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. 50
    16 Years After Godhra; 189 Tweets Which Expose The Whole Reality Behind the Riots UNITED STATES Says:

    [...] 3- What a 16 year old girl who survived d barbaric Godhra attack said on d ferocity of d horrific massacre: #SecularLies [...]

  2. 49
    And the Lies Continue on Gujarat 2002 - UNITED STATES Says:

    [...] Panchal – who witnessed her two sisters and both parents being burnt in front of her eyes, recounts the horror [...]

  3. 48
    The Godhra Riots – thelavenderflower UNITED STATES Says:

    [...] Share this:TwitterFacebookGoogleLike this:Like [...]

  4. 47
    सुभाष INDIA Says:

    twitter वर मी वाचलेलं आहे ५००००० हिंदुना मुस्लीम लोकांनी १९७१ पासून ठार मारलेल आहे .

  5. 46
    An Indian Says:

    Deepak in his comments talks like as if he is a congrees spokeperson like Sanjay Jha, DigVijay and others. Are you also getting paid to mutter utter nonsense comments on various forums. I won’t be surprised.

  6. 45
    sadik INDIA Says:

    Indian Express – is an Hindu Religious Express – It says only about Hinduism, It never says actual(true) news – only partiality news – anti muslim news.

  7. 44
    raj Says:

    if u are muslim(even u are terrorist) in india. u have human rights but u are hindu(even if u are innocent) u donot have any human rights.u can watch in the case of kashmiri pandits.
    Most of these muslims having their own views on the Gujarat riots but i ask only one question that who started riots .what is the neccessity to burn innocent hindus in the train? if muslims think that they do what they want in this u are wrong .you heared this quote”Tit For Tat” or “jese karoge waisa bharoge ” or “jesa boyega waisa katega”.
    if rails coaches had not burnt by muslims mobs then definitely there were not any riots happens in only muslims are responsible for those riots happens in gujarat.

  8. 43
    Harpreet INDIA Says:

    Ha ha ha Im surprised at DR. Harpreet Singh. Look what Akalis have done to Punjab. Bringing up Martyrdom to killers, Drugaddicts, rapists and the people who have taken away sanctity of sri Harmandir Sahib and are bent upon given honors to Sunni Porki comandos whose bodies were holed out after Operation bluestar from our own sri harmandir Sahib

  9. 42
    Dr. Harpreet Singh INDIA Says:

    @ Mr. satyashrava… Thanks for showing your incomplete-ness..over

  10. 41
    Satyashrava Says:

    The drivel of so called Mr. Harpreet Singh against Hindus and followers of Narendra Modi is crass hate-propaganda and unworthy of comment. It is the height of dishonest moral depravity. If Harpreet believes that it is a crime for Hindus to be followers of the ascetic Modi, this is exactly the kind of hatred which Meera Nanda has expressed in her book when saying that Hindu ministers committed a crime against rational modernism in paying obeisance to ascetic Hindu saints like Devraha Baba of UP. Tomorrow they might similarly badmouth the 7 crore followers of Baba Ramdev. They do not possess the moral mental capacity to appreciate the inborn Satwikk Hindu propensity to venerate the Aatman present as the immanent essence of every living and non-living being. How can such Hindus be ever expected not to exhibit civilised respect and regard for all human beings, least of all the ascetic saints of exemplary moral virtuosity. Harpreet will do well to practice a fraction of what he preaches:-(respecting each other’s way of life and thoughts) and realise that if 1 billion Hindus can respect Guru Nanak, Harpreet has no right to lambast their natural hundredfold love for Narendra Modi. Narendra Modi’s wellwishers are 1 billion Indian masses, there is no “elite” clique or “oppressed” among them, because they are all brothers and sisters united by natural bonds of Saatwik temperament besides the incidental racial blood ties. Ill-intentioned attempts to sow discord among the Indians, in which respect Harpreet can claim no originality because such attempts have been made by enemies of civilisation since the very dawn of the Indian nation in hoary antiquity,shall always stand doomed to failure. The unity of the Indian nation shall ever remain protected by God. Mr. Harpreet(if that is his name) is a blot and curse on the fair name of the Sikh religion. He could well be an imposter pupil of Osama Bin Laden. Thousands of turbaned Fanatics, congenitally bereft of all traces of morality, attempted to eradicate the Hindu laboreres and farmers in northern India during the 1980′s through frenzied mass murder. Eventhough outwardly they had all claimed to be devout disciples of guru Nanak, in reality they were demons in human disguise who thankfully eventually exterminated themselves by fighting one another to death. Divine justice prevails over the conspiracies of Nirriti. It is those fanatics armed by the ISI who had actually planned and attempted the genocidal elimination of 600 million Hindus instead of Hindus planning the extermination of 20 million Sikhs as falsely alleged. Harpreet certainly is a renegade if at all he has been born in a Sikh family; surely he is disgracefully unworthy of any association with the Sikh gurus.

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