Concerned Citizens Tribunal - Gujarat 2002
An inquiry into the carnage in Gujarat

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Incidents of Post-Godhra violence


In terms of intensity and scale of violence, this district, along with Dahod and Mehsana, apart from Ahmedabad city, experienced the most systematic and gruesome attacks. Atleast 400 of the 1200 villages in this district were brutally targeted. It seemed that the design was to choose those villages where Muslims were in a relatively small percentage, isolate them and attack them. The killings were of a gruesome nature.The Tribunal recorded detailed evidence from this district.


A total of 368 Muslims were residents of Dailol village, in Panchmahal district, which had about 60 Muslim households and about 500- 600 Hindu households. Dailol village is located at a distance of about 5 km from Kalol taluka town. On March 1, Muslims who were escaping from Dailol and surrounding villages, were attacked by a 5-6,000 strong mob. (The assaults had started a day earlier.) A total of 38 persons were burnt alive. The testimony of a maulana who witnessed the slaughter as he hid in the nearby jungle, has been put on the records of the Tribunal. There is no Muslim living in the village now, so it is very difficult to get full details on this incident.

Innocent and terrorised members of a family were trying to escape on foot when they were attacked at Dailol station. An elderly survivor of the family recounted the sorry tale in his testimony, which was placed before the Tribunal. At about 10 a.m. on February 28, 2002, a crowd of about 2,000-3,000, most of them outsiders, attacked, looted, burnt and destroyed the masjid, shops and establishments belonging to Dailol Muslims, and left at 4 p.m. Later, that night, one Ismailbhai was dragged out of his house by a crowd that included people from his own village, paraded through the village twice, wearing a garland of shoes and asked to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’. When he refused, he was doused with kerosene and burnt to death in the early hours of the morning. The Gujarat state cabinet minister and BJP MLA, Prabhatsingh Chauhan was involved in the attack. At 10 a.m. on March 1, a large mob of about 3000-4000 again came to the village shouting, "Today is Bharat Bandh – drive the Muslims out, hack them, kill them!"

Seventeen Muslim labourers fleeing from Limkheda, took the train to Pandu, a town near Dailol station, in Kalol taluka, on March 1. At Dailol station, a murderous crowd came towards them and one of the labourers, Anwar Khan Walimohammed Khan Pathan (50), was caught, sprayed with kerosene and burnt alive. In the basti just outside the town proper, near the homes of the Harijans, victim-survivors saw a crowd bearing swords, bamboos, daggers, sticks and sharp instruments and carrying petrol and diesel-kerosene tins, rushing towards them. They started beating and herding them towards the canal. Brutal acts of sexual violence were committed on the women in the group, before they were killed, by cutting them up in pieces. Boys, aged 7 to 12, escaped from the mob’s clutches and hid in the maize farms of the Kanatias, near the canal. Bhalabhai, who heard the cries of the victim-survivors, sheltered them in his house for six days. On March 7, Bhalabhai brought police inspector Kotwal to his house and handed over the six children whom he had sheltered. The PI then took the children safely to their relative, Ganimiyan Ibrahim Mithi Malek. The boys who were saved by Bhalabhai narrated these facts to Ganimiyan, who recorded them with the Tribunal. The testimony details that he was at the rail phatak (rail crossing), when he heard the screams. "Malik uparwala janata hai ki hamare pariwar ke char chote, chote bacchiyon ke sath kya suluk kiya." ("God knows the treatment they subjected four small girl children from my family to.") The testimony records that this victim-survivor stayed in Dahod for a whole week. Of a family of 20, including himself, 6 other family members have been killed. Details of this and another massacre, which took place here, were placed before the Tribunal. Journalist Teesta Setalvad, who has extensively documented the violence all over Gujarat in her report ‘Genocide Gujarat 2002’, was the first to reach this district on March 7. Many of the testimonials have been placed on record from the data collected then.

The names of the children who were abused but who survived:

1. Mohsin Khan Majid Khan Pathan (10)

2. Shahrukh Yasin Khan Pathan (7)

3. Ayyub Khan Yasin Khan Pathan (12)

4. Farzana bibi Yasin Khan Pathan (11)

5. Mustafa Khan Yusuf Khan Pathan (12)

6. Siraj Khan Hussein Khan Pathan (8)

In the late afternoon, a group of about 50 – 60 Muslims who had taken shelter with the Hindus in the village were chased by a large group of attackers to the main road and from there to the fields. That night, a crowd of 500 to 700 people surrounded those victim-survivors who had escaped from Dailol as well as surrounding villages. First, they told the petrified Muslims that they would not kill them and gave them water to drink. Then they asked them to leave. Just as they started to leave, the crowd attacked them from behind and hacked and burnt 10 people. Thirteen-year-old Yasmeen, the daughter of Mohd. Ibrahim, was gang raped before being killed. The dead were piled up and set on fire. Ten and twelve-year-old Hameed and Aijaz, the sons of Kulsum Ayyub (who was also killed), were made to go around the pyre and shout ‘Jai Shri Ram!’ They were then shoved into the fire. The victim-survivors had filed complaints with the Kalol PS on March 16 and 18. They said they will return to the village only if action is taken against the guilty. There is fear in the village still.


Nearly 70 Muslims were butchered on March 1, after a mob of 2-2,500 local Patels, Panchals and Harijans and some 3-4,000 tribal ‘bhai bandh’ attacked this village. Fourteen members of one family were killed. In a serious act of betrayal, one Jaswant Patels had actually told the terrified Muslims to go to his farm where, he promised, they would be safe, and, where they were then attacked. This was after electricity in the village had been cut off and telephone lines snapped. In fact, telephone wires were cut a day earlier, on February 28, indicating levels of careful preparation and planning. In nearby Mora village also, the lights were put out at 9 p.m. The previous day, some persons had warned villagers that ‘electricity will go and phones will be cut, so beware.’ This is certain indication that the attacks must have been planned.

Once the Muslims took shelter on Jaswant Patel’s farm, he got people to attack them from all sides. One victim-survivor lost 8 of his children who were trapped there. The sarpanch, Anil Modi, was with the mob. They beat the victims, chased them, threw acid on them and burnt them.

Another Patel, Mahindra Vakil, also betrayed the victims by taking them to his house where an attack was then launched. When the attacks on the villagers were imminent, he told them, "Come to my house, I will save you. My house has a 10 foot high boundary wall and you will be safe." So, 60-70 Muslims, especially women and children, went there. The moment they got inside, he locked them in from outside and blocked the entrance door with timber logs. After some time the victims heard shouts and screams and the attacks began. About 30-40 lives were lost here. A two-year-old girl was burnt alive. If some Muslim youths had not toiled to get the victims out of the trap, there would have been an even bigger tragedy.

Witnesses trapped inside Mahendra Vakil’s house saw him calling a mob of 25-30 persons to attack them with acid. One woman victim, who was hiding in the bathroom, managed to survive but her sister Zora was burnt with the acid that was thrown. For three days no policemen came. The mobs targeted young girls, young men and children. Those accused are Mahendra Vakil and Jaswant Patel.

Another witness who lost his father in the incident at Pandharwada where nearly 30-40 persons were killed inside Mahendra Vakil’s house and another 20 in the fields, testified that swords were used to slash him on the head. Around 12 noon, when 200 persons had taken shelter inside Mahendra Vakil’s house, broken glass, acid, kerosene was flung at the victims before setting them on fire. The assault went on for 3-4 hours. The plight of the victim-survivors was devastating. One family had 11 members missing. The dead bodies of cruelly slain people were left to lie around in a mutilated condition. The taluka panchayat pramukh of Khanpur, Jaswant Manilal Patel (BJP), took away some corpses and burnt them. At least 25 corpses were burnt in this way.

The testimony of a twelve-year-old witness, Noorunissa, recorded previously, was put on the records of the Tribunal (She had seen her uncle being killed in front of her eyes. She is now unable to speak of the incident.) "We were in the farm when lots of people came shouting and started attacking us. My chacha (uncle) fell down and some men placed a sword on my father’s neck. We were trying to run up the hill to save our lives. Allah saved us. I remember seeing a woman crying because her baby was thirsty. I did not see them after that. My mother was with me and so was my khala (aunt). My father is alive but my uncle was killed in front of us. I was begging everybody, ‘Please don’t kill my father, please don’t kill my mother!’ One Fakirbhai, who is a flourmill worker had his head chopped off. I almost fainted out of exhaustion when one Bhil told me to run away fast. Two Adivasis took me into their house. They changed my dress and made me put on a lengha (long skirt). The crowd came and started shouting, "Nikalo, nikalo!" But they said that there is no Muslim in the house. Then the police arrived and I got saved."

In another incident that took place at Pandharwada, at the farm of Jaswant Patel (BJP), brutal killings of Muslim labourers were carried out after they were inside, surrounded from all sides. Yasinbhai, the husband of a witness, Akeela, was killed. They sliced his head off with a sword. He was a daily wage earner. She has two small daughters and one son – Anisa (7), Nilofer (6) and Waris (5). After killing her husband, they tried to rape her. They threw her on top of her dead husband while her three children were flung in the gutter. This witness managed to run up the hill with her three children and then on to the Godhra relief camp. Witnesses identified the main accused in the mass murders at the farm as, Pramilal, Jaswant Manilal Patel, Arvind Patel, Mansukh Bhai Chamunda and Sanjay, the VHP district president. Their betrayal of the Muslim villagers had put the victim-survivors in a state of shock. They called them to the farm, promised to save them and then organised the attack. The husband of one of the victim-survivors had been employed as a domestic help at Mansukh Chamunda’s house in Rajkot for the last 15 years, but was not paid for his work at all. Apart from this witness, the other eyewitnesses to the massacre in the farmland are: Yakubbhai Gulambhai Saiyed, Yusufbhai Abdulbhai Saiyed and Sheikh Faiz Mohammedbhai Ahmedbhai. Sheikh Faiz Mohammedbhai Ahmedbhai saw his uncle and aunt, Sheikh Habibbhai Ashrafbhai Bismillah Habibbhai and Dulanbibi Ashrafbhai, chopped to pieces and then burnt. They were surrounded by a gang of 5-7,000 people who killed mercilessly; even their animals were not spared in their homes.

Akeela was in the farm when men carrying dharias (sickles) and swords attacked Jabbirbhai Ghanibhai, father of 5 children. There is a police outpost at Pandharwada, with two policemen, who did nothing. Akeela said, "When I went to the Khanpur police station, I was simply told, "Tum tumhari jaan bachhao" ("You save your own skin.") Witness Sheikh Faiz Mohammedbhai Ahmedbhai has testified that his wife was burnt with a solvent. Jabbir Kalos, a one-and-a-half-month old baby, was also thrown into the fire but she was pulled out and handed her back to her mother, Madina. Another small girl, Nafisa, was also thrown into the fire but saved by the witness in time.

Witnesses testified that Sanjay, the VHP district president, who hails from Bakor, 3 km from Pandharwada and currently resides in Godhra, was responsible for much of the havoc caused in the villages.

Other villages that have experienced similar massacres are Vispur, Umet, Modasa, Lunavada, Kapadwanj, Malpur and Khanpur. The Godhra-Modasa highway, which branches off into two roads that lead to Rajasthan (at Balaliya and Ratanpur), saw complete destruction, as mobs targeted trucks. Other transport vehicles were also targeted and burnt, with their Muslim drivers inside them. There is heavy traffic on this road, and the destruction of life, goods and vehicles was massive.


On March 1, 2002, brutal killings also took place in Eral village, of Kalol taluka. The Tribunal has on its records the testimony of a witness, Mustafa Ismailbhai. Seven members of Mustafa Ismailbhai’s family were killed while two of his family members, including his daughter, were raped before being killed. Mustafa Ismailbhai’s wife and two of his sons survived. The witness is a driver by profession and was out when the incident happened. The murdered members of the family are Shabana, Ismail Master, Uribibi, Rukaiya Adambhai (the witness’ sister), Adambhai Ibrahimbhai (his brother-in-law), Tajoobibi and Suhanabibi. The finger of Tajoobibi’s 4-year-old son was cut off. Ismailbhai’s wife is an eyewitness to the rape and killings.

One of the most tragic aspects of this attack was that the attackers took protection money from the victim villagers before betraying their word and setting upon them. When the mobs began to attack Muslims in Eral and surrounding villages on February 28 and people started to flee their villages, Ismailbhai’s family hid in the fields and temporary huts that farmers use to keep watch on their crops. The mob found them on March 1 and about 150 people surrounded their group of 12. The attackers who included some persons from their own village, were carrying swords, guptis etc. The family gave the attackers all the money they had – about Rs. 10,000 and begged them not to kill them. The mob took the money, then proceeded to launch their attack.

Ismailbhai’s wife, Madina survived because she managed to hide in the fields of standing maize. She saw them kill 7 people in front of her and also chop off 4-year-old Taufiq’s thumb. From where she hid, she also saw them rape her own daughter, 18-year-old Shabana, and cut off her breast before killing her. She heard her family’s desperate cries for mercy. The whole attack took half an hour. After raping and killing, the attackers set fire to the bodies. Madina hid in the fields for one hour after the attackers had left. Child witnesses, Taufiq (4), Khushboo (3) and Heena (7) have also indicated that one other woman, Rukaiya (Madina’s sister-in-law) was also raped.

The police arrived 1½ hours after the incident. Doctors from Malav Primary Health Centre conducted post-mortem examinations on the spot. Madina has named several accused in the FIR (FIR no.41/2002) lodged on the basis of her complaint in Kalol PS. Charges of rape have not been included in the complaint. Some arrests have taken place. So far, they have been given Rs. 1200 odd as compensation for household goods.

Madina has named the following persons as accused: Rajubhai Vithalbhai Talati, Purshottambhai Gordhanbhai Parmar, Ganabhai Chandubhai Parmar, Bhailalbhai Maganbhai and Narendra Singh Chandulal.


Mora village, has an overall population of about 6,000–7,000 of which the Muslim population consist of about 450 persons, owning 115 houses. Mora and Suliath are two villages in Morvad (Hadap) taluka, a kilometre apart, commonly referred to as Mora- Suliath. The rest are owned by Rabaris, Sonis, Panchals, Harijans and Bhois. Sulaith consists entirely of Bhil Advasis. There are two falias in Mora where most Muslims lived: masjid falia and bus stand falia.

The attacks on this village started from the morning of March 1 and continued intermittently until the evening of March 2. People were saved because they gathered in the masjid and one big concrete house in the village until they were taken away to the Godhra camp. These buildings were also set on fire but the army arrived in time to save them so there was no loss of life in the village. Thus, the collector, Jayanthi Ravi, managed to save the masjid and a few houses after the first attacks took place. But it was later completely destroyed after the villagers were taken away to safety.

One witness has testified how, on February 28, people on motorcycles moved round the whole district with photocopies of the Sandesh’s banner headlines and stories provoking people because of the attack on the train. They were selling these copies for Rs. 2. In another village, where 117 houses were looted and then burnt, victims took shelter in the local masjid. They were also attacked but were somehow saved. The SRP and police, who have posts in every village, did nothing to protect them. The crowd of attackers came from outside but they were led by the sarpanches of five tribal villages: Veramya village sarpanch (Congress); Suliyat village sarpanch (Congress); the Mora village sarpanch (Independent); Deloch village sarpanch (BJP); and Rajaita village sarpanch (BJP).

Most of the houses, shops, animals and businesses have been completely looted or destroyed, as has the masjid. Some houses whose structures were intact were only looted of their belongings. Since April 14, all the residents have been shifted back to the village from Godhra. They have filed complaints naming the perpetrators but no action has been taken against anyone. In fact, even now, at intervals of a few days, the Hindus of the village distribute leaflets inciting violence against the Muslims. There is a deep sense of anger as well as insecurity amongst the Muslim villagers, but in the absence of any other recourse, the people are doing what they can. They willingly shared copies of their complaints with the Tribunal, as well as the names of the people involved in the attacks as also those involved in the printing and distribution of leaflets.

The villagers heard that two Sindhis from Godhra had come to Mora in jeeps on the night of February 28 and gave money and liquor to Adivasis to kill Muslims. They also held meetings in Methral and Suliath, to plan attacks. As a result of this planning, a mob of about 1,000-1,500 Adivasis from nearby villages Methral (10 km away from Mora), Vadodar (10 km), Dauli (6 km), Navagam (5 km), Sagwada (5 km), Bhata (4.5 km), Anjanwa (10 km), Godhar (15 km) – came to Mora village at around 2.00 p.m. on March 1. About a hundred Muslim men and boys confronted them with stones; there was stone throwing on both sides for a while. Then the Adivasis ran away. At night, they went around in vans and tempos and collected Adivasis from surrounding villages. They surrounded Mora at around 9 p.m. and started burning outlying houses. This continued till 3-4 a.m.; 25-30 houses were burnt that night. The masjid falia people had gathered in the masjid by then, but the bus stand falia people were in their houses.

At 10 a.m. the next morning, on March 2, a much bigger crowd of 10-15,000 Adivasis and Hindus came and started burning and looting houses. The crowd surrounded the masjid with burning tyres and wood and set fire to it. There were 150 people trapped inside the masjid for hours. All the people from bus stand falia – about 150 – were gathered in the house of Haji Isak Abdul Majeed. This house was also surrounded and set on fire. The army, which came from Godhra, fired on the mob, which eventually dispersed and then rescued the trapped Muslims. Had the army arrived even half an hour later, the Muslims would have all died of asphyxiation. Because of the numbers of people involved, the army told them that they must choose between lives and valuables so people got into the trucks without anything at all. Inevitably, all the property was then looted.

The masjid has been badly desecrated and destroyed. The mob wrote "Bhattiji Maharaj ki Jai!" and "Jai Shri Ram!" on the walls, and initially hoisted a saffron flag on the mosque. Some other slogans scribbled on the walls were lines lifted from the film ‘Maa Tujhe Salaam and scripted on the masjid walls: "Dudh mango to kheer denge, Mora (Kashmir) mango to chir denge" ("Ask for milk and we’ll give you kheer (pudding), but ask for Kashmir and we’ll cut you up.")

One eyewitness, Salauddin Gurji, whose testimony has been placed on the records of the Tribunal, personally saw Amrishbhai Panchal (BJP mahamantri), Bipinbhai Bhoi (BJP), Kantilal Rana (BJP), Vinod Ambalal Bhoi (Bajrang Dal, president) and Vikrambhai Dindod (BJP delegate from Rajasthan) in the mob. They were the main perpetrators of the violence. The witness later received information that, on the night of February 28, they had left Godhra with two jeep loads of people, carrying the Sandesh (Gujarati daily) article and pamphlets with them. PSI Mora and PSI Damod along with two constables, Nawat Singh and Mafatlal, were among their open supporters.


During the violence that engulfed Gujarat from February 27 onwards, Vejalpur village also suffered. In Vejalpur village, Kalol taluka, Panchmahal, Muslim families live and work in the area around the big masjid. On February 28, Hindu organisations had called a bandh to protest against the Sabarmati Express killings in Godhra. As mentioned in the FIR lodged by a witness, Haji Abdullah Bagli, an elderly trader from this village, on the afternoon of March 1, the below-mentioned accused, leading a violent crowd armed with lethal weapons, tins of petrol, diesel and kerosene, attacked his neighbourhood. They were screaming: "Kill Muslims, loot their property and burn it!"

The accused incited the crowd and they attacked the Muslim locality. As a result, a total of 80 buildings in Bagliwada falia and the falia near the big masjid were burnt down, causing over Rs. 1 crore worth of damage. There are several people who witnessed the looting and burning including Ishaq Mohammed Badna, Iqbal master, Firojbhai Gada and M. Majid Ibrahim Padwa. The accused: 1) Vinu Budha Patel, next to Shreeji Tiles Factory, Vejalpur, taluka Kalol, zilla panch; 2) Amarsinh Budhabhai Patel, next to Shreeji Tiles Factory, Vejalpur, taluka Kalol, zilla panch; 3) Santosh Rama Vaghri, Vaghriwad, Tejalpur, taluka Kalol; 4) Anand Rama Vaaghri, Vaghriwad, Tejalpur, taluka Kalol; 5) Girish Varia Kanti Kantawala, Kheda falia, Vejalpur; taluka Kalol; 6) Dharmendra Jadav, Godhra Highway Road, Vejalpur, taluka Kalol; 7) Holo Barot (Garagewala); Bahar faliyu, Vejalpur, taluka Kalol.


A witness who had lodged an FIR testified that at about 9:30-10 p.m. on March 1, Muslim residents in Kujavar village, Morvad (Hadap) taluka, heard shouts from the road: "Maro, kato, jalao, looto!" When they rushed out of the house, they saw a big crowd charging towards their house. On seeing this, they were taken aback and hid near their house. From there, they saw people from their own village, whom they recognise well, looting their house. After that, they sprayed petrol, kerosene and similar substances all over the house and torched it.

The accused: 1) Saratsingh Daulat (Kuvajar); 2) Rana Balwant (Kuvajar); 3) Arjan Bharat (Kuvajar); 4) Jaswant Singh Ramsingh (Chaupur); 5) Shauka Hira Parmar (Chaupur); 6) Babu Bhavsingh Vanjara (Khudra); 7) Amarsingh Patel (Khudra).

In other incidents of loot and arson here, eyewitnesses Ilyas Yusuf Mansuri; Sikander Ismail Mansuri; Maulvi Abdul Rehman; A. Majid A. Gani Mansuri; Farukh A. Majid Khadkhad have filed FIRs with the Kalol taluka PSI, police station, recording a loss of Rs. 35 lakh and naming accused: Mukesh Devidas Jaswani, aka Gungo, Sindhi Bazar (Vejalpur); 2) Rajeshbhai Vensimal Jaswani, aka Sindhi, Sindhi Bazar (Vejalpur); 3) Rajesh Ballu Jaswani, aka Sindhi, Sindhi Bazar (Vejalpur); 4) Rakesh Nagindas Soni, aka Sindhi, Sindhi Bazar (Vejalpur); 5) Bharat Vensimal Jaswani, aka Sindhi, Sindhi Bazar (Vejalpur); 6) Prakash Urshandas Aswani; 7) Amit Sheth aka Rana, panchayat member.


The witness, whose testimony has been placed before the Tribunal, is Jabbir Mohammed Abdul Razzak Shaikh, whose family has had a grain and grocery shop and a small transport business in Babaliya village for many years. His parents were slaughtered by the manic mob. He filed an FIR dated March 23 with the Khanpur police station. In this he stated that on March 1, his father Abdul Rajakbhai Shaikh, his mother Hajrabibi Rajakbhai Shaikh, his sister Jaybunnisa and he were sitting outside their shop, which was closed because of the ‘Gujarat Bandh’. Meanwhile, a crowd led by the below-mentioned accused arrived there, shouting and threatening: "Kill the Muslims!" "Cut them up!" "Rape their women!" "Rob their property!" "Burn their property!" "Burn them!" The witness and his sister, Jaybunnisa ran some distance away and hid behind a tree on a nearby hill. Some of those in the crowd began to beat his father and mother while others broke the door of the house, shop and flourmill and looted grain, grocery, TV set, gold ornaments and cash. They then blasted the entire structure using some inflammable liquid. The accused then left, going on the Naroda road, and dragging both the witnesses’ parents with them. The leaders of the crowd killed his father and mother, Abdul Rajakbhai Shaikh and Hajrabibi Rajakbhai Shaikh, and destroyed their dead bodies. Another section of the crowd also took away the Suzuki motorcycle belonging to the family. In desperation and out of fear for their lives, the witness and his sister hid themselves in the farms and the forest for three days to save their lives. The witness’ sister was pregnant and in precarious health. Somehow, fleeing and hiding they managed to find shelter for her in Bakor. The witness reached Lunavada, with great difficulty. Today he is mentally disturbed and broken. He has complained that despite repeated pleas to the Khanpur police station, mamlatdar Bakor, mamlatdar Lunavada, collector of Godhra and SP of Godhra, to take legal action against the culprits whom he has identified and named, no action has been taken.

The accused named by the witness in the FIR include: 1) Arvind Singh Ranjit Singh Thakore (owner, tempo no. KJ17 X 5838); 2) Mehta Hitesh Kumar Jayantilal (owner, Mehta photo studio at Bakor); 3) Jayantilal Parma Bhai Patel (Gangta); 4) Panchal Mohan Bhai Soma Bhai (Naroda, runs hotel); 5) Bharat Singh Ranjit Singh Thakore (Tarakdi, his tempo no. GJ17 T 7121); 6) Bhagvan Bhai Sabur Bhai (sarpanch, Koyla village); 7) Babubhai Patel (Yoka); 8) Nareshbhai Patel (His commander jeep no: GJ17R92); 9) Kanku Bahen Dalabhai (Gangta, runs hotel at bus stand); 10) Malivad Nanabhai Bhurabhai (runs hotel near Ganga petrol pump); 11) Patel Rameshbhai Bhaga Bhai (driver of private vehicle); and a crowd of 250 under the leadership of above-mentioned accused.

Anjanwa and Lunavada

Five villages around Lunavada in Panchmahal district witnessed a series of attacks on the Muslims living there. The trouble started on March 1 and recurred on March 2, 3 and 5, 2002. In Anjanwa village, Santrampur taluka, two people were burnt to death. A total of 11 people were killed in Anjanwa village, including men, women and children. In all, there were about 39-40 Muslim families living there. Their houses were torched and the survivors all ran away. Here too, there was evidence of preplanning; the telephone wires had been cut off so that there was no communication for 10 days. There was no bus service, no newspapers, and even the police could not come to Anjanwa.

Anjanwa is a village with about 40 Muslim and 500 other families. All except three Muslim families have about 2 to 3 acres of land in the village. The Hindus (all backward caste, mostly Baria) and the Adivasis also have land. Muslims have lived in this village since Santrampur was a princely state. The settlement is scattered, with each family having a house on their own agricultural land. The Muslim houses are, in fact, 2 kilometres away from the main road. Vehicles can only go up to a point on the undulating kaccha road in the village. The houses are only accessible on foot. The sprawling village is surrounded by hills on all sides.

With no communication facilities, Anjanwa had no news of the Godhra incident. On March 2, two Muslim shops belonging to Idris Abdul Sheikh and Burhan Abdul Sheikh were burnt. The owners used to commute from Lunavada so were not there at the time. On the morning of March 3, a mob of 500 men came from the east, armed with weapons and beating drums. They burnt the masjid and then the Muslim houses. They went off at 3 p.m., only to return at 6 p.m., accompanied by a frenetic beating of drums, and shouting "Maaro! Kaapo! Baalo!" (Kill! Hack! Burn!"). They stayed until the early hours of the next morning. According to the sarpanch, Jaisinghbhai Danabhai Ghori, one of the attackers was wearing a helmet, while some others had covered their faces. They were dressed in shirts, trousers, boots, socks; and one of them was carrying a camera bag.

The Muslims, who had been hiding in the hills during the attack, returned in the early hours of March 4, after the mob left. They approached the sarpanch, who called the Congress MLA (an Adivasi) of the area on morning of March 4, who in turn informed the police. The police said they would send a force. When it did not arrive, he tried the police again and was shuttled between the mamlatdar and the PSI, each of whom said it was the other person’s responsibility. The police van finally did arrive at around 7.30-8.00 p.m. on March 4. However, some villagers told them that nothing was wrong, and, unable to see signs of the attack from the main road, the police returned to Santrampur. On the morning of March 5, the sarpanch once again made frantic phone calls to the Santrampur police station, and was told that a van would come to collect the villagers. He asked the Muslims to assemble in the village high school so that they could leave immediately after the police came.

In the evening, two sets of mobs came from opposite directions and attacked the waiting Muslims. As the Muslims ran in different directions to save themselves, sections of the mob followed them. Forty-two-year-old Rukaiya Gafur and her two daughters were not able to run fast enough. They were surrounded by the mob at one end of the village. Rukaiya was brutally hacked to death with swords. Her body was thrown into a dry well (known as Wazir Amdu’s well). Her two daughters, aged 13 and 1½, were also attacked, but managed to survive. Two men, one over 75-years-old and moving slowly with difficulty, as well as another, too ill to run, were also caught by the mob. They were burnt alive in the fields. The bodies of Rukaiya and the two men were recovered on March 6, when the collector and SP visited the village.

Some women and small children who were unable to escape were gheraoed by a section of the mob near the sarpanch’s well. They were attacked with swords and dharias and 11 of them were thrown into the well. The women were gang raped before they were killed. Three women managed to survive in the crevices of the well and were pulled out later by the army, which arrived on the evening of March 5. Eight others, who had been hacked and thrown into the well, died. These included 4 children. Their bodies were pulled out on March 6.

The army took the survivors to Godhra and Lunavada camps on March 5. Some people who had hidden in the fields and hills around Anjanwa were rescued on March 6. The victim-survivors have identified 27 men from Anjanwa and from surrounding villages as persons who led the mob. The Muslim fields are now deserted, their houses burnt. Those cattle which have not yet been taken away by other villagers, roam stray. With many of the killers at large, the victim-survivors, like those in Pandharwada, are unwilling to return to their homes. Two FIRs were lodged in the case and some arrests have been made on the basis of the names of accused given by the survivors.

Most of the victim-survivors from these villages lived in the camps in Lunavada. The problem faced by around 40 families who owned 200 acres of land and some small shops is acute. Locally, the VHP had openly told them that they should withdraw VHP names from FIRs. The VHP refused to attend the reconciliation meetings held by the collector. Here, the police recorded one FIR to cover 20-25 villages. Where there should be one complaint for every house burnt, there is not even one complaint for every village, instead, a single complaint for several villages.

The organiser of the Lunavada camp, Yakub Pashuk, deposed in depth before the Tribunal. He spoke about the meticulous pre-planning that went into the attacks. He said that the method the attackers used was that they cut up people, and threw some chemicals on them, which burnt the bodies in such a way that even bones were not found and there was no evidence. The police simply refused to record detailed complaints of the crime.

Munafbhai Akbarbhai Shaikh (43), from Anjanwa village, spoke of the violence on March 3, the day that they pulled down the masjid and looted and burnt all the homes. This witness’s tractor and cow were burnt and he saw an armed mob of 5-600 persons looting and burning houses. They were shouting, "Kill! Chop!" This witness, along with others who had escaped, fled the village and, fearing for his life, stayed outside on March 4 and 5. They came back to the village at 8 o’clock in the night and gathered in the Gujarat high school. The sarpanch of the village, asked them to wait, and assured them that he had informed the police who had promised to come. But the police betrayed them and did not come. However, the sarpanch, a Hindu, saved them. With no police in sight, the mob returned. The witness said that there were 200 people who appeared from the east and they were shouting "Ram Chandra ki Jai!" Seeing them, Muslim men and women ran off into the forest. As they were going westward, the sounds of another mob shouting "Ram Chandra ki Jai!" could be heard from the west. Since the mob on the west was closer, the Muslims ran back and the women hid in the wheat fields surrounding the village. Some of the men in the mob chased them. The women who were caught were beaten up and thrown into the well. Some children who were crying were throttled and then thrown into the well. The witness said that both mobs consisted of 200 persons each and that, in all, 12 persons lost their lives. Men and women ran helter-skelter to save their lives. There was a third mob in the jungle and one old man, aged 60, was killed, then doused with kerosene and torched. Munafbhai’s brother recognised those who assaulted this man as people from the village. This witness suffered damage amounting to Rs. 7 lakh but has received a cheque of Rs. 35,000.

Muslims witnesses from Anjanwa had not yet returned to the village when they met the Tribunal. The police chowki is located barely 15 km away from the village and if they had performed their duty lives would not have been lost, women would not have been raped, homes would not have been burnt and the masjid would not have been destroyed. According to the sarpanch, he had informed the local MLA, and minister Prabhatsingh Chauhan, who said that he had informed the PSI. However, when the police reached the village, they said that the MLA had not given them any information telling them, instead, that the Muslims of Anjanwa were safe and so there was no need for them to go there. On March 6, the witness submitted a complaint of the crimes to the DSP, the collector and personally to the Santrampur police station.

In Anjanwa, there were a total of 5-600 homes, of which about 40 belong to Muslims with about 210 Muslim inhabitants. The persons killed, including 4 persons from Munafbhai Shaikh’s family are: Saeeda Hanief, his cousin’s wife, Tayyeba Shabbir, her son Mehfooza Shabbir and daughter Razia Shabbir; Zubeida Faroukh, her 2-year-old son Adnan Faroukh and Rukaiya Gafur. They were all thrown into the well after being killed. All the women who were killed were gang raped first.

The accused: One of the accused is in the army, Salam Hawa (who was arrested and then released); Kanu Dalpa; Rai Singh Mula; Balu Kalu (they are Barias, i.e., OBCs). Rupa Soma, one of the main accused, is an Adivasi.

It was only after all these people were murdered that the army arrived from Godhra on March 6 and it was only after that that the police came from Santrampur. They called out to all the people to come forward because the army had arrived. It took them as long as 1½ hours to round up all the people hiding in the jungle. Then the victim-survivors, including women and children, were put into cars and taken to the camp.

A major complaint of this witness as well as others from Panchmahal was that, the collector only visited when a big delegation came.

Hanifa, another eyewitness and survivor from Anjanwa, who deposed before the Tribunal, lost three brothers, Kalu Gulab, Abbas Gulab and Oomer Gulab, to the marauding mob which attacked them as they were going to pray at the masjid on Friday afternoon, March 1. She described how one of her brothers was cut into four pieces, the other into three, and the third was hit and killed with a sword. This witness, who was at the Godhra camp, relived the sheer terror of running in the jungle, without food or water for 4 whole days, while the mob tried to find them. She said that had the army and police not finally arrived on March 6, even she would have not survived.


Witnesses before the Tribunal said that in Athawawala village, Muslims were being openly told by prominent persons from the village if they wanted to return they must accept the Hindu religion. In this village the well-planned attack began from the February 28, when witnesses who deposed before the Tribunal saw that the aggressors leading the mobs were carrying a complete list detailing all the Muslim houses and where they were located. Witnesses also said that it was with the help of this list that the mob attacked Muslims homes and carried out arson with explosive materials. For example, one of the techniques used by the mob, as one eyewitness attested, was that some people from the mob threw a burning tyre filled with fire-crackers so that they would burst and set the surroundings/persons on fire.

From the voluminous evidence collected by the Tribunal from this district, the Tribunal was learnt that 193 persons from the Panchmahal district were burnt in this gruesome fashion. However, out of this staggering number, compensation was received for only 75 who were identified. For the remaining dead there is no evidence, no bodies and no remains because of the technique of burning — the chemicals used and the intensity of the fire that followed. The Panchmahal police recorded no individual complaints, despite being duty-bound to do so. There was gross dereliction of duty on part of the Panchmahal district police. Later, victim-survivors and camp managers faxed, or sent by registered mail, any number of FIRs from individual victims regarding individual crimes such as killing, rape and arson. Despite proof of these complaints having been sent, and notwithstanding the fact that a Supreme Court judgement on the subject requires that such complaints be treated as FIRs of the crime, the law and order machinery simply refused to take cognisance of the magnitude of the crimes.

Many witnesses from these regions expressed pain and resentment at the low rate of compensation awarded for burnt and destroyed homes by the government. They asked the Tribunal a pertinent question: If a person who has lost human beings, his house, his business, his homeland, if, after losing all this, the compensation given to him is Rs. 5,000, can he ever rebuild his life?

Witnesses also expressed deep anxiety about their future safety and the law and order situation in Gujarat. Even in the camps, people experienced deep insecurity and terror, constantly fearing more attacks. Children, women and men suffered deep mental trauma. Economically, in just 2 or 3 villages in this district alone, Muslims have lost 200-300 acres of their land. They expressed fear that this land may never come back to them.

Attacks on the Highway from Dailol to Kalol

At about 4 p.m. on March 1, 2002, thirteen people were brutally killed and three women raped, when a tempo driven by Firoz Rasulbhai Shaikh, carrying 20 men, 11 women and 11 children, all Muslims from Dailol who were fleeing towards Kalol, was attacked by a large Hindu mob near Ambika Society, on the outskirts of Kalol. The mob had blocked the road using barrels, stones, heaps of sand and a car. In attempting to escape, the tempo skidded and overturned. As people fell out of the tempo, 13 of them (5 women and 8 men including the driver) were killed by the mob with swords and dharias amidst shouts of "Maaro! Kaapo! Baalo!" ("Kill! Hack! Burn!") The mob then burnt the dead bodies along with the tempo. The rest of the Muslim men in the tempo managed to escape. The children begged the mob to spare their lives by falling at their feet. The children and the surviving six women then ran on the road towards the Goma river, a part of the crowd chasing them. The fleeing women received severe sword injuries as the 15 odd attackers swung their swords at them. While the other women were able to run some distance further, the attackers caught hold of a woman (name withheld) who was also carrying her 3-year-old son with her. Her son fell down and watched, crying loudly, while his mother was stripped and raped. The woman lost consciousness after she was raped and, chopped with a sword on her left leg. The men then left her for dead. The victim’s aunt, Haleema Reshma Abdul, was hiding in the bushes nearby and is an eyewitness to these happenings. When the woman victim-survivor regained consciousness, she was left with only the top of her salwar-kurta. The two, the woman, her son and her aunt then moved towards Dailol. They went to a Hindu’s (Baria) house where her husband had left their 11-month-old daughter earlier while fleeing. It was only here that she got dressed, and after which the two women and two children hid in the fields for two days. Then on Monday, March 4, they managed to reach the Kalol camp. No medical examination was possible in the circumstances, and none was conducted. Eyewitnesses state that Mumtaz, another woman from Dailol, who died in the attack, was killed as she was fleeing from the tempo. But she was not sexually abused.

Survivors recognised some of the attackers and have named them in their complaints, which were submitted to the Kalol PS. The manager of People’s Bank, JP Shah, the owner of Vijay talkies, Jaggubhai, were amongst the attackers. This incident, of the burning of a tempo near Ambika society near Kalol, is part of a combined FIR in which three other incidents have been clubbed together. The FIR mentions only 10 killed while according to eyewitnesses at least 13 persons were killed and two were raped, with one rape victim surviving. No crime of rape is registered with the police despite written complaints, and it does not even find mention in the combined FIR. Two persons have been arrested in connection with the tempo attack. None of the main accused have been arrested.


Boru is a village in Kalol taluka, about five kilometres from Kalol. It has about 165 Sunni Muslim households and an equal number of Hindu households. It is the only village in its immediate neighbourhood with any Muslim presence. Among the Hindus, Barias are the largest in number with about 70 households, followed by Christian Vankars (50 households). There are also a sizeable number of Harijans, Banjaras, Bharwads, Naiks, and a few households of Brahmins, Sutars and Solankis. About one-fourth of the Muslims have some land, while another fourth are agricultural labourers. The rest run small shops or are engaged in trades like autorickshaw driving and masonry. Some of them have manual jobs in the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC). All the Hindus have agricultural lands.

One of the leaders of the attacking mob, Shankar Sinh Chandrasinh, has 40 acres, a tractor, tubewell etc. He lost the recent Panchayat elections to the Congress sarpanch. He announced a boycott of Muslims for supporting his opponent politically, and is said to have gone round villages mobilising people to attack in revenge.

On the night of February 27, 2002, a meeting was held at Chatra Singh Khatubhai’s house to plan attacks on Muslims. The attack was launched at 9 p.m. on February 28, when people from neighbouring villages around Boru came and burnt a paan-beedi cabin. They saw the Muslims patrolling the masjid so they went away. At about 6.30 p.m. on March 1, a mob of about 6,000-7,000 men from the neighbouring villages of Bhadruli Buzarak, Bakrol, Kalol, and Boru ki Muvadi came to Boru and were joined by residents of Boru village. The mob first looted and then burnt Muslim houses as well as the masjid and madrassa, shouting, "Maaro, Kaapo, Baalo!"("Kill, Hack, Burn!") all along. The Muslims fled to the fields, where they stayed all night and all day until the evening of March 2. Noor Mohammad managed to flee to Kalol with his family and informed the Kalol Muslim Panch. They in turn reported the happenings to the Kalol police station, after which they received help from the Kalol camp. A group of 40-45 people were left behind in the fields. At 10 a.m. on the next day, a few of them went to the sarpanch, Raju Baria’s house to ask him to phone Halol. When they went back to the fields, they were followed by a group of 30-40 people. As they were running, Shamsuddin Majeed Bhai Balim fell down and was killed with swords and dharias. The others managed to run away, and reached Kalol through a circuitous route. The rest, who were hiding in the fields, were rescued by the army on March 3.

The local police refused to accept the common complaint that the Boru Muslims tried to file on March 5, 2002. The complaint was then sent by registered post. They have not got a copy of the FIR. The police at Kalol police station did not attempt to meet the victims, even though the station is just across the road from the refugee camp.

After the attack, the homes of the Muslim villagers were reduced to shells. The Kamal Baba Dargah, some distance away, was broken and the villagers say that a photo of Hanuman was initially installed there. That was later removed but the writing "Jai Hanuman" and "Ram" was still written across its walls. An annual mela is held at the Dargah, where both Muslims and Hindus from as far away as Bombay congregate. During this mela, traders (including Hindus) do business of approximately Rs.1 lakh every year. All this has also been affected by the violence.


In the case of this village, two points of special note are: the role of the police and the authorities at the time of the attacks and, later, at the time of achieving a "compro(mise)". By May, most of the residents had either moved back after compromising and signing affidavits or were in the process of doing so. Relations between Muslims and Hindus were cordial. There has been no history of any communal violence in Malvan in the past. This is the first time anything like this has ever happened in Malvan. But of late the village had a strong presence of the VHP, RSS and Bajrang Dal.

On February 28, 2002, a rally was organised by the Bajrang Dal and VHP at 4.30 p.m. The whole village had gathered there. After the rally, at 6:30 p.m., the first attacks started. The first structures to be attacked and destroyed were a concrete chabutra built to feed birds (a Jain traditional structure which had been rebuilt by the Muslim community) and then a madrassa. Three houses and shops near the bus stand were attacked after this, but no lives were lost.

By evening all the Muslims had left the village and gone into hiding in the nearby hills. Between Thursday (February 28) night and Friday (March 1) morning, they called every official they knew for help, and even met some high authorities of Panchmahal district. Then they came and lodged a complaint in the Santrampur police station. Police assured them of help and dropped them back to Malvan on Friday morning.

They also went to contacts in all political parties, who said, "If you have a problem, go to the police." When they went to the police station, they were told that they have to go to back to Santrampur. When the violence started, on March 1, they were told that there were not enough policemen to provide protection. The response they received from the police was "orders agay se hai"("there are orders from above"). By 3.00 p.m. on March 1, the crowds started gathering again so the Muslim residents left their homes and fled to the hills where they remained in hiding. 25 pucca houses and all kaccha houses belonging to Muslims were burnt down. The furniture and everything of value was looted first; the remaining consigned to flames. The damage is estimated at at least Rs. 2.5 crore. The major businesses belonging to Muslims have already been destroyed and some areas, where the Muslims had their shops/galas have been taken over by the Hindus in the village. There is no scope for any sort of recovery of this usurped space. On March 2, people gradually returned to the village. The same persons who were roaming the village with swords the previous night, offered them tea even as they were sitting in front of their burning houses. A retired CBI officer helped them and they escaped to the Santrampur camp on March 2.

An FIR filed by six persons from Malvan named 16 attackers. During the peace meetings which were conducted between the Hindu and Muslim communities and the state representative, a formula for compromise was put forth. It was agreed that the Muslim residents would prepare affidavits withdrawing the names of the culprits that they had included in the FIR and state that they had been misled and were wrong. The FIRs would stand against unidentified mobs from outside, and, in exchange, these people would be allowed to come back and not be attacked. These affidavits have already been filed and people have started moving back. The vulnerability of these people is perhaps epitomised by a news report published in Sandesh (May 9, 2002), which stated that the Muslims had wrongly named innocent Hindus and have now taken them back. The report goes on to name the Muslims who have taken back the names as well as the Hindus whose names have been taken back.

Mota Sarnaiya

About 393 people from this village escaped with their lives on March 2, while all their belongings were looted. After hiding in the jungle for a whole day, they were taken by the army to the camp in Santrampur. They have lost all their belongings.

This village was in a somewhat unique position. These Muslims were not ready to return to their village. They said that they would rather die than go back to the village. All the residents were agreed on this and refused to go back at all despite the fact that there was tremendous pressure on them, as is on all other displaced people, to go back. They requested that they be settled in Santrampur. The community is in dialogue with local administration on this issue however there is no result in sight.

Evidence collected through testimonies reveals that the women had their clothes torn apart. However, the residents of this village categorically refused to talk about sexual assaults on women. It appears clear that their experience of the mob attacks as well as the fear of assault on women are some of the reasons why these people did not want to go back to the village at all, even though they have been living in Mota Sarnaiya for 5-7 generations. There is a deep silence about the fears that make these people so adamant not to return. There is also a feeling of deep isolation from the other villagers. When the attack took place, the Muslim villagers ran to their Adivasi neighbours for shelter. They reported having had good relations with their neighbours before the attacks began, but who now said, "Who would protect people like you?" Now they have been told by the other residents of their village that if they want to come back, they must "live and behave like us," and not build any masjids or madrassas.

Not everyone has received compensation for their destroyed houses so far and the amounts that have been received are highly inadequate. They have made a written complaint naming 10 perpetrators of violence in their village. Despite their initial reluctance to return, the Tribunal has been informed, that by May 21, the men had returned to clean up the houses and the families were also preparing to go back.


This small town and its surrounding villages are at the border of Panchmahal and Dahod districts. The team from the Forum against Oppression of Women and Awaaz-e-Niswan who visited Dahod, submitted testimonies about the camps in this town to the Tribunal.

Santrampur town has a mixed population, with 80% of the buildings belonging to members of the Muslim community. Hindus and Muslims stay in totally mixed areas. Muslims own most of the shops rented to Hindu shopkeepers, so those have not been damaged. There is no strong RSS or VHP presence in the villages. However, Muslims in the villages on all four sides of Santrampur were targeted for attack.
The vast majority of physical attacks and destruction of property occurred within a 10 km radius of the town of Santrampur. Violence began in earnest on March 1 and lasted until March 3, 2002. The attacks lasted for roughly 20 days. An estimated 2000 people were affected in the Santrampur area. The relief camps in Santrampur housed about 2,000 people from March 1-17, a number that later reduced to 1300. As some people are in the process of moving to their villages, this number is also decreasing. Several hundred villagers from Vajiakhut (all 16 houses of Muslims were burnt): 78 people (23 men, 18 women, 37 children); Sant (old city of Santrampur): 326 (99 men, 83 women, 155 children); Navi Vasahat: 181 (46 men, 48 women, 87 children); Mota Sarnaiya, 18 km from Santrampur, toward Sukhsar: 393 (127 men, 108 women, 158 children) , Malvan: 167 (49 men, 45 women, 73 children); Jala Sag: 14 (4 men, 8 women, 7 children); Kadana: 346, had taken refuge in the camps.

By May 1, the central camp had been removed and some people had returned to their villages or to their relatives’ homes. The remainder were housed in different structures within the village, i.e., a school, a cattle-auction market yard, and one or two rooms in buildings in the town. Living conditions were extremely poor, with no access to medical attention, no income to purchase basic necessities, and complete reliance on rations whose distribution was slow and quantity inadequate. There were three smaller camps in Santrampur, housing people from Navi Vasahat, Mota Sarnaiya, and Sant.

The camp in which the 400 people of Mota Sarnaiya village were staying until May 2002, is actually a market place, full of cow dung and flies. It was in a terrible state. They did not have tents, or any cloth/mattresses to spread on ground. There was also no electrical connection and thus no fans or light. They had been using some water from a bore-well since the water tankers came to this camp at an average interval of 15 days. They had started cooking their morning meal in the camp itself. The evening meal was taken along with everyone else in all the other camps. Many children and women looked extremely ill and weak. They also needed medical, especially gynaecological, services.

Sant village is actually the old city of Santrampur. There were around 326 people from Sant at the relief camp, who were housed in semi-constructed buildings in the town. They arrived here on March 1, and no one had gone back since. Most of their houses and shops, which were burnt and looted, were in front of the police chowki. The police helped the mob break open the locks of the shops and houses and actively encouraged the mob to carry out looting. Today, all the shops and houses belonging to the Muslim residents of Sant have been looted and burnt. The army only arrived on March 3, when all had been looted and everything had been reduced to ashes.

In those cases where they have received compensation, these people, too, received extremely inadequate amounts of compensation, and refuse to go back until the guilty are punished and some accommodation and security is provided to them. Some residents who have been injured, have filed complaints and have mentioned individual attackers by name but no action has been taken against anyone so far. The pressure on them, to arrive at a compromise and take back the names, is extreme.

On February 28, in Diwada Colony, 11 km from Santrampur, Masood Mohammad Hanif Sheikh, a handicapped boy, was killed by a mob. A number of the persons responsible were identified and FIRs lodged, but as of early May, only one had been arrested. In this incident a mob descended on the house and demanded that the women of the house be handed over to them. When the family refused to comply, they set fire to the house. People managed to run away from the house, which had been set on fire, but the boy who was trapped inside, was attacked and killed. Diwada Colony is close to Mandi Mohri, from where another death was reported.


Piplod is a town in Baria taluka, with a large Muslim community. Among the non-Bohra Muslims, the number of total affected households here is 190. On being attacked, the people from here escaped in different directions. In early May, some of them were still at the Dahod camp while others were in Godhra and Baria. On February 28, 2002, several meetings of Hindutvadis took place in Piplod. They notified the sarpanch of the adjoining villages that all the Muslims of this village would be burnt alive and Piplod would be destroyed. When this news reached the Muslim community, they asked the Hindutva leaders to tell them the truth about their plans to kill Muslims. The leaders only told them that they would have to pay for what they did. The Muslims then repeatedly asked for police protection, but the police also said that Muslims would have to pay for what they did and left the area. On the evening of February 28, at around 4 p.m., some timber depots were burnt and when Muslims were trying to put out the flames, the leaders of the mob threatened to set them on fire. So the Muslim leaders went home. Ten to twelve depots were burnt by mobs led by Ketan Parikh, Prithvi Puwar (sarpanch of Guna village), Bhuderbhai Mulabhai (ex-sarpanch ), Salia Manubhai Valabhai (taluka pramukh), Pradipbhai Manabhai, Sunil Rameshchandra Soni. Under the leadership of these people and other businessmen, the mob rushed forward to set the whole village on fire.

The mob burnt six buildings, several shops as well as cabins, belonging to Muslims on Randhikpur Road. When some Muslims tried to talk to the mob, they were also attacked with a round of rifle shooting. Meanwhile they approached the mamlatdar and the province officer of Devgarh Baria, who in turn announced a curfew. As the announcement was being made on a microphone, one of the local Hindu leaders, Sureshbhai Gangaram Darji broke the microphone and told the officers that there was no need to impose curfew in this village and that Muslims must pay for what they have done. Thereafter, both the mamlatdar and the province officer left for Baria.

At around 10:30 a.m. on March 1, Ketan Parikh assembled the Hindu leaders from surrounding villages in front of his house and stated, in public, that all the Muslims should be killed. He asked them to come around 10 p.m. that night, with people from their villages. He gave them arms, swords, dharias, bows and arrows, and some bottles of chemicals, and the mob left. At around 2 a.m. the mob started setting fire to the village chanting, "Ketanbhai zindabad." By this time, other Hindutvavadis staying in the Muslim area, had, en masse, shifted elsewhere. The fierce mob started throwing stones and arrows at the Muslims to force them to leave the area. The Muslims pleaded with them to stop the assault and asked for police protection. The police turned them away, saying that they had received no order so far, and they asked the Muslims to leave the village lest the mob should kill them all. The Muslims feared that the police would also be joining hands with the mob.

Then the sarpanch of Panchela village, Ranchhodbhai Aahir, was informed about the attacks and told that Muslims had no protection, whereupon he offered them protection in his house. By that time, the mob had already started throwing stones and burning houses and masjids on Baria road which is the basti where a large number of Muslims stay. Muslims from other parts of the town had also gathered in the big masjid and in the houses there. They all decided to leave the village and go to Panchela, even though they could not get police protection for their journey. They were stoned on their way to Panchela, and were again stoned on their way to Dahod, despite having police protection for this leg of the journey. They received a few minor and a few major injuries on their journey. After that, no Muslims were allowed to enter the village. Ten days later, when Idrismian Kasammian Malek, went to check the condition of his house, he was burnt alive near the old bus stand, using petrol.

Two months prior to the violence, when the BJP lost in the local elections, Muslims were warned by some men, "Though you helped the Congress to win this time, our time will also come. And then we will loot you and play khoon ki holi ( spray blood)." Their names are Vinod Khemchand Agarwal, Rashmikant Rasik Soni, Gopal Amrutlal Soni, Anilkumar Hashmukhlal Jayswal, Sureshbhai Gangaram Darji, Chandubhai Vishanudas Nathani, Sunil Rameshchandra Soni, Mukesh Manilal Darji, Ashok kumar Kantilal Solanki, Sunilkumar Govindlal Shah.

Although complaints have been registered with the DSP and the collector, Muslims were being told that if they wanted to live in their village they should not list any names or else the attackers would kill some more of them. They got similar answers at the police station. They were also told that if they identified their looted property as their own, they would not be allowed to stay in the village, or that they would be killed. They had registered 28 complaints with the police but no steps had been taken until May. The 44 families from Piplod who were staying at Dahod relief camp wanted to go back to their village. They had started cleaning up the houses and some, whose houses were liveable, were already staying there. In a number of places, where Muslims had their shops, Hindu shops had taken over. Getting them to move and reclaiming their space is another thing for which people from Piplod were fighting.


Limkheda village in Limkheda taluka, has a majority Hindu population with approximately 50-55 Bohra and 20 other Muslim families. Bohras have textile and other shops and the other Muslims have small shops selling soaps, toothpaste, etc. Some of the Muslims are butchers by profession and many young men plied autorickshaws.

About 6-8 weeks before February 27, 2002, a list of all Muslim households and properties in the village was prepared by persons led by a local VHP leader, who is a development officer in LIC, Limkheda. He had been instigating people, saying things like, "These Muslims do not allow the mandir (in Ayodhya). They should be killed."

On February 27, trouble began in Limkheda. At about 3 p.m., a Muslim truck driver was beaten up and a motorcycle belonging to a person from Randhikpur, was burnt at the bus stop. Later that afternoon, Muslims were forced out of buses and beaten up. Dupattas of women were pulled as the mob was chanted obscene slogans. At about 7 p.m., protestors came out onto the streets and started urging shopkeepers to close their shops.

One Bohra man was murdered in Limkheda on February 28. Ten persons from Limkheda who were escaping to Pandu Gaon in Kalol taluka were killed as they were walking to Pandu village from Dailol station. Two children from this family were in the Godhra camp. (see section on Dailol) Everything in the houses was looted, including refrigerators, cots, fans, electrical fittings, grills, doors, and windows. Later, ceilings were damaged and houses burnt down. Most of the looted items are now in neighbouring houses and police stations. Complaints were filed but no action was taken against the culprits. Thereafter, the attackers put saffron flags in front of the houses, along with a board saying "Jai Shri Ram!." The masjid has also been destroyed and they have written "Shri Ram!" inside. Some people from the media had come to film all this, but the people in the village did not let them shoot. In Vakdi village, a church was also destroyed. The priest had been attacked about six months previously. In early March, only been looted. Then, around the March 8-10, the houses were also burnt and then destroyed. Though the walls are still standing, they are in a precarious condition and could collapse any time because building foundations have been fully destroyed. Some families suffered losses of at least Rs. 15-20 lakh. They were now staying with relatives in Dahod and had received only Rs. 12,000 as compensation and no cash dole (for immediate relief). In Limkheda, the HLL agency suffered a loss of Rs. 50-60 lakh. Though everyone had made compensation claims, few received any. The taluka officials were completely unresponsive. A meeting with the mamlatdar and others was held. They told the Muslims, "You have to live here so forget all that happened and don’t register any complaints with names."

Moti Bandibar

Incidents of violence in Moti Bandibar village in Limkheda taluka, were similar to what happened in the rest of Limkheda taluka. The population of the village is about 4,000, of which 260 are Muslims, including about 45 Bohras.

Violence started around 6 p.m. on February 28. The sarpanch, along with some other villagers came and told Muslims to leave their houses. They came to the basti near the police station. Here, the Muslim villagers were assured police protection. About 150 people shifted to one Hindu house that offered protection. The others ran away to the jungle.

The first thing they attacked was the masjid, at 6 p.m. All the fans, utensils etc. were looted. The minarets and the Koran were burnt. The maulvi was burnt alive. Then the basti near the police station was completely looted and two houses were burnt. After that, even the house of the Hindu who had offered them protection was burnt.

Police vehicles came to the village at about 4 a.m., picked up the 150 people who were hiding, and dropped them in Limkheda. By about 7 a.m. on March 1, they reached Dahod and stayed there, in the relief camp. The people who had run into the jungle also came to Dahod by about 3 p.m. that day. Of the people who ran to the jungle, one was killed by a sword. FIRs had been registered in both cases of death. For both deaths, a cash compensation of Rs. 40,000 was received, but, the bonds for Rs. 60,000 had not been received till May.

The previous collector had the refugees moved back to Bandibar. There were around 25 to 30 Muslims living there in May. Others had not returned because they were scared. People who had land and houses in Bandibar wanted to go back, but those who worked as casual labour did not.


Published by: Citizens for Justice and Peace