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.

Godhra was planned, post-Godhra was a result of provocation

Posted on May 22, 2008 - Filed Under 01 - The Godhra Carnage | 27 Comments

   Godhra was clearly a  planned, unprovoked attack. It is impossible for it to have been the result of petty quarrels at the Godhra railway station. Vir Sanghvi has already seen it in his article. As he says, slogans shouted from a moving train or a railway platform cannot enrage local Muslims, and 2,000 Muslims cannot assemble at the railway station in 5 minutes time already having managed to procure petrol bombs and acid bombs. And the time was also 8 AM in the morning. As a proof of the fact that Godhra was planned, some 140 liters of petrol was bought in cans a day before the massacre.

  It is impossible for Godhra to have occurred on the spur of the moment. Weeklies like India Today gave imaginary provocations with graphics. But all these people forgot one thing. For the train to have been attacked, the attackers (Muslim) had to surround in on at least two sides. If it was on the spur of the moment, it would have been very difficult for the Muslims to surround the train on both sides. How could at least a 500 Muslims reach the other side of the train? If that was the case, then the karsevaks would have ran out of the train and saved their lives, by running from the second side before Muslims reached there. In any case, all these provocations are purely fabricated and a figment of imagination.

   There was a JUDICIAL CONFESSION by an accused in February 2003 that Godhra was planned, 140 litre of petrol been purchased in 7 cans of 20 litre capacity the previous night, and that he had himself taken part in the massacre. A judicial confession is a conclusive proof. Though he later retracted his confession in August 2003, his judicial confession before a judge in court in February 2003 removes all possible doubts anyone can ever have about Godhra.

    The Times of India reported on 7 February 2003:

 “VADODARA: Zabir Bin Yamin Behra has given the Godhra carnage case a new twist and stunned everyone by accusing Maulana Hussain Umarji of hatching the conspiracy. He has also confessed his own involvement in the case. Behra has a long criminal history.

 He has committed both petty and serious crimes and has mostly operated in the station area of Godhra town since a young age. He belongs to the same rung of people as Abdul Razzak Mohammed Kurkur and others. Both the Godhra railway police station and the town police station have offences registered against him.

Gujarat Railway Police superintendent J K Bhatt said the railway police had three to four offences registered against Behra. “He is still wanted in one of the cases. The case pertains to loot and Behra was booked under section 394 of the Indian Penal Code,” he said.

Panchmahals district superintendent of police Narsimha Komar said, “Behra’s area of operation was largely the railway precincts. We have only two offences registered against him.” The offences include a theft and a hurt offence.

But those who have taken up cudgels on behalf of the Maulana maintain that 20 offences have been registered against Behra. A letter seeking the President’s intervention in the case points to the same. People close to Maulana’s family question how the police could arrest the Maulana on Behra’s statement.

Besides having a hand in the burning of the coach, Behra confessed to removing ornaments and valuables of passengers, when the mob attacked the train.

   In this report, The Times of India forgot to mention that this confession was to court, i.e. a judicial confession, which it mentioned in another report. In this report:

   He also confessed to looting ornaments and valuables of the passengers before burning the train, thereby proving the testimony of 16-year old Gayatri Panchal who survived the attack and said exactly the same, as correct.  

   PTI reported on 6 February 2003, as reported in The Tribune on 7 Feb 2003:

 The maulvi’s arrest by the police from the Signal Falia area in the wee hours followed disclosures by one of the accused, Zabir Bin Yamin Behra, who claimed that Umarji was the brain behind the train carnage. The 56-year-old religious leader was arrested in a joint operation by the railway and city police.Behra, during his confession before city Chief Judicial Magistrate yesterday, alleged that the maulvi had “masterminded” the carnage and instigated youths for “planned attack” on February 26, a day before kar sevaks were to return from Ayodhya after participating in “shila poojan”.”

   A section of the media wanted to believe and wanted all of us to believe that Godhra which was done in broad daylight in full public glare was the result of a provocation and thus rationalize or partially justify it. Something which was done with absolutely no provocation and full planning was rationalized.

   And when the things were really a result of provocation, the media just ignored it. The post-Godhra riots were reported completely ignoring Godhra. At that time, the Godhra attack faded into the background and the Hindu retaliation of the first three days was decried. And even after so many years, whenever the post-Godhra riots are mentioned, Godhra is completely ignored and it is made to sound as if the BJP government of the state indulged in ruthless, unprovoked killings of Muslims in alliance with the VHP and the Bajrang Dal.

    The big ‘provocation’ which was far more than a provocation but the cause of the retaliation by the Hindus in the first three days was completely ignored and the subsequent riots were reporetd, that too completely one-sided and magnified and inflated.

    Vir Sanghvi really gave the game up when he said, “ If you report the truth then you will inflame Hindu sentiments and this would be irresponsible. And so on.”  That is to say, Vir Sanghvi admitted that the ‘secularists’ utter ‘white lies’ no matter what interest in mind. They lied not only during Godhra but also for some 3 months after Godhra. They also did so during the Gujarat Assembly elections of December 2002 and continue to do so today. In fact they have repeated their lies so often that by now they themselves may have started believing their concocted lies themselves.

   On 27 February 2002 senior Congress leader and former Gujarat Chief Minister Amarsinh Chaudhary came on TV at night and while condemning the attack, also blamed karsevaks for provoking it. (Again following Vir Sanghvi’s observation- Basically they condemn the crime, but blame the victims)

   The RSS weekly Organiser reported the incident in its issue dated 10th March 2002, which covered events till 27th February. India Today, also a weekly in its issue of 11th March 2002 covered events till February 28. While reporting on this issue, Organiser also reported in a news item : “RSS condemns the killings and calls for restraint” and this report carries the statement of RSS Joint General Secretary Madan Das Devi that RSS urges Hindu society to exercise restraint after the Godhra attack. RSS had asked the Hindu society to observe restraint after Godhra even before the riots had started.

   India Today weekly dated 11 March 2002 carrying events till 28 February 2002 reports on the last page of the cover story,

   The mood in the state is militant. A procession of 10,000 marched with the bodies of 11 people from Ramod village near Ahmedabad who had died in the train. They were shouting slogans like-‘Tumhari shahidi bekar nahi jayegi, Mandir bana kar hi rahenge’ (Your sacrifice will not go in vain, we will build the temple)…This incident drew mixed reactions from the Congress, the main Opposition in the party in the state. While senior party leader Amarsinh Chaudhary condemned the attack, he also blamed Ram sevaks for provoking the incident. Senior AICC member Ahmed Patel condemned it strongly. They will have time to react. The bloody cycle of violence so familiar with Gujarat may just have begun.”

   So India Today knew on February 28 itself that a bloody cycle of violence had begun in Gujarat and could continue in Gujarat for several days. But in fact, it stopped only after 3 days, though petty and stray rioting continued subsequently in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and some places near Godhra.

Copyright ©

  After this confession, the report in India Today in the 24 February 2003 issue was:

On February 27, 2002, coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express was set afire at Godhra railway station in Gujarat. Fifty-eight passengers were killed, most of them VHP activists or Ramsevaks returning from Ayodhya.VDO.AI

A throng of extremist Muslims, said to be 1,500 strong, was held responsible. The act set off a retaliatory carnage, a contentious election and changed the face of Gujarat’s politics.

The past year has been, truly, history. The original act, however, is still a mystery. As many as 75 of the 121 accused have been arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the state Government. Yet it may actually be the latest arrest, that of Maulana Hussein Umarji, 55, on February 6 that signals a turning point.

Umarji, a prominent leader of the Deobandi-Tableegh Jamaat movement in the Godhra region, has been charged with being part of the conspiracy as well as obstructing investigations by protecting the accused. The mob that burnt down compartment S-6 is believed to have been drawn from the local Ghanchi community, zealous followers of the Tableegh Jamaat, a puritanical sect that set up shop in Godhra in the mid-1970s.

The maulana’s arrest came as a shock not just to Muslims in Godhra but in all of Gujarat. He had come into prominence after the riots in February-March last year by leading delegations of affected people to political leaders. The SIT, however, is confident of its case. Umarji’s interrogation has revealed the extent of the Tableegh operations in the region. 


BEFORE GODHRA: As per accused Behera, on February 26, Umarji urged a focus on coach S-6 as it was packed with Ramsevaks.
AFTER GODHRA: On February 28 and March 1, he dissuaded Behera from surrendering to police.
MONEY MAN: Has been distributing Rs 1,500 each per month to the families of Godhra accused.
LOCAL AGENT: Has revealed millions of rupees have come into Gujarat in the past seven years from Tableegh backers in the US, UK, Middle East and Pakistan. Has given details of a $20,000 payment from Canada and a Rs 2-crore hawala transfer from Lusaka, Zambia.

The group has been bringing in crores of rupees, largely using the hawala route. While this money has been mobilised from overseas sympathisers to build mosques and madarsas, the authorities suspect much of it may have been spent feeding fundamentalism and instigating violence.

What cornered Umarji was the confessional statement of Jabir Binyamin Behera, the principal accused in the Godhra case. Arrested on January 22, Behera gave the court of the chief metropolitan magistrate, Godhra, crucial details.

Besides implicating Umarji, Behera also referred to the role of Razak Kurkur, another accused in the case. Kurkur’s Aman Guest House, located near the Godhra railway station, was virtually the base of terror. At 9.30 p.m. on February 26, 2002, the evening before the murders, six people held a war council at Aman Guest House. They included Behera, Kurkur, Salim Paanwala, alias Badam, and Salim Zarda. They decided to set the Sabarmati Express on fire.

The strategy was simple: at the slightest provocation from the Ramsevaks, or even without one, begin a full-fledged assault. At 10.15 p.m., the conspirators bought seven 20-litre cans of fuel from Kalabhai petrol pump and stored them at Aman Guest House. At 11.30 p.m., the group, including Behera, was chatting on the ground floor of the guest house when Haji Bilal and Farooq Bhana – also among the Godhra accused – rode up on a scooter.

The two had just come from a meeting with Maulana Umarji. He had directed them, they announced, to target coach S-6. Obviously the maulana was well informed about the location of the Ramsevaks on the train.

Next – according to Behera – Kurkur, Bilal, Bhana and Paanwala “went upstairs for a second meeting”. At 12.30 a.m., Paanwala walked down and told Behera and the others who were waiting that he was going to the railway station to check if the Sabarmati Express was on time.

A CRIME IN ITS CONTEXT Madarsa, Bhavnagar

FAITH FACTORY: Deobandi-Tableegh seminaries have sprung up across Gujarat. Funds come from Karachi to Canada. Kurkur

BASE MANAGER: The owner of Aman Guest House, opposite Godhra railway station, he hosted meetings and stored the petrol used on February 27. Binyamin Behera

PYRO-KILLER: Cut vestibule cover to enter coach S-6 and poured petrol inside.

Paanwala returned shortly after and walked straight back to the room where Kurkur and the others were still closeted. Then he came out again and told Behera that the train was running four and a half hours late. It would not arrive at the scheduled time of 3.30 a.m. The original plan of killing the Ramsevaks in pre-dawn darkness had to be dropped.

The plotters regrouped at 6 a.m. and finally attacked the train a little after 8 a.m. A mob of Ghanchi Muslims from the nearby Signal Fadia colony had already been primed. The 140 litres of petrol was transported to the railway station on a rickshaw. The initial idea was to fling the petrol into coach S-6 through the windows.

At about 7 ft, these proved too high. Behera and a few others then cut down the canvas cover of the rear vestibule of coach S-6. They clambered in, broke open the door and emptied the seven cans of petrol inside. It took a few burning rags to do the rest. On February 28, Behera met Umarji and was advised against surrendering to the police, already looking for him.

On March 1, Behera visited Umarji again and was, for the second time, dissuaded from giving himself up. Behera recalls telling Umarji that his family would be in a financial mess if he ran away or was arrested. Umarji had trained in theology at the Deoband seminary in Uttar Pradesh in the 1960s. In Godhra, he was also a prosperous timber merchant.

On his part, Umarji has denied being part of the conspiracy or even meeting Behera. His son, Amin Hussein, says the maulana is a pious man who, in fact, tried to help the police. Even so, Umarji has admitted to being part of a Deobandi financing scheme that pays the family of each of the Godhra accused Rs 1,500 a month. In January, an instalment of Rs 1.45 lakh was distributed at the maulana’s instance.

That should have taken care of about 100 families. SIT sources suspect a similar instalment reaches Godhra each month. It could well be the tip of the iceberg. As a senior investigator puts it, “It appears these promoters of puritanical Islam have had a free run in terms of illicit funding.” Umarji’s arrest has shaken Godhra’s Muslims.

The community called a general strike and even sought President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s intervention. Yet Deputy Inspector-General Rakesh Asthana, who heads SIT, is confident, “We are on the dot. We have enough evidence to prove there was advance planning. The core group stands identified.”

Some questions remain unanswered though. Who told Umarji to target coach S-6? Who set up his funding network? In short, which organisation is Umarji a front for? The families of the 58 victims would want to know. So would the rest of India.”


27 Responses to “Godhra was planned, post-Godhra was a result of provocation”

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  1. 27
    Terror free India Says:

    Of course..Godhra riot is a preplanned crime,but Gujarat riot is not the solution for that.If the hindus didn’t attack the muslims in Gujarat,now everybody will know that what kind of jihadist they are..
    but now everybody forgot godhra…………entire blame on all hindus..
    forget the word hindu and msulim…. we are Indians………… we need a terrorism free India…… join hands together…..
    like us on FB: Terror free India.

  2. 26
    Anita INDIA Says:

    Definitely Godra was planned. And we can blame Modi,keep blaming him till eternity. But why would a newly elected C.M. Give such an order,he is an intelligent man. So this was totally concocted . And so called journals,intellectuals academicians and whoever want to blame Modi, listen,the Muslims and Hindus or if I can call them humans have they no brains? If 58 Hindus are burnt by Muslims , you think the other Hindus will follow Christ, and say I will give you my other cheek. What rubbish, instead of blaming one man, the Hindus and the Muslims have no choice but to live together peacefully, and put your religions on the back burner. And as for Mr.Modi he is a fine Prime Minister,and our country will go along way.

  3. 25
    sabuj BANGLADESH Says:

    in 1947 this subcontinent was divided based on religion. tow Muslims countries are here which one is Hindu country.

  4. 24
    Ibr CANADA Says:

    As clearly pointed out by Tehelka what you are reporting is nothing but manufactured lies.

  5. 23
    shekhar INDIA Says:

    See all this things are happening due to mistakes done during the separation of india & pakistan. Then only the separate states could be formed but no one bothers to hear or say the truth…..

  6. 22
    hindu Says:

    I know how they are.. they planned to kill all Hindus in trains, even they know this country is of Hindus …
    If they hate us, then go Pakistan, we have donated you a separate country.

  7. 21
    abhishek INDIA Says:

    ofcource it was planned.likethis nobody roam in station with petrol bombs&acid bombs

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