Gujarat Testifies to Extremists* Arts of killing, Arson, Rape

By SU Rahman, IOL South Asia Bureau 

(See Pictures at:

AHMEDABAD, April 10 (IslamOnline) - Do you have any

inkling as to what really is happening in Gujarat, an

Indian state aflame since February 

27? It simply continues to burn. The state of affairs

in the state, 

after touring it for a week, has left one speechless.

Words fail to 

describe what has been done to Muslims there. In

short, it is Bosnia 


When I started out for the state, I was almost sure

that this tragic 

story of blood, death and fire, that has continued

till today and will 

probably continue for a long time to come, will be

told by someone else. 

Travel for a lone Muslim, who also happens to have a

beard, could 

easily be his last journey. I personally came close to

death twice during 

this one week. 

Thousands of people have been killed during the last

one and a half 

months. Though the government figures have just

crossed 800 casualties -- 

the way things are being hushed up -- the real figures

must be very 

high indeed. People who are working in rehabilitation

and relief say that 

at least 2500 people have been either burnt alive or


YA Charkha, an advocate who has been involved in

setting up of the 

relief camp in Godhra, where the fire started in the

first place, says that 

even the figure of "2500" is not final as daily

reports of killings 

pour in from various areas, especially villages. 

He says that Muslims residing in 400 villages in

Panchmahal district 

under which Godhra falls, have been totally destroyed.

Women, young and 

old alike, have been raped and even then not spared by

the rapists most 

of whom are VHP, Bajrang Dal and RSS activists. Don't

ask about their 

men. They were killed in cold blood before capturing

their women. 

Children as old as just two days were knifed or burnt


The story of Bilqis Yaqub Patel, 20, from Randhigpur

near Godhra, is 

shattering. When her family started out in search of

safety shortly after 

the Godhra incident, there were thirty people with

her. From their 

village they went to Kudwazal village where they took

shelter in the 

village mosque. Here, her sister Shamim delivered a

baby boy, so her mother 

sent the men away. Now, there were only eight women

and eight children 

in the family. Only her maternal uncle was around.

They were then chased 

away by a mob. 

In another village, tribal people sheltered them and

gave them their 

own clothes to help them conceal their identities.

Tribal people sent two 

persons to escort them to Chaparwad village. Here,

people recognized 

them and killed Bilqis's uncle. When they were fleeing

from the scene, a 

mob riding in a Tata Sumo vehicle chased them. 

These devils, who were 24 in all, killed all the

children including 

Bilqis's two-year old son as well as the boy her

sister had delivered just 

two days back. Every woman, young and old, was raped

by three devils 

each and later everyone was killed. They thought

Bilqis too had died. She 

was lying there for two whole days. Now she is in the

relief camp at 

Godhra. She doesn't know who brought her there. When I

asked her about 

her male relatives, she said she has no news about


It is not that she does not recognize the criminals.

She knows them by 

their names. She told me that all the twenty four

people who killed her 

relatives and raped the women were from her own

village and that they 

used to buy milk from her father's dairy. 

As tragic as it sounds, hers is no exceptional story,

though. There are 

hundreds of similar incidents. The case of

Sharifunnisa or Fatima, who 

had come to celebrate Eid with her in-laws, was also

no different. 

When rumors started spreading out, Fatima took shelter

with her family 

in the fields outside their village. The sarpanch

(village headman) 

assured them that nothing will happen and took them to

his house. Here he 

brought a mob of 500 people. Eight people were killed

there. She too 

was injured grievously when she tried to protect her


People in other camps too recount similar horror

tales. Take the story 

of Fatima Bibi Yusuf Patel, now in Shah Alam Camp in

Ahmedabad, or that 

of Jawed Hasan who is just 12 years old. All his

family members were 

burnt alive in front of him. 

Everything belonging to Muslims has been destroyed

with deathly 

precision. There are reports as to how a shop among

hundreds of identical 

shops in a shopping complex was meticulously

identified and burnt, but not 

much has been written as to how a shop, belonging to

the majority 

community still stands while all the shops in the same

complex have been 

destroyed. The lone shop in the Paldi area of

Ahmedabad is still standing 

while all others surrounding it from three sides were

razed to the 

ground. This was not a large departmental store with a

large building, but 

a ramshackle tailoring shop. And to add to the

mystery, this single 

shop amidst all the ruin is still functioning as if

nothing has happened 

there. The destruction around this shop doesn't seem

to have bothered 

its owner a bit. It is the story of every nook and

corner of the state. 

Whole housing complexes have been demolished. And

curiously, not a 

single window pane in the adjacent Hindu housing

complexes has been 

touched. Gupta Nagar, Al-Ateeq, Dinoori Park, Soni Ki

Chal, Narol Highway and 

numerous other places tell the same story again and

again. Muslim 

houses have been totally destroyed with not a single

household item escaping 

the fury of fire. Thousands of people have fled their

houses and have 

either moved to safer areas or have been forced to

take shelter in 

relief camps. 

The fire was so intense that it even peeled the roof

and wall plasters. 

There are several stories about the material being

used to burn shops 

and houses. Some people told me that the material was

imported from 

Israel to quickly dispose of dead bodies after the

last year's earthquake 

and the same is now being used to destroy Muslims. 

Batuk Vora, a former MLA and social activist in

Ahmedabad, said that 

the material being used for setting things afire is

called 'Latex' and 

was being brought from Hyderabad. 

I asked a local activist in Vadodra as to how these

people are able to 

selectively destroy Muslim shops without inflicting

any damage to the 

adjacent Hindu shops? He said that they first drill

into the intended 

shop or house and insert this material. The resulting

fire does not spill 

over; it only destroys everything in that particular

house or shop. 

The story of people still living in Muslim localities

is no less 

tragic. With no work for the past six weeks, thousands

of people are 

starving. Farooq Shaikh, who is running Juhapura

relief camp, says that people 

in relief camps may be a bit better off as they are at

least getting 

food, but people outside, whose businesses have been

destroyed, have 

nowhere to go. These people are also regularly

tortured by police and 

paramilitary forces as well threatened day and night

by the extremist 

outfits. People in both camps and Muslim localities

keep night vigil for fear 

of attacks. 

Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, claims that the

riots have been 

controlled and that these were merely a "reaction" of

the Godhra 

incident. People laugh at such claims. 

Reenuka Sharma, a People's Union for Civil Liberties

activist in 

Vadodra, told me that everything was very finely

planned. She said that riots 

against Muslims were planned much in advance before

the Godhra 

incident. Details from municipality, telephone and

electricity departments were 

collected long before the Godhra incident in order to

identify Muslim 


She said the whole plan to destroy Muslims was laid

down much in 

advance and was carried out in three phases. In the

first, they targeted 

Muslim shops and houses in areas where they were not

numerically strong. In 

the second phase, they attacked Muslims in mixed

colonies. And now, 

after cleansing Muslims from mixed colonies, they are

trying to destroy 

Muslims in areas where they form a formidable


Sharma added that in areas where there was no

violence, local Hindus 

received bangles, a metaphor for cowardice, together

with provocative 

pamphlets. This is why violence keeps spreading to

other areas and still 

continues. Several Muslim-dominated areas in Ahmedabad

and elsewhere in 

the state are regularly being attacked by large mobs

during night. 

The mobs act under full police protection. Muhammad

Nayeem of Juhapura 

said that when the rioters attacked Al-Ateeq housing

colony in 

Ahmedabad, they were fully protected by the police. 

Whenever Muslims tried to defend themselves, the

police fired at them. 

Even now, residential houses in Hindu colonies just

across these 

destroyed housing complexes are well protected by the

police who are 

stationed on roofs and on top floors to keep vigil. 

Police, who did not take any action while Muslims were

being burned 

alive, now daily combs Muslim areas and tortures

Muslim youths. On April 

5, a total of 75 Muslim youths were arrested by police

from Teen Darwaza 

area in Ahmedabad after a stabbing incident and were

tortured so bad 

that even the refugees suffering death and destruction

said they had 

never witnessed such brutality in their life. It is

becoming a normal 

routine for Muslims in the state. 

Mahadev Vidrohi, who heads an Ahmedabad-based NGO,

told IslamOnline 

that action/reaction theory is being fished out by

Modi to protect his 

skin. Virodhi says everything was pre-planned and was

organized by the VHP 

with full Modi support. 

This was confirmed by Patel Shantilal Purshottamdas, a

former deputy 

minister of commerce at the central government and

four times member of 

Lok Sabha (Parliament). He told IslamOnline that in

February, after the 

Godhra incident, Modi came to the town where he met

VHP functionaries 

at the Circuit House. When they asked him what to do,

he told them that 

you should wear bangles. Patel, who was present at the

Circuit House, 

adds that Modi told the VHP people that nothing would

happen if you add 

one or two zeros in response. 

Former Gujarat state chief minister and president of

state Congress 

Party said that everything is planned and executed by

the VHP and the RSS 

with full government support. He said that nothing

will change till 

Modi government is removed. 

Asked about the state government claims that the riots

are planned by 

the Pakistan military intelligence (ISI) or some other

foreign power, he 

laughed and said that they must themselves be ISI

agents since 

everything is planned by these very people and no

foreign power or agency is 

involved in it.

It has been learnt from reliable sources that

full-time functionaries 

of the VHP, Bajrang Dal and the like are on the

payroll of leading 

business houses.


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