manner in which the amount of Rs. 150 crores, provided by
the central government as aid to ensure rehabilitation, has been
u Detailed tabulations of the amounts disbursed as compensation
for houses that were damaged or destroyed.
u A detailed survey of the affected persons and the manner in
which they have been affected.
u The identification of destitute women and orphans.
u The tabulation of
victim survivors who suffered serious injuries, including especially
bullet and burn injuries, and payment of compensation-reparation to
them. The amount that is paid should be astertained on the basis of not
simply compensation for the medical aid required for the injury itself,
but from the cumulative impact of it, including loss of livelihood,
physical handicaps suffered and the mental trauma that resulted.
Quick disbursal of Relief:
The government has put a low ceiling of Rs. 50,000 in assessment of
the damage to houses. The vast majority of payments made are well below
this amount; some assessments and surveys claim that the damages are as
low as 5,000 and 10,000. A cursory glance reveals that in the majority
of cases, the damages caused are much higher than the ceiling. In light
of the almost uniform and extensive damage to houses and shops, a
minimum of Rs. 50,000 should be given to all people whose houses and
shops have been damaged. These payments should be made immediately, as
minimum compensation pending detailed assessment by the tribunal as
suggested above. There should be no ceiling on the compensation awarded.
state, along with groups and organisations from among the affected
community and civil society, should ensure that all those who were
affected receive compensation.
state should ensure that foodgrain rations reach the camps and,
thereafter, also reach people from affected communities who have tried
to rehabilitate themselves but still face the loss of livelihood and
impending hunger and starvation because of the economic and social
boycott being faced by them.
rations provided should be adequate and camps should not be closed until
the inhabitants are properly rehabilitated.
state should take complete responsibility for the running and
maintenance of the camps in a humane manner.
u Adequate facilities must be provided to address the health
needs of pregnant women and trauma therapy to all camp residents,
u Adequate and
nutritious food should be made available to all, and in particular to
women and children. Lactating and pregnant women should be given extra
u In the camps, provision should be made for adequate sanitation
facilities, which allow for privacy and hygiene that are particularly
important for women during the menstruation period.
Comprehensive health care, including counselling for trauma, should be
provided on a regular basis and free medical aid should be given to all
victim-survivors. In view of the trauma that the victims, especially
women and children, have suffered, free medical aid, including
psychiatric care, should be provided to them. As there has been
widespread rape, including that of minor girls, special counselling by
medical personnel as well as by social workers should be organised.
Surveys and panchnamas should be rapidly and properly conducted
to ensure timely disbursement of interim and other relief.
Interim and other relief should be handed over to women and men of a
Ration cards and other identity cards should be provided to those who
have lost such documents immediately.
Educational documents/certificates should be provided to those who have
lost such documents immediately. Full protection should be provided to
those who wish to return to their homes, and legal/ownership
documentation should be provided expeditiously in cases where they have
state should allocate land for people who want to shift from camps into
safe localities of their choice, and a special rehabilitation package
should be provided for widows, single women and female-headed
government policy regarding compensation to heirs of ‘missing’ persons
should be changed in view of the abnormal circumstances in which the
people went ‘missing’.
single window system should be established to complete all
administrative formalities, including those concerning relief and
Proper procedures should be laid down to ensure transparency and the
right to information, and this should also apply to arrests, relief and
Outstanding dues to managers of camps should be paid by government.
Economic rehabilitation needs to be undertaken on an urgent footing.
Economic rehabilitation should not be equated with the interim relief.
Although interim relief is crucial in the short term, the state has to
address itself to the issue of long-term employment opportunities for
those affected by the violence. The compensation and relief package
announced by the government of Gujarat does not reflect the extent of
losses sustained nor does it allow for a reasonable opportunity for
economic rehabilitation. The compensation package does not take the
ground realities into account and is, at best, mere token relief.
u The Tribunal recommends urgent and quick disbursal of interest-
free loans for business through a single window clearance system.
u The Tribunal recommends quick disbursal of insurance claims.
u The evidence recorded by the Tribunal from different districts
of the state reveals the depth of communal polarisation in different
sectors, aided and abetted by the party in power in Gujarat. Small and
big businessmen and traders who deposed before the Tribunal testified to
the communal and partisan attitude of assessment officers from the
Oriental Insurance Company, and showed that even those who had insured
their businesses and trades are being denied fair recompense by the
insurance company. The government must look into this matter and take
the guilty to task.
u Job opportunities for women and men should be encouraged by
creating a pool of information, particularly for those on daily wages.
The provision of small, interest-free loans for those wishing to set up
laaris (handcarts), stalls and small shops or any other small
businesses should be made.
u Steps should be taken to ensure education and employment
opportunities for women of the minority community.
u Mass promotion of children who have not been able to take the
annual and Board examinations should be made to ensure that they do not
lose an academic year.
u School transfers should be provided without the insistence on
formal transfer certificates, to facilitate the process of school
transfers for those displaced by the violence;
u The Tribunal recommends the immediate withdrawal of textbooks
in Gujarat and elsewhere, which distort history, sow communal discord
and teach communal hatred.
u The genocide in Gujarat has had a serious impact on the young,
their mental and phsyical well-being especially their schooling and
education. Special attention needs to be paid to this tragic consequence
of the violence on children to ensure how we draw these children back
into the system. The government should encourage and facilitate
creative, formal and non-formal interventions, governmental and
non-governmental, to ensure this.
Reparation, not compensation
The devastation of a section of the
population on a mass scale such as the one witnessed in Gujarat has to
be distinguished from sporadic violence against a few individuals
resulting in the loss of life and property. In the former, an attempt is
made to uproot people through an organised plan, with the connivance and
support of the state, with a view to wiping them out without a trace. In
such cases, the usual compensation doles cannot recuperate the losses
suffered by the people in question. What is needed is their complete
rehabilitation, physically, psychologically and spiritually. In such
cases, losses have to be calculated, not only in terms of the loss of
men and material, but also in terms of the loss of human-self of
survivors who have to be resuscitated as human beings and induced to
start a new life by overcoming the trauma of the devastation. The cost
of such a revival is inestimable. The loss of all that is near and dear,
including the lives of close relatives, the complete defacement of past
existence, the shattering of all dreams, hopes and aspirations, and the
cruel uncertainties of the future are all that the survivor is left
with. He or she has to live with it every moment of his or her life.
What is needed in such circumstances is not mere rehabilitation of
material existence but the dignified restoration of all the survivors in
all aspects of societal life. Hence, what is needed to be paid is not
only compensation for the material loss but also the cost of reparation
as a societal being. The government, therefore, is duty bound to assess
these costs in human terms as well, while calculating the losses
suffered by the victims.
6. Civil Society
Peace committees must be set up in all
localities, including the unaffected ones. These committees should be
involved in creating a conducive atmosphere for the victims to return
home once their places of residence are reconstructed.
7. National Human Rights Commission
compliance with Article V of the International Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948, which India
signed in 1948 and ratified in 1958, a state that is signatory is bound
to effectively act upon and legislate upon the intents of the
legislation. Our country has not complied with this requisite in the
Convention although more than five decades have passed. The Tribunal has
clearly held that the crimes in Gujarat were Crimes against Humanity and
Genocide. To date, however, there is no law in force to ensure the
punishment of those who are guilty of these crimes. Under the present
political circumstances, the Tribunal does not expect either the state
of Gujarat or the union of India to enact such a much-needed law.
the fact that there is no law on genocide at present, the Tribunal holds
that the Covenant on Genocide has become part of customary law, as it
does not conflict with any other existing law. Such an interpretation of
the law is imperative and binding on the NHRC. Such an approach would
help the NHRC to conduct a detailed investigation into the crimes in
Gujarat and submit a detailed report to the government and the nation.
The facts narrated in the NHRC’s Summary Report on Gujarat already add
upto a prima facie accusation of genocide. The Commission has a
present and urgent obligation to the people and a mandatory obligation
to posterity to inquire into the Gujarat violence and record its
findings so that no political party and no government in future ever
resort to such brutal practices.
7.3. As part
of this obligation, the NHRC must prepare a Model Statute on Genocide
including provisions that allow for effective preventive measures to
protect religious, ethnic and linguistic minorities from attack. This is
mandatory because, under the International Criminal Code, genocide and
crimes against humanity are declared as offences. State actors may not
follow this but Human Rights Commissions set up by various countries
will have to enforce them, however limited their jurisdiction may be.
"Genocide is an attack on human diversity as such, that is upon a
characteristic of the human status without which the very words
‘mankind’ or ‘humanity’ would be devoid of meaning’’ (Hannah Arndt). The
carnage in Gujarat was nothing short of genocide and needs to be dealt
with in a manner befitting the gravity of the offence.