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 | 54 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”, she said.

   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)

   The trial court in its judgment of 22 February 2011 convicting 31 people too said that the carnage was planned. Gayatri Panchal also told the SIT exactly the same in 2008, reported by the DNA on 27 June 2009.

   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 ©

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


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

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  1. 30
    Deepak UNITED STATES Says:

    Congratulation to BJP for spectacular performance in recent state electioons across India. Lol, seems like entire nation is hsowing the mood to BJP that there days in politics are numbered lol!


  2. 29
    Abdul SAUDI ARABIA Says:

    Really interesting news article:

  3. 28
    Deepak UNITED STATES Says:

    Fourteen policemen involved in the Ishrat Jahan encounter on Tuesday alleged there was “serious groupism and infighting” among senior Indian Police Service officers in Gujarat, as a result of which they were being victimised and they have approached the High Court for transferring the case.

    The case relating to the encounter should be transferred either to 5the Central Bureau of Investiugation or any other Special Investigation Team and there should be no officer of state police on board, they said in an application before the Gujarat High Court.

    Ishrat Jahan, along with three others — Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar– was killed on the outskirts of Ahmedabad [ Images ] on June 15, 2004 in a police encounter.

    IPS officer G L Singhal and 13 other policemen in the application alleged that “on account of serious groupism and infighting among senior ranked IPS officers” they were being victimised in Gujarat.

    The policemen stated that they are anticipating arrest by the present SIT, which has now virtually become a one-man team of IPS officer Satish Verma, following the April 21 order by a High Court Bench comprising Justice Patel and Justice Abhilasha Kumari.

    Singhal and others have contended that handing over the probe to only one IPS officer would be ‘prejudicial’ to them. They also expressed serious apprehensions that Verma could take coercive steps against them, generate fake evidence and may falsely implicate them in the case.
    In their application, the policemen have said that “Verma is acting either at the behest of or in connivance with senior IPS officers, who like Satish Verma are harbouring personal grudge against them, for reasons best known to them”.

    The application was urgently mentioned before Justice Patel on Tuesday. However, the Court refused to hear the plea saying that it will be heard in a routine course when the matter is listed for hearing or along with the main case which is scheduled to come up again on May 12.

    Meanwhile, senior counsel Nirupam Nanavati, representing the aggrieved police officers, submitted that there was ‘deep internal rivalry among the IPS officers, because of which his clients were being victimised.

    Justice Patel, however, said that the division bench hearing the case was not present. He further said that the police officers cannot be heard at this stage as they were not even named accused in the case. They can be heard only after their arrest, he added.

    In their application, the policemen accused Verma of using ‘extra legal’ investigation methods so as to falsely implicate them in the case. They have cited complaints of certain police officials who had claimed that Verma was employing coercive tactics to extract statements from them.

    Besides Singhal, the 13 others who have moved the application were Tarun Barot, J G Parmar, D H Goswami, B A Chavda, K M Vaghela, R I Patel, K S Desai, C J Goswami, T Vyas, N B Saiyyed, M N Menat, B R Bharwad and A J Chowdhary.

    The Crime Branch which carried out the encounter had claimed that the four victims were Lashkar terrorists who had come to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi



  4. 27
    Deepak UNITED STATES Says:

    JVC, you seem to like a chinese communist trying to divide India in 30 pieces. How about we first deport you back to China from US huh??

  5. 26
    Deepak UNITED STATES Says:

    Indian In Australia:

    The question you asked: Why did he not say anything for 9 years??

    Is it just you or every saffron extremist has the same question? You guys end up asking the same question?

    Sanjeev Bhat in the interview clearly explained the kind of questions you are asking you fool. He is an IPS level officer, by law they are not allowed to go to media and allege anything until they are called in a court of law or are under oath to testify. He did mention about this when the Gujarat riots investigations started in 2005. And he testified in front of SIT as law wants an IPS officer to abide by. After finding out that his testimony has been leaked to media and government of Gujarat by SIT officers, he went ahead and filed an affidavit in the court!

    Your question and its basis is only saffron color. It does not make any sense, he is neither a victim nor a common man who can go around screaming what he knows. The constitution clearly has guidelines and protocols for officers to testify. UNLESS THEY ARE UNDER OATH OR ARE BEING INVESTIGATED, THEY CANNOT DISCLOSE ANY INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC YOU MORON!

    Dude I thought living abroad, you will be an educated and rational person who follows and knows about laws, policies of India and other countries well. But turns out you are nothing more than a saffron chaddi slave after all huh??

    The question to asked to daringly is a joke, because it has no legal basis to it. What would you expect him to do? Go around in media and shout that modi was complicit in gujarat riots? He is binded by the very law Gujarat government failed to implement in 2002. He is a officer in a government agency, they have protocols and guidelines to follow, they are not like PRAVEEN TAGODIA who shout and use fake religious propaganda to charge emotions of common man…

    Now go and come up with some other question, since you just FAILED WITH THIS ONE!! lol

  6. 25
    Adnan Says:

    How are the moderators of this website……????
    Are they sleeping or wat????
    A lot of bullshits are written about our prophet but no one is bothering to delete them.
    Do, you people want me to start saying shits about Lord Ram and etc..
    But sorry guys Islam doesn’t preaches me to abuse any other religions because then they will get a chance to abuse ours.
    So, for the sake of humanity,Please guys you have already played a lot with the bloods of innocents(hindus & muslims)Don’t play with our faith….!!!!

  7. 24
    Indian in Australia AUSTRALIA Says:

    Read this article to know what this IPS officer Sanjiv Bhat is really. And answer one simple question- why did Sanjiv Bhat not say anything for 9 years since 2002 if he knew all this? and this one

  8. 23
    Deepak UNITED STATES Says:

    Former IPS officer, Sanjeev Bhatt, who was superintendent of police (intelligence) then, says in his affidavit that Modi insisted that the bodies of those killed on the Sabarmati Express be brought to Ahmedabad, against the advice of government officials.

    Read the article here:

    Jai Hind!

  9. 22
    Chand usman Says:

    @isha-The only threat to peace is always the Islam
    Chapter 9 verse 5 of quran is evidence of this…
    The man who opened my eyes:

  10. 21
    jvc UNITED STATES Says:

    Deepak seems like a paki masquedarading as a hindu.

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