They lost their childhood to the 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots

(Click on photos to go to gallery)

Tripal Singh was 11 years old when his father was killed in Nandnagri. He used to run a small dhaba and Tripal would help him after school. Tripal was in a bus with his cousin and going to his father on 1st Nov. He had a turban then and he remembers being slapped by strangers on the way. But someone also warned him not to travel any further. He was given shelter by a Hindu family. He hid for three days and after the riots found his father's dhaba burnt. They  never found his fathers body.

Tripal Singh was 11 years old when his father was killed in Nandnagri. He used to run a small dhaba and Tripal would help him after school. Tripal was in a bus with his cousin and going to his father on 1st Nov. He had a turban then and he remembers being slapped by strangers on the way. But someone also warned him not to travel any further. He was given shelter by a Hindu family. He hid for three days and after the riots found his father's dhaba burnt. They never found his fathers body.

(Interview with Rediff.com on my photo-essay on the Second Generation  1984 anti-Sikh riot victims, Delhi)

They lost their childhood to the 1984 riots.

In a moving photo documentary, the children of the horrific October 31-November 1-2, 1984 riots narrate personal tales bound together by the common themes of violence, loss and the death of their childhood, reports Sanchari Bhattacharya.

When photographer Sanjay Austa knocked on the doors of the ominously named Widow’s Colony in Delhi, the residents — all survivors of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots — assumed that he had come to do a routine story. But when he asked the women if he could talk to their children instead, they were taken aback. For residents of this colony in Trilokpuri, west Delhi, are used to talking to inquisitive journalists, who often ask them to recount details of the communal carnage that had taken away their beloved husbands.

They are also used to the sudden media attention every year around the time of the anniversary of the riots, or when a senior leader is rapped on charges of inciting them 26 years ago. But their children had so far remained beyond the spotlight of journalistic curiosity.

“Whenever one thinks of the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, we think of the widows of the victims,” says Austa. “But no one pays any attention to the children of these widows. Perhaps because the children don’t appear to be as interesting as victims, or maybe because they were too young at that time to give any gory account of the riots,” he adds.

Rajinder Singh was 10 years old when his father was killed in the 1984 anti-sikh riots in New Delhi. Rajinder was hiding in his neighbour's house with his six siblings. His father was advised to cut of his hair but he refused. He hid in his house in Nandnagri but the mob found  and killed him on 1Nov.  He was also a ricksha-puller.

Rajinder Singh was 10 years old when his father was killed in the 1984 anti-sikh riots in New Delhi. Rajinder was hiding in his neighbour's house with his six siblings. His father was advised to cut of his hair but he refused. He hid in his house in Nandnagri but the mob found and killed him on 1Nov. He was also a ricksha-puller.

The vivid images of From Lost Childhood to Uncertain Future, his photo documentary, starkly outline the stories of children “who grew up in the shadow of the riots. These children were newborns or only a few years old or in their mother’s womb when they lost their fathers, brothers and uncles,” says Austa. Now in their mid to late twenties, these youngsters narrate personal tales bound together by the common themes of violence, loss and the death of their childhood.

 

While working on the photo documentary, Austa discovered that the riots had not only left an indelible scar on the minds of the survivors, it had also altered social and financial equations forever for the bereaved families. “The male members were the only breadwinners and the women were housewives. Suddenly the women had to take up clerical posts to make a living and there was no one to look after the children at home,” says Austa. “Some of the widows remarried and their children from the first marriage were often neglected or alienated,” he adds. “All these children had a difficult childhood and it showed. As children, they either dropped out of schools or had to help their mother supplement the family income,” reveals Austa. “Today, more than 60 percent children born in the wake of the 1984 riots are either drug addicts, or unemployed or involved in petty crimes.”

Austa, who visited the colony for an earlier assignment, was struck by the sight of several young men milling around on the streets, apparently ‘doing nothing’. “I made enquiries and found out that these were people who were born during the riots. Most of them were school dropouts and were unemployed. Some of them were clearly on drugs,” he says, explaining how he chanced upon the unusual subject.

Manjeet Singh was three years old when his father was killed by a mob in Bhanjanpura on 1Nov. They descended on their house and dragged his father out. His mother went with him pleading with the mob. They even threw her 10 year old son in a burning pyre. But someone from the mob rescued him. His father was taken away and his body was never found. (sanjay austa austa)

Manjeet Singh was three years old when his father was killed by a mob in Bhanjanpura on 1Nov. They descended on their house and dragged his father out. His mother went with him pleading with the mob. They even threw her 10 year old son in a burning pyre. But someone from the mob rescued him. His father was taken away and his body was never found.

On why he chose to take up photography full time, Austa says, “I think a photograph can convey a story in a stronger way than words. In words, we can exhibit our prejudices, our biases, but a photograph is just what is there. I am not really comfortable with the idea of shooting someone on the street and not having anything to do with him or her later. I like to engage myself in the subjects I shoot. The subjects I choose must have an interesting story to tell which I  try and tell through pictures,” he says.

Austa realised that the process of sharing the tragic stories of his subjects would require extremely sensitive handling and a lot of patience in this case. “During the first few visits, I did not take a single picture,” he says. Instead, he spent that time meeting the families, talking to the youth and forging an understanding with them. “It was much later, after I had won their confidence, that I began shooting,” he says.

Many youth as well as the middle-aged people in the widows colony are unemployed with no permanent job. (sanjay austa austa)

Watching the world go by. Many youth as well as the middle-aged people in the widows colony are unemployed with no permanent job.

The members of the second generation of the riot victims are painfully aware that life has dealt them a raw deal, that they lost their shot at a better life when their fathers lost their lives in the riots. The trauma of either witnessing or hearing stories about the brutal murders of their family members continues to haunt these youngsters. “Some of them, who were four years or older, remember the events vividly. Very few second generation victims could make something of their lives,” says Austa.

His photographs, which capture the moods and moments of the second generation survivors, have garnered a considerable amount of attention after they were posted online. They also received a fair amount of interest from an unexpected quarter. “Hardline sympathisers of the Khalistani movement, who are settled abroad, wanted to appropriate these pictures for their anti-India propaganda. But my intention is only to tell the story as best as I can,” says Austa.

On how the young residents of the Widow’s Colony have reacted to being photographed thus, Austa says, “Some of them were happy (with the photographs), but others wanted to know why I shot them from such crazy angles. They wanted to know why I didn’t take straight shots like they do in studios.”

 


23 Responses to “They lost their childhood to the 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots”

  1. preetjyot says:

    first of all Sanjay thanx for showing ur interest in this field…. but one thing i would like to chalk out is, 1984 were not RIOTS it was bloody CARNAGE…
    if u could understand the clear meaning of these two terms… RIOTS are b/w two groups or group of people who attack each other wid same vitality n energy….
    but in 1984 it was bloodshed of innocent Sikh by mob in brutal 3 days…. so i’ll feel relief if u concern upon it….
    but moreover i m thankful to u, dat u hv taken this as initiative as people of India might have forgotten those blood stained nights n carnage of thousands of Sikhs….

    • sanjay austa says:

      I agree with you Preetjyot it was more like a carnage and pogrom than riots. But don’t go by my title. The individual stories of the victims tells the story of carnage in detail enough. I use the title as its the popular term used in the media. Thanks a lot. I am glad the photo-essay made some sense to you.

  2. preetjyot says:

    thanx sanjay… for feedback but my aim was to boycott the title given by the media and other communities… because it feeble the whole massacre and itz heartrending incidents when a unknown person look into it first tym…
    moreover thanx again and god bless u!!

  3. Joy says:

    and we call our self united…wat a pitty.

  4. Suffering says:

    It was Genocide..

  5. Sonu says:

    I am travelling to Inida soon. Is there anything I can do to help these people?

    • sanjay austa says:

      Sonu. There is certainly a lot you can do. However my telling you what you can do may not be appropriate . But i think its not hard to think of ways to help people. Thanks

      • Jaz Singh says:

        Actually Sanjay the use of the word ‘riot’ has a far bigger (and sinister) implication than you can comprehend. You will not find a Sikh anywhere on earth that will refer to the events of 1984 as a ‘riot’. The main reason, of course, is because it doesn’t fit the definition of the word ‘riot’. If thinks that quite clearly are not riots can be called ‘riots’ then does that mean we can start calling cricket ‘football’ and kabaddi ‘tennis’ ? Indians, generally, have a very poor grasp of history. It is said that those that don’t learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat it. I am referring here to what happened the last time a ruling power tried to devalue the lives of a group of people by calling a massacre a ‘riot’. The event was the ‘Boston Massacre’ (or riot) of 1770. The colonists (Americans) called it what it was, i.e a massacre. The ruling British called it a ‘riot’. The colonists (Americans) realised from that moment on that their lives were considered cheap by the nation that ruled them. This simple issue of semantics proved to be the catalyst that spawned the American independence drive. My point, Sanjay, is that an awful lot of the good you have to say gets lost because of your acceptance and use of a word which itself is an integral part of the terrible events.

        • sanjay austa says:

          Hi Jaz, I agree with you totally . What happened in 1984 was a pogrom. I am only going by the popular description of what happened. But no where does one say it was a riot alone. it is referred to as Anti-Sikh riots.

  6. arun shanghavi says:

    The real perpatrators,the Katil are sitting pretty in delhi and enjoying NOW but i pray to god that they get their punishment.I am ashamed of what happened to my sikh bretherns and sisters.Without the sacrifices of sikh community over the generations,we would not be enjoying the freedom of today.!

    • Vinay says:

      Attack on a religion which was made by Guru Nanak Dev Ji for the well being of Hindu community only.Its really shameful.

      But still we are together and will be.Singh will remain King always……

  7. Ranjit says:

    Thank you for this Sanjay. This helps in keeping the victims voices alive, the struggle for justice goes on and a new generation will take up the responsibility of keeping this cause alive. Its a sad reflection on the non-Hindus in India, that reminds us that all minorities can be victims of pogroms in India.

  8. Preet says:

    I have posted many comments on this regard but no Indian newspaper such as Times of India, Indian Express, The Hindus and The Hindustan Times published it online. I think India is worst country in the matter of freedom of speech and public opinion. I posted the comments that on what basis India call itself largest democracy in the world. On one hand the leading Hindu parties exercise indirect dictatorship. They crush week and mionorities all the time. They are worst example of partial behaviour against race and religions. Sikh families who lost innocent family members in 1984 riots (or Hindu terrors) can never forget their dear ones even after death. The girls who were mercilessly raped can never forget that pain. While this party say that forget about it. They can forget but who have gone through that terror can never forgive these wicked minded people. I have also watched that no one in parliament is willing to hear the matter of 1984. They can not have peace with thier own people how they can establish peace with Pakistan and China. (It does not mean that Chinese and Pakistanies are better than Indians, they might be more worst and racist). Sikhs own this land as much as Hindus own. Difference was that Hindus did not follow teaching of Sikh gurus 400 years ago while some followed their teaching and become Sikh. If Sikhs at that time demanded for Khalistan, it was because they were always made fun and not treated well in this country. What government did to them? Divided the Punjab into 4 parts so that Sikhs can not get big share of land. While this country has been land of Saints what they have learned from their teaching. Did Indian Saints teach killing and mercilessness towards other human if they wear different cloths or different skin than us.
    Amitabh bachan was friend of rajiv Ghandi and used his famous image among crazy illiterate people to agitate. We can understand the reason he was supporting congress. While this actors mother was Sikh. Bachan is clever man who always escape from all wrongdoings. PM Rajiv in 1984 said, “once a mighty tree falls, it is only natural that the earth around it shakes”. But when earthquake or any natural disaster like Tsunami, comes, it doesn’t see your religion and race—it kills all alike. When earth shake it treats everyone women, men, children, black, white, animal equally.

  9. Preet says:

    All indian newspapers are actually voice of Hindus only. They have blocked their websites for comments. It is hard for them to take comments from people who are opposed to this inhuman terror. Turth is bitter.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Indian gov has amend a law that sikhism is a seperate religion. It was not seperate before 1984 and even before 400 years ago. They divided punjab into many small pieces. How many more divisions you will make in all areas of this ountry to fulfill your selfish motives? Sonia commented, ” in 1984 I thought, they will kill my husband also”? WHo will kill? To whom you killed? Without any fault on their fault, they became victim? Is this a jungle? Is this a world of fools? Is this country made up of brutal animals?

  11. indian says:

    We love our sikh brothers. The saved our hindu religion.

  12. Preeti says:

    Why do we hate Hindus so much? Have we forgotten that Hindus family saved life of many Sikhs in 1984. Common Hindu do not hate Sikhs. It is only Hindu activist parties, who generate haterdness among people for their own selfish motives. All sikh Gurus were also Hindus, and saved hindu families 400 years ago from Muslims. There was no Sikh religion 400 years ago. People who accepted teaching of GuruNanak dev ji started to be called Sikhs. It is also written in the GuruGranth Sahib ji, “Mera oopdesh chohon varno ko snjha” . Meaning is that His teachings is for all the people of the world, whoever want to accept it. Sikh gurus also promoted pure satvic vegetarian food to their disciples. All Hindus, Sikhs, Mulims, Christians are allowed to read this Holy book. Guru Granth Sahib ji is not a property of any group of people (despite it is not insulted). It was insulted only once in 1984 when it was burned.

  13. Aastha Tyagi says:

    Dear Sanjay,

    I am currently working on a paper on the Anti-Sikh pogrom that you have covered and trying to re-write it through memory recollections. That is how I came across your photo essay. The concept is absolutely brilliant and should be theorized as it will help understand effects of trauma better. And perhaps help those killers understand that what they do now has consequences they cannot imagine. Even after seeing them in Delhi, free and running our country, my belief in God and Karma falters slightly. But I hope I am proved wrong.

    Take care and thank you for such a brilliant essay.

  14. i see your site . it is very nice i really like it . thanks for sharing.

  15. Jaspal Singh says:

    Instead of getting angry, let us understand the matter. If we replace proper nouns with the names of the underlying variables,it is found that the society in India is only partially organised. The political structructures are not accompanied by supporting norms. Politics is elite competition. The masses are not politicised. Political parties are dynamic coalitions with ever-changing loyalties. Such loyalties are often based on mutual obligations between patrons and their clients. During crisis situations they find it necessary to mobilise the masses. This is done in the name of anything that works for the time being. If they want to keep away their rivals, they precipitate crises, including inter-caste and communal riots. They play several tricks of their trade for doing so: divide and rule, shifting responsibility, disinformation, and re-appropriation of collective resources for private use. We can get out of this vicious circle by moving over to more than partial political organisation by way of politicisation of the entire society. Let all the citizens of the country participate in the ongoing political process. Eternal vigilance is the price of security against political thugs.

  16. sonia says:

    very sad to see this. i remember the 1984 riots, it was so brutal & fanatic. i want to know, are there any sikh organizations, that we (youth) can become a part of and help these sikh children and women towards a better life. its not just financial damage but a great amount of mental agony that they have gone through for which counselling and discussions should help

  17. hem raj jain says:

    To
    India Against Corruption

    Attn:- Madam Kiran Bedi

    Mr. Justice (Retd) Santosh Hegde, kindly granted me the appointment and I met him at 10.00 Hrs today on December 1, 2012 at his residence at Bangaluru in connection with the following matter.

    I was trying to get the support of Mr. Hegede because I was under the impression that Mr. Hegde is still the executive body member of ‘India Against Corruption’ (IAC) of Anna Hazare and his Team (including your goodness).

    But Mr. Hegde told me that he is no more with IAC hence I can (in individual capacity with some individuals) go-ahead with this petition in Supreme Court by engaging an advocate (in addition to other provisions of law, also by invoking the inherent power of the Court and also under Article 21 and 32 of Indian Constitution along with petition in NHRC to intervene in this Supreme Court proceedings with Court permission under Section 12 (b) of the Protection of Human Rights Act).

    I otherwise also could have filed this petition in Supreme Court in my individual capacity but as your goodness knows that unless some organization (like IAC) is backing this petition nothing good and effective will come out of it.

    Therefore I request your goodness to kindly talk to other executive members of IAC (And Anna) and after taking a press conference (with other executive body members of IAC and preferably with Anna too) in Delhi, kindly ensure that this petition is filed in Supreme Court at the earliest, so that not only ‘Hatyare’ (murderers) do not rule India (at Centre and in States) but also such unfortunate massacres (as in 1984 and 2002) which take away the lives of thousands of innocent people (which also badly tarnishes the secular image of India in world community) do not take place in future in our country.

    I am prepared to come to Delhi for assisting your goodness / IAC in filing this petition in Supreme Court regarding Section 130 and 131 CrPC etc.

    Regards.

    Yours truly

    Hem Raj Jain

    (Author of ‘Betrayal of Americanism’)

    Richfield, Minnesota – 55423, USA, Ph: 612-202-4053

    Presently at – Bangaluru – 560078

    xxxxxxxxxxxx

    Dr. Ajaib Singh
    Member, National Commission for Minorities
    New Delhi

    Hon’ble Sir

    In the petition discussed below regarding 2002 massacre of Muslims in Gujarat, the 1984 massacre of Sikhs should also be included so that justice is done to the thousands of Sikhs massacred at Delhi

    Regards

    Hem Raj Jain

    xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Hon’ble Sh. Wajahat Habibullah
    Chairperson
    National Commission for Minorities
    New Delhi

    Sub:- Clarification about Your Honor’s reply to my petition to NCM

    Hon’ble Sir

    In reply to my following online petition dated November 27, 2012 to NCM (addressed to Hon’ble Ms. Syeda Bilgrami Imam, Member, National Minorities Commission), today on November 29, 2012 I have received your following kind reply via email.

    As I could not understand the full meaning of your kind reply therefore Your Honor is requested to kindly clarify the following:-

    (1)- Is it Your Honor who will be discussing this matter with Members of NCM (Hon’ble Mr. Vinod Sharma and Hon’ble Mr. K. N. Daruwala) ?

    (2)- Or Your Honor is directing and referring me to Hon’ble Mr. Vinod Sharma and Hon’ble Mr. K. N. Daruwala to discuss this matter ?

    (3)- In case Your Honor is directing and referring me to discuss this matter with Hon’ble Mr. Vinod Sharma and Hon’ble Mr. K. N. Daruwala – then as Your Honor is aware that I live at Bangaluru then are Hon’ble Mr. Vinod Sharma and Hon’ble Mr. K. N. Daruwala coming to Bangaluru ?

    (4)- If not then, is Your Honor expecting me to come to Delhi or at any other place where Hon’ble Mr. Vinod Sharma and Hon’ble Mr. K. N. Daruwala will be available for this discussion ?

    (5)- What will be the place, date and time suitable for Hon’ble Mr. Vinod Sharma and Hon’ble Mr. K. N. Daruwala to discuss this matter ?

    Regards

    Yours truly

    Hem Raj Jain

    (Author of ‘Betrayal of Americanism’)

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    From whabibullah@nic.in
    To jainhemraj59@gmail.com

    May like to discuss with Vinod and Keki

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    To
    Hon’ble Ms. Syeda Bilgrami Imam
    Member, National Minorities Commission (NCM)

    Sub:- Petition to kindly help in filing the following Court cases about 2002 Gujarat massacre of thousands of innocent Muslims.

    Hon’ble Madam:

    The following Court cases ought to be filed without any further delay so that not only justice is done in Gujarat 2002 massacre of thousands of innocent Muslims (the largest minority community in India) but also such massacres do not take place in future any where in India and for this purpose and mission I seek your kind help and guidance:-

    (1)- Prominent media has reported that JCMOE Chairman Syed Shahabuddin has publicly asked Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to offer at least 20 assembly tickets to Muslims in coming Gujarat Assembly elections. The JCMOE (Joint Committee of Muslim Organizations for Empowerment) is an umbrella body of these 10 Muslim organizations – 1. Jamiat-ul-Ulema Hind: Maulana Arshad Madni, President, Maulana Mahmood Madni, General Secretary 2. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind: Maulana Jalaluddin Umri, Amir-e-Jamaat 3. All India Majlis-e-Mushawarat: S.Shahabuddin, President 4. All India Milli Council: Dr. Manzoor Alam, General Secretary 5. Movement for Empowerment of Muslim Indians (MOEMIN): Moosa Raza, President 6. All India Momin Conference: Furkan Ansari, MP, President 7. All India Shia Conference: Shamim Kazim, President 8. Markazi Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadith: Maulana Asghar Imam Mahdi Salafi,General Secretary 9. Imarat-e-Sharia: Bihar: Maulana S. Nizamuddin, Amir-e-Shariat 10. All India Muslim Educational Society: Bashiruddin Babukhan, Vice President.

    (2)- This act of JCMOE is nothing short of en-cashing 2002 Gujarat pogrom on the dead bodies of thousands of massacred innocent Muslims. The JCMOE is doing it for the simple reason that it is afraid of getting proper cases filed in Courts for prosecuting government functionaries (the then Prime Minister Vajpayee, Union Home Minister Advani, Defence Minister Fernades, Chief Minister Modi and other concerned public servants) – who were legally responsible for this 2002 massacre.

    (3)- The entire matter of justice for the victims of Gujarat massacre 2002 can broadly be divided in three categories based on the fundamental distinction that in category (1) & (2), no evidence is needed from the victims of this massacre and Higher Judiciary of its own should have imparted justice long back, based upon government records only. Whereas evidence is needed from the victims for the category (3) only, where Higher (subordinate) Judiciary is dependent on the evidences from the victims in various cases pending in courts :-

    Category (1)- Events from 28/2/2002 to mainly 3/3/2002, concerning Gujarat Government :-

    (4)- People in large numbers came on streets all over riot affected Gujarat due to call for State-wise ‘Bandh’ (illegal, as in view of emotionally charged atmosphere due to Godhra incidence there was no permission from authorities of Gujarat for this State-wise Bandh) given by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and supported by its traditional allies / associates like BJP, RSS, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena etc. Despite no permission for Bandh thousands of Bandh observing people under the ‘office bearers’ of these Hindutva out-fits came on streets and indulged in heinous crimes of murder, rape, assault, arson, loot, criminal trespass etc.

    (5)- Police of Gujarat (right from SHO of police stations of riot effected areas to their superiors up-to S.P., Commissioner, IG, DGP etc including intelligence, jointly responsible under section 36 of CrPC) and the then Home Minister and the then Chief Minister and their Secretaries and Executive Magistrates of areas were under legal obligation to arrest / get arrested these ‘office bearers’ of VHP, BJP, RSS, Bajarang Dal, Shiv Sena etc. not only for carrying out illegal Bandh but, under section 34 and 120-B, 511 IPC, also for their complicity in / responsibility of heinous crimes of rioters, including crimes of murder, rape, assault, arson, loot, criminal trespass etc.

    (6)- But on the contrary, the vice-president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Acharya Giriraj Kishore could address press during riots (as was reported by entire media) and office bearers of VHP along with its allies / associates BJP, RSS, Bajarang Dal, Shiv Sena etc. could get away during these 2002 riots without getting arrested and prosecuted for these heinous crimes of murder, rape, assault, arson, loot, criminal trespass etc.

    (7)- Higher judiciary does not need any evidence from the victims of Gujarat riots 2002 (A)- for prosecuting at-least these perpetrators (the ‘office bearers’ of VHP along with its allies / associates BJP, RSS, Bajarang Dal, Shiv Sena etc.) who committed these heinous crimes by their ‘acts of commission’ and (B)- for prosecuting public servants (right from SHO of police stations of riot effected areas to their superiors up-to S.P., Commissioner, IG, DGP etc including intelligence, jointly responsible under section 36 of CrPC) and the then Home Minister and the then Chief Minister and their Secretaries and Executive Magistrates – who by their ‘acts of omission’ allowed these rioters on street (despite no permission for Bandh) to commit these heinous crimes with impunity.

    (8)- Here it is needless to say that once Higher Judiciary ensures the sanction for prosecution of said public servants and prosecution of all these criminal (who by their acts of omission and commission respectively, are responsible for these heinous crimes) then the entire out-come of the category (3) too would be immensely impacted in the interest of justice.

    Category (2)- Events from 28/2/2002 to mainly 3/3/2002, concerning Central Government :-

    (9)- Whether the police force needed, for the dispersal of unlawful assembly, under section 129 CrPC was provided to Executive Magistrates by Gujarat Government adequately or not – may be decided by Court hence it needs no mention here. But here what is important is to go into provisions of section 130 and 131 of CrPC, which are related to use of armed forces (military) to disperse such assembly / rioters and power of certain armed force officers to disperse this assembly / rioters, respectively.

    (10)- As per section 130 CrPc when such assembly cannot be dispersed by police force, then the Executive Magistrate is to get it dispersed by the armed forces. So when rioters could not be dispersed during 2002 riots by police force then concerned Executive Magistrates in all the riots affected areas of Gujarat were legally expected to call armed forces to disperse the rioters. No body else (including Ministers or Chief Minister) is legally expected to call the armed forces. It is only Executive Magistrate on the spot who has to call the army in such scenario and while in office, he is under legal obligation to keep himself informed that from which nearest pace (and not from distant India’s capital Delhi) he will get military for this purpose of dispersing such assembly / rioters. The calling of army in 2002 by Chief Minister (or by any other authority) and that too from distant Delhi was against section 130 CrPC. The then Union Home Minister was legally expected to move the competent authority for the dismissal of the then Government of Gujarat (under Article 356 of the Constitution) due to breakdown of rule of law, where Executive Magistrates of various districts were not calling Army from nearest places in Gujarat to curb the rioting in Gujarat.

    (11)- But what is more legally objectionable is the act of omission of the then Prime Minister and Defense Ministers and their secretaries in Union Government which caused these heinous crimes of rioters at such large scale. As per section 131 CrPC once military is in the area where rioting is going on then prior permission of / requisitioning by Executive Magistrate is not required. Army officers at site are legally expected to curb the rioting with the use of force, whatever force reasonably required, and by keeping Executive Magistrate informed to the extent possible.

    (12)- In a nutshell, once army is deputed in the rioting area then it is not the State Government but the Union Government (under which Army is), which is primarily responsible for mobilizing adequate armed forces for effectively curbing the riots. Hence for this acts of omission, the Army officer in rioting areas (and their senior officers in command and control), the then Defense Minister, the then Home Minister and the then Prime Minister and their Secretaries deserve to be prosecuted.

    (13)- In this matter of filing proper Court cases, the Muslims are not getting any help from Congress (the ruling party at Centre and opposition party in Gujarat) because of (i)- 1984 massacre where thousands of Sikhs (another minority community in India) were butchered and there too sections 129, 130 and 131 CrPC would come into play (and that too in Delhi where there has been huge presence of Military) and which would embarrass Congress which was in power at Delhi in 1984 and (ii)- Unwillingness of political class in general to make military the ultimate hope (though it is legally expected under Sections 130 and 131 CrPC ) for the threatened victims of any riot / massacre.

    (14)- JCMOE which has knowledge of these legal provisions to prosecute (in addition to other responsible for this 2002 massacre) the said government functionaries due to fear (because no political party is supporting them in this matter) is trying to buy peace for ~ 180 million Muslims in Hindu majority India by getting some money or jobs or place in elected bodies for the victims, their relatives or family members or even for the Muslim community – without realizing for a moment that how the departed souls of the butchered thousands of Muslims would rest in peace if people (especially State functionaries who are more culpable) responsible for this 2002 Gujarat massacre are not punished as per the provisions of law.

    Madam, I have been contacting for the last more than an year so many people and authorities (including Hon’bles PM, SCI, GHC, NHRC, GSHRC, NCM) for the purpose of getting these court cases filed but it seems people are not interested (may be out of fear) to get justice to the victims of 2002 Gujarat massacre. I sincerely hope that you as NCM Member will ensure that these Court cases are filed without any further delay.

    Though with my legal background I am confidant that the said Court cases are in accordance with law of the land but still if Your Honor thinks it proper (and for Your Honor’s satisfaction) then I can get further legal opinion about said Court cases (related to section129, 130, 131 CrPC etc) from Mr. Justice (Retd.) Santosh Hegde (if Your Honor kindly refer me to him) who lives at Bangaluru and who also participated with Your Honor and others (recipient of the copy of this petition) in ‘Inter Commission Dialogue on Child Rights in India’ held on February 22, 2012, at Magnolia Hall, India Habitat Center, New Delhi (in context to add that in 2002 Gujarat massacre children & women also suffered)

    Regards

    Yours truly

    Hem Raj Jain

    (Petitioner)

    Aged 67 years S/o Late Sh N. C. Jain

    Presently at – S/72, Maya Indraprasth, J P Nagar Ph VI th, Bangaluru – 560078, India, Ph:- 080 – 41144997, 07829074704

    CC to – Mr. Justice (Retd) Santosh Hegde, Bangaluru

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