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. 40
    Dr. Harpreet Singh INDIA Says:

    Narendra modi is an intense hindu and almost all of his followers hate muslims and it can be easily observed. A common man needs a safe and well-designed democratic environment in which they can enjoy freedom with all life supporting facilities. I don’t know how Narendra Modi will do this but i will expect him to do this being a true human being. In the early 1940s at the Annual Conference of National Congress Party, Madan Mohan Malviya (MMM), a staunch Brahmin, said while conversing with the Sikh representative, Giani Sher Singh of the Shromani Akali Dal, said that “Giani ji, Aap Fikar naa Karen, Mulak ke Azad Ho Jaane do, hum (the Hindus/Brahmins and their pros) Apni Vidhya Prannali Mei Sanshodhan Kar Ke Musalmaano Kee Saari Musalmaani Nikaal Deynge,” which meant that Giani ji, do not worry about the Muslims, the followers of Janab M A Jinnah, the leader of the Muslims, “let the country (the Hindus/Brahmins) get its freedom from the ‘Slavery of the British Empire’, we will take care of the Muslims by making appropriate changes in the Educational Syllabus of the British India, to suit the Brahmins-Baniya (elite-trader caste Hindus) clique and their followers.”..This Hindu-brahmin strategy must be diverted in the recent times and it is required also. Aam-aadmi can be a hindu, sikh or muslim or christian but if you can’t respect each other then it is better to live separately and peacefully, but if you like to live as a family then you must respect each other’s way of life and thoughts. Take this as a brief example, “to preserve the unity of India, if we have to eradicate 2-kror (20-million) Sikhs, we will do so”

    -Balram Jakhar, a former Indian Cabinet Minister and colleague of the former Indian Prime Minister, P. V. Narsimhanrao

  2. 39
    Satyashrava Says:

    I agree with the points made by rajneesh. Facts are strongly in dissonanace with the theory of arshia. Islamic law as enforced by Islamic governments even today (considered eternally immutable and non-reviewable on account of being divinely ordained for all time to come) is highly repressively inimical to the natural human rights of all of womanhood.
    Every passing week the SHARIA sheikhdoms in SHARJAH, SAUDI, and other Persian Gulf states barbarically put to death by stoning in public helpless poor housemaids from Sri Lanka, Phillipines etc. who have been condemned by SHARIA courts for allegedly making extra-marital love. In the absurd legal system still in place in these Islamist regimes, the fact that an unfortunate pregnant woman has been away for greater than 9 months from her husband in her native country (ie with no reasonable chance for the possibilty of copulation between them) suffices for the pronouncement of a sentence of GUILTY of ADULTERY upon the lady. Also, when a wayward BEDOUIN master forcibly RAPES his Asian (Sri Lankan, Filipino, Indonesian ..) housemaid in a fit of lust (as is sometimes wont to happen with a man having maybe 34 wives), the court brings a charge of ADULTERY on the poor woman on the silly grounds of “NOT HAVING STOPPED the MAN from MAKING LOVE TO HER”. Even if the lady argues that she has been raped(and is therefore the victim and not the perpetrator), unless the guilt of the master can be conclusively proven (Sharia courts give more credence to WITNESS testimony than to forensic-medical-analysis reports), the woman is convicted for having “allowed a man to make love to her” because this undeniable fact is implicit in the very nature of the woman’s complaint. Such women are buried in the sand upto the neck outside mosques and the devout faithful are expected to hurl at least one big stone at her. The idea is that the woman must die a slow, bloody and excruciatingly painful death. The devout onlookers who revel in this ritual murder afterward feel greatly unburdened of the load of their own LUSTFUL past sins, for the merit earned through pleasing the OMNIPOTENT God–of-religion in this way is more than enough to EXPIATE any carnal sins of the savage stone-thrower. So the OIL-SHIEKHS thus get the SACRED religious license and incentive to indulge in MORE and MORE of prostitution & sexual depradations with impunity, convinced that they shall have all of them forgiven the very moment next time they stone another ASIAN maid to death. Anyone can ascertain the facts for himself by perusing the judgement archives of Islamic countries. Nevertheless, notwithstanding numerous Islamic religious injunctions that violate the human dignity of women, some committed fundamentalist Islamist women theologians continue to vouch for sanctity of barbaric aspects of Islamic law, just as the widely-acclaimed theologian daughter of Aurangzeb had written in monumental treatises.

  3. 38
    rajneesh. Says:

    @ARSHIA: Dear you have not given any pain to justify the condition of four men as witness for rape. You produced the pits falls of hindus. Dear, this is not the way to answer to people who is asking you something. don’t justify your mistake by producing another’s mistake.

  4. 37
    Nupur Says:

    dear DEEp….talking of communal harmony why do v always tend to forget the contributin of the naxals and the maoists. And not to forget the murderers of 1984 anti sikh riots. these people are no muslims and yet they murder and wipe out families. every community has confused peole who never really understand what their religion teaches them. It is very wrong to blame only the muslims just because they are in minority. Hindus in this case are as much to blame as the Muslims. the ampount of bloodshed the hindus caused is no less than the muslims.

  5. 36
    DEEP INDIA Says:

    our gr8 muslim live in india,earn their bread in india,blast some bombs in india in the name of their religion,always cheer 4 their paki bros, destroy da communal harmony in india and yet mr.XYZ don’t critisize ‘em…

  6. 35
    vijay Says:

    i think modi will b the great prime minister of India. he made gujrat number one state and he can make India number one country. Then there shoud b no corruption and equal rights for everybody

  7. 34
    Raj INDIA Says:

    Their book preaches….
    Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful….
    Id Mubarak Arshia….!!!!

  8. 33
    Arshia INDIA Says:

    dear XYZ
    i want to explain few relevant points which u have missed,it isn’t your fault actually it is your mind which has been poisoned by false teachings.Whatever you’ve discussed is because of the prejudices against Islam.
    You are talking about Quranic verses,people like you can never understand even a single verse.
    You all are pro Americans but are you not aware that in America women had no voting rights till 19th century. If u want to talk about discrimination between men & women then don’t forget that in Hindu system girls had no property rights before Hindu marriage Act,1955. In Islam girls have property rights(Quran is approx. 1432 yrs. old book)how can u say that there are contradictions in holy book, these contradictions arises when people like u start writing books.
    In Islam women are forced to gain knowledge, forced to do innovative work.
    women are not allowed to be witnesses because it has been proved that women are psychologically weak they are mentally unstable.It is not easy to trust them,not because God discriminates but because they aren’t powerful enough to remain stable.

  9. 32
    XYZ INDIA Says:

    @Adnan-I will tell you what Islam preaches you…
    It preaches you hatred,intolerance towards Other religions….Chaptr 9 verse 5

    It preaches you discrimination against girls….chapter 2 verse 282

    Quran is not word of God as it contains a loads of contradiction….

    @deepak-Chaptr 4 verse 13 claims that when a woman is raped she needs to produce 4 male witnessess to prove that she has been raped….or else she is punished for having extra marital sex….

    Now using common sense anyone can say that it is hopeless to demand four male witnessess for a rape scene….n if there are any…then it is clear that they are co-rapists…..
    As a result it is clear that Islam dicriminates on the basis of sex….

    Now dare to criticise Islam for this if you have courage….Or else go on with your hopeless talks….

  10. 31
    Deepak UNITED STATES Says:

    Recent Assembly Election:
    Total seats Contested: 765
    BJP’s total number: 5

    A true “National Party :P

    AA true party that is working for the nation!!


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