Gujarat Riots: The True Story

The Truth of the 2002 riots

The Godhra Carnage

Difference between Godhra and other tragic incidents

Several people- unable to understand the sufferings of the Hindu society- have asked- “Why did riots occur only after Godhra? Why was nobody targeted after the Akshardham temple attack- or after the attacks on Mumbai on 26 November 2008?” Well- the answers are many.

Account of a 16-year-old survivor

Posted on May 22, 2008 - Filed Under 01 - The Godhra Carnage | 52 Comments

   On the 27th February, the Ahmedabad bound Sabarmati Express, carrying karsevaks from Ayodhya was barbarously attacked and burnt at Godhra in which around 60 karsevaks laid their lives. Gayatri Panchal a young eleventh class student was also amongst those who were returning from Ayodhya. She is a surviving witness to the inhuman atrocious cruelty in which right in front of her eyes two of her sisters and parents were burnt alive.

   Harshadbhai Panchal, a resident of Ramol, left for karseva at Ayodhya on the 22nd February, together with his wife Neetaben and three daughters, Pratiksha, Chhaya and Gayatri. His sister in law, her son, her neighbour Poojaben and her would be husband were also accompanying him.All of them were returning to Ahmedabad along with several other karsevaks. Harshadbhai and his family, Poojaben and her husband were in one compartment. While his sister in law and her husband and their son were in another compartment.

   The only survivor out of these ten, Gayatri, says about this horrible event that, “On the 27th morning, at around 8 a.m. the train left Godhra Station. The karsevaks were loudly chanting the Ram Dhoon. The train had hardly gone ½ Km., when it suddenly stopped. Somebody had perhaps pulled the chain to stop the train. Before anybody could know what had happened, we saw a huge mob approaching the train. People were carrying weapons like Gupti, Sphere, Swords and such other deadly weapons in their hands and were throwing stones at the train. We all got frightened and some how closed the windows and the doors of the compartment. People outside were shouting loudly, saying “Maro, Kato” and were attacking the train. A loudspeaker from the Masjid close by was also very loudly shouting “Maro, Kato, Laden na dushmano ne Maro.” These attackers were so fierce that they managed to break the windows and close the doors from outside before pouring petrol inside and setting the compartment on fire so that nobody could escape alive. A number of attackers entered the compartment and were beating the karsevaks and looting their belongings. The compartments were drenched in petrol all over. We were terrified and were shouting for help but who was there to help us? A few policemen were later seen approaching the compartment but they were also whisked away by the furious mob outside. There was so much of smoke in the compartment that we were unable to see each other and also getting suffocated. Going out was too difficult, however myself and Pooja some how managed to jump out through the windows. Pooja was hurt in her back and was unable to stand up. People outside were trying to hold us to take us away but we could escape and run under the burning train and succeeded in crawling towards the cabin. I have seen my parents and sisters being burnt alive right in front of my eyes.” Luckily, by the grace of God, Gayatri was not hurt too badly. “We somehow managed to go up to the station and meet our aunty (Masi). After the compartments were completely burnt the crowd started withering. We saw that even amongst them were men, women and youngsters like us both male as well as female. I returned here after evacuating the dead bodies of my family members at Godhra Station. Out of 18 of us ten had laid their lives.”

Gayatri’s father was a carpenter whereas her mother worked in the Madhyanha Bhojana Yojna (i.e. Mid-day meal scheme), her elder sister Pratiksha was serving in the Collectorate.

In spite of what had happened, Gayatri still feels that she would any time once again venture to go for karseva. She says, “I shall not allow the sacrifice of my parents to go in vein.”

(Source: VSK, Gujarat and various English dailies- such as The Indian Express- 28 Feb 2002)

   Among some details of the brutality, an event that reveals the killing of a Dalit karsevak in the Godhra massacre is worth reproducing. [3]The burning of innocent karsevaks alive was an event that made one’s hair stand erect. Umakant Govindbhai of Saijpur was 25 years of age and working in the Collector’s Office.On 27th February Umakant was in S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express. A mob of 2000 Muslims swarmed on this coach with Petrol cans, stones and sticks.They first threw stones on it and as the doors and windows were closed, threw petrol and set the entire coach on fire. Umakant, who was trying to break the closed door and get away, was pelted with stones by them and pushed with bamboos inside the coach.

  This sort of massacre was not seen anywhere in Independent India. Nor could this compare with any other event-such as the murder of Indira Gandhi, or the post-Godhra riots, or any of the brutal murders of the opponents of the CPI(M) in Kannur district of Kerala. The terrorist attack on the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar or various other temples in India or deadly bomb blasts in various places, in no way, compare with this horrific massacre.

   Godhra was by no means an act of terrorism. Most right-thinking people claim so. But terrorism is completely different. The terror is temporary, the pain is momentary. Indira Gandhi was done to death by a couple of bullets. It was a natural case of murder, albeit of a Prime Minister. Ordinary murders occurring anywhere are mostly the result of stabbing or bullet shots.

  But Godhra was not that. It was much worse. It was an act of communalism and not real terrorism. Terrorists have no religion’ is a statement parroted many times in the media by many people. But Godhra was not done by 1 or 2 terrorists. It was done by a mob, a mass mob of more than two thousand people, ordinary people, not terrorists undergone training in training camps. Not terrorists armed with AK 47, AK 56 rifles or grenades. They were locals, not foreigners. The local Muslims did the barbaric, communal and criminal act of Godhra.

The Indian Express of March 5 2002 reported on Godhra that Congress leaders are accused in Godhra:
1- Mehmud Hussain Kalota, convener of the Congress district minority cell and president of the   Godhra municipality
2- Salim Abdul Ghaffar Sheikh, president of the Panchmahal Youth Congress
3- Abdul Rehman Abdul Majid Ghantia, a known Congress worker
4- Farroukh Bhana, secretary of the district Congress committee
5- Haji Bilal, a known Congress worker” 

When 31 people were convicted for Godhra roasting, 2 Congress men were given LIFE IMPRISONMENT and 1 was given DEATH penalty out of the above 5. Abdul Rehman Abdul Majid Ghantia and Farroukh Bhana have got life imprisonment and Haji Bilal has got death penalty – 3 out of these 5.

Some more details are given in the book. To know the full details, read the book.

Copyright © Gujaratriots.com



3 -Article by Dr Suvarna Raval in Marathi daily Tarun Bharat -21st July 2002

Comments

52 Responses to “Account of a 16-year-old survivor”

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  1. 52
    Difference in outrage over Kathua and Godhra- How the ‘secularists’ defended heinous killers & insulted the dead victims of Godhra UNITED STATES Says:

    [...] pelted on the train. It totally ignored the testimonies of dozens of survivors and witnesses, like Gayatri Panchal and others, and resorted to stooping to this level to whitewash the heinous crime of Muslims of [...]

  2. 51
    The real Saba Naqvi: Here is how the 'neutral journalist' supported killers of Ram Sevaks in Sabarmati Express burning - Opindia News GERMANY Says:

    [...] darkness of night. There were many witnesse, and survivors of the train attack in Godhra whose testimonies prove beyond doubt what had happened. Initially, even the self-styled ‘secularist’ media houses [...]

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