The Tribunal recorded 2,094 oral and written statements
in the fortnight-long sittings. While major issues that arose out of the
data contained in the data have reflected in the analysis, it is possible
that some disparities show up since the teams that gathered and processed
the data were not professionals.
Areas most acutely affected by the violence were
identified and sittings then scheduled. Public announcements of the
sittings were made in advance. At least two Judges were present from the
eight member Tribunal when the most critical areas and sites were visited.
Statements were taken voluntarily. In many cases, Hindu
representation from affected areas was sought by members of the Tribunal.
The witnesses deposed as direct depositions before members of the Tribunal
and the convenors and volunteers recorded written statements. The
testimonies were not time bound, as a result of which the spontaneity has
been preserved. While 94.5 per cent of the testimonies were from Muslim
survivor victims, 5.5 per cent were from Hindus from the same affected
areas or from neighbouring localities.
A broadly similar format was used though this was not
rigid to affect uniformity. (see Form, Detailed Annexures, Volume III)
Cause of Riots
This was ascertained from the data collected in the
forms through multiple codes. The idea was to ascertain what different
kinds of causes, or what sort of similarity existed. Hence details of
slogans raised by the mob during assault and any other details
about the persons shouting slogans were a category. To emerge at an
understanding of whether or not there was a conspiracy or not, details
were sought about whether to not any group meeting had taken place
before the attack. Thereafter to ascertain more details a question was
also raised about why addressed the group, the venue for the meeting,
the spread of a rumour before the attack, the geographical area from where
the rumour spread, the precautions had taken after rumours spread etc.
Effect of the Violence
Loss to person
To arrive at some understanding of the extent of losses
suffered, extensive details on this were sought from the data fields on
the form. Here details of attack on the place of dwelling
(Residence) in terms of the date, time and place were sought apart from
the details of the attack itself. Details were sought also on damages to
other residences and properties in the locality that the deponent had
Details regarding dead persons: apart from the name and
age and details of the accused the Cause of death was sought to be
ascertained (1) Due to sharp cutting weapon, (2) By burning, (3)
Private Firing, (4) Any other reasons. The details from the evidence
regarding the post-mortem report, FIR—whether it had been filed or
not; the, the names of witnesses were also sought.
Details of gender crimes were sought as also the police
response to each one of these in respect of response at the time of the
crime itself, registration of offences, naming complainants and arresting
Loss of Life, Threat to Life, Damage to property.
Details of the kind of destruction were also solicited.
Loss to family/known
Known applies to known accused from the area.
Livelihood lost, education disrupted, Physical and mental trauma, earning
member dislocated, migration were some of the field in which
information was sought.
The kind and extent of damage to the community details
were sought as also details of the attack if there was more than one.
Patterns of Violence
This was a valid determinant and visible patterns
emerged. The data collection revolved around how many people were
involved, whether they carried weapons, were they local people or
outsiders. The materials that they carried for attack were also detailed
in fields for the respondent like kerosene, petrol, and gas cylinders, any
Specific data was sought on whether or not any
political person is involved in the attack and other details of other
attackers were sought too.
Law and Order
Police —a) whether police was present at the time of
offence, b) inaction; Details of information if given to the police
regarding the attack; c) police responsibility: After how much time
of giving information police reached the place and What steps were taken
by the police?
Fire Brigade: a) whether fire brigade was informed;
b) After how much time of informing fire brigade arrived.
Administration: a) Details of help if sought from any
Medical Aid: did this arrive in time and was it
Details of compensation received were also sought from
the deponents compared to their loss of damage.
The Tribunal collected it’s own data on these lines. In
addition, other detailed statistical analyses of over 4,000 forms
published was carried out. This analysis has been carried out by Citizens
for Justice and Peace, Citizens Initiative and Federation for Civil