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

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Incidents of Post-Godhra violence
Patan

 

Three witnesses who are residents of Ghasiawas in Radhanpur, Patan, deposed before the Tribunal. In the FIRs they filed on the violence in their village, the first accused named is the BJP MLA from the Santalpur division of Radhanpur. Accused no. 2 is the chief of the BJP unit in Radhanpur taluka. Accused no. 3 and others are members of the Bajrang Dal, RSS and VHP.

Nanabhai Pyarmohammed G Sheikh, one of the witnesses, testified that the accused arrived in tractors to spread terror in Radhanpur on March 1. They started looting and burning shops using petrol and diesel which they had brought in cans. From Lalbaug to Patni Gate, they targeted only those shops which belonged to the minority community. After this, they set fire to a Muslim religious place known as Gol Otla.

Ghulam Jelani Ghulam Rasul Shaikh, the nephew of the witness and other boys from the locality were standing at Patni Gate watching the frenzied mob on a rampage. Without any provocation, accused no. 1, Shankarbhai Lakhdhirbhai Chaudhri, shot the witnessí nephew and another boy Ghulam Nabi Kalubhai Shaikh point blank. As the bullets hit both in the chest, they collapsed on the spot. The other people from the locality who were also standing there tried taking the injured boys in a jeep to the Referal Hospital. The driver of the jeep was Yakubbhai Nabibhai Chauhan.

As the jeep left Patni Gate and passed Gol Otla, the mob standing there tried to stop the vehicle. The driver went faster. When they reached Lohanawadi, they saw an electric pole blocking the road. The driver was forced to stop the jeep. The mob that was standing around started throwing stones at the driver who was injured; frightened, he ran to the police station to save his life. Meanwhile, the wounded Ghulam Nabi Kalubhai Shaikh, who stumbled out of the stationary vehicle, was attacked on the head with scythes so the police took him to hospital. Ghulam Jelani Ghulam Rasul Shaikh, the wounded nephew of the witness was the only one left in the jeep. The jeep was torched by the mob and he was burnt alive.

Although the families of the victims were desperate to reach the police, they were unable to do so because of the mob. Subsequently, they called the police station several times but no one paid any attention to what they said. As curfew was later clamped on the town, there was further delay in lodging the complaint. Another complaint was sent by registered post to the local police station. The main accused who have been named are: Shankarbhai Lakdhirbhai Chaudhri (MLA Santalpur, Radhanpur), Pravinbhai Thakkar Mahalakshmi, (Radhanpur, chief of the Radhanpur taluka BJP), Prakash Keshavlal Thakkar (known as Prakash Dakshini), Doctor Rawal (runs a hospital in Lalbaug), Kanubhai Deri, Vinod Kumar Goklani, Satishbhai Thakkar (sells dish antennae), Thakore Ajmalbhai Abhabhai (Chalwada, taluka Radhanpur), Bharatkumar Kalyanji Thakkar (Ambika Electronics, Lalbaug, Radhanpur), Ratilal Vyas (vice-chief, Santalpur taluka panchayat, Varahi). Also included in the list of accused are other residents of Radhanpur town, and taluka, a mob of more than 700 VHP, Bajrang Dal and RSS workers. The Ghasiawas police post, Radhanpur taluka has been indicted for non-action.

The second witness, Ibrahim Miyabhai Shaikh, a driver from Patan, who was on the spot when the two boys were shot, also filed a separate complaint.

 

 

Published by: Citizens for Justice and Peace