Sunday, 17 March 2013

The Case Against Teesta Setalvad - Kausar Bano

This is one in a series of blogs to put the facts in one place about various charges levelled against Teesta Setalvad - http://hope-and-hope.blogspot.in/2012/10/the-cases-against-teesta-setalvad.html

1. Spicing up the riot cases

2. Lunawada mass graves

3. Madhu Trehan's attack
Also see Coverage of English media of Mumbai violence simplistically

4. Funding

The case of Kausar Bano

6. Memorial of Resistance 

7. Tavleen Singh

8. Rais Khan

Extract from Naroda Patiya judgement is towards the end. A link to Tehelka sting is at the end.

This following report will do as well as any other on charges against Teesta Setalvad - This one appeared in India Today.
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Inhuman rights

For eight long years, Gujarat 2002 has stood out as one of the worst episodes in our calendar of atrocity. Since then, the country has witnessed ugly sparring over the bloody riots between the Gujarat Government and the votaries of the Hindutva movement on one side and the human rights lobby on the other.
Setalvad
Setalvad is alleged to have included charges that were retracted later by the witnesses.
Meanwhile, the state Government, Chief Minister Narendra Modi in particular, has been repeatedly accused of direct or indirect involvement in the riots. In March 2008, the Supreme Court (SC) appointed the Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by former Central Bureau of Investigation Director R.K. Raghavan, to reinvestigate nine major cases in the Gujarat riots of 2002. Charges flew back and forth once again last week when human rights activists called for the prosecution of Modi for his involvement in the riots in response to a petition.
The latest round of sparring began after the SIT sought Modi's presence in response to an SC petition by Zakia Jafri, a riot victim and the widow of Congress leader Ehsan Jafri, accusing Modi and 61 others of being involved in riots and hatching a conspiracy to kill Muslims. Ehsan was among the 69 people killed by a riotous Hindu mob in the Gulberg Society case.
Narender Modi
"For eight years, canards have been spread against me. But the truth cannot be suppressed."
NARENDRA MODI, Gujarat Chief Minister 
Significantly, in March 2003, the SC had stalled the trial of nine Gujarat riot cases, thanks to the relentless campaign by the human rights activists seeking justice for the Muslim victims. The riot victims said they won't get justice as long as the Gujarat Government had a role in the police probe and the subsequent trial. The SIT is reinvestigating the cases under the virtual supervision of the apex court, with even the judges and public prosecutors being selected under the SC's monitoring.
As the SIT goes about its task, more and more evidence is surfacing that the human rights lobby had, in many cases, spun macabre stories of rape and brutal killings by tutoring witnesses before the SC. In the process, it might have played a significant role in misleading the SC to suit its political objectives against Modi and his government.
Last week, one of the most horrible examples of cruelty resurfaced once again as the trial of the Naroda Patiya case, where 94 persons were killed, began in the SC-monitored special court in Ahmedabad. Soon after the riots, the human rights activists and the Muslim witnesses had alleged that a pregnant woman Kausarbanu's womb was ripped open by rioters and the foetus was flung out at the point of a sword. The gruesome incident was seen as the worst-possible example of medieval vandalism in the modern age.
Riots
The wait for justice for Gujarat's riot victims is still not over
Last week, eight years after the alleged incident, Dr J.S. Kanoria, who conducted the post-mortem on Kausarbanu's body on March 2, 2002, denied that any such incident had ever happened. Instead, he told the court: "After the post-mortem, I found that her foetus was intact and that she had died of burns suffered during the riot." Later Kanoria, 40, told INDIA TODAY, "I have told the court what I had already written in my post-mortem report eight years ago. The press should have checked the report before believing that her womb was ripped open. As far as I remember, I did her post-mortem at noon on March 2, 2002."
A careful study of the three police complaints, claiming that Kausarbanu's womb was ripped open by the rioters, shows several loopholes. While one complaint accuses Guddu Chara, one of the main accused in the Naroda Patiya case, of ripping open Kausarbanu's womb, extracting her foetus and flinging it with a sword; another complaint accuses Babu Bajrangi, yet another accused in the case, of doing the act. A third complaint, on the other hand, does not name the accused but describes the alleged act.

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 Watch the following documentary by Rakesh Sharma. especially from around 0:40:00 to 0:45:00  to see the various attitudes to Naroda violence. The graveyard attendant claims burying of 3 pregnant women. Note the burial was on 1st March. Dr. Kanoria mentions doing the Post Mortem on 2nd March.






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Media, Rights Groups and Mass Crimes 
One of the interesting fallouts of the battle for justice and reparation for the victim 
survivors of the Gujarat carnage of 2002 has been the blatant attempts by stooges 
for the state government like its counsel in the Supreme Court and others to 
deliberately defame those human rights defenders and organizations who have stuck 
it out for the past eight years and assisted eye-witnesses depose, without fear or 
favour to ensure that justice is done. We have consistently been victim of this vicious 
defamation drive. Few of those who told these stories in 2002-2003 have however 
come to the rescue. 
Woefully, unmindful of the kind of articles carried by their own publications during 
the traumatic period of 2002, mainstream Indian newspapers and even the hysterical 
news anchors of our “national” television channels have echoed the vilification drive 
launched by the Gujarat state, never once looking back, over their shoulder into their 
own archives where correspondent after correspondent have used space telling 
these very horror stories. 
A prime example of this abdication of media responsibility is the case of Kauserbano, 
a victim of murder at Naroda Patia, accounts of eye witnesses at the time describing 
how a bloodthirsty mob slit open her womb (carrying a foetus almost nine months 
old), swirled it on a sword before burning mother and child alive. Not only did The 
Times of India and The Indian Express apart from the Statesman and The Deccan 
Herald extensively report the narrative in print, but Women’s Visiting teams 
including one headed by former chairperson of the National Commission of Women 
Syeda Hamid spoke, and wrote of it extensively. Feminists from Mumbai including 
lawyer Flavia Agnes assisted women record their affidavits before the official 
Nanavati Shah Commission and Kauserbano’s sad tale was a significant part of the 
narrative. 
Now, today when the doctor who did the post mortem denies that such a murderous 
attack took place before the burning, do not one and all who told this story in those 
days after 2002 owe something to the memory of Kauserbano? Why are they all 
silent? 
--Teesta Setalvad, Secretary Citizens for Justice and Peace 
http://www.peopleswatch.org/dm-documents/teesta_setalvad/Media/Media%20Reports%20on%20the%20issue.pdf

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The face behind Gujarat’s foetus headline 

Father of Kausar Bano says they should have taken me and let her first child be 
born 
Mukta Chakravorty 
Ahmedabad, May 22, 2002: 

To put a face to the brutal story of Kausar Bano is to give a voice to her 70-year-old 
father. Mercifully, Khaliq Noor Mohammad Sheikh didn’t see the mobs slitting 
Kausar’s womb with a sword, dragging out the unborn child that nestled within her 
and burning both in Naroda Patiya on February 28. He had fainted — when he woke 
up, he couldn’t even find the charred remains of Kausar Bano and her unborn child. 
‘‘I found out how my daughter and her baby had been killed after I went to the Shah 
Alam relief camp. They could have killed me and spared my pregnant daughter,’’ 
sobs Sheikh. ‘‘My daughter got married only last year. This would have been her first 
child. And they did not even allow it to come into this world.’’ 
Sheikh was a paint contractor who earned around Rs 4,000 a month. Until February 
28, he had two houses in Naroda Patiya. He had two children: Kausar, in her early 
thirties, and a younger married son. 
Kausar’s was a love marriage. She and her unemployed husband, Shahid Sheikh, 
stayed with her father. Shahid is said to be alive, but nobody at Shah Alam knows 
his whereabouts. 
Sheikh’s neighbours, who are also at the relief camp, remember Kausar as a quiet 
person, who ‘‘would speak only when spoken to’’. ‘‘She wasn’t educated, but she had 
learnt diamond-cutting and polishing. She didn’t work, though,’’ says her father. His 
son Sharmuddin, his wife and two children lived with Sheikh. ‘‘We were a 12-
member joint family. My wife’s sister and her family of four also stayed with us,’’ he 
says. Only three of the 12 — Sheikh, his son-in-law and his wife’s sister’s son — 
survived. 
A day before the massacre, Sheikh says he took Kausar to a hospital in Kalupur for a 
medical check-up. ‘‘She was complaining of pain. The doctor said she was likely to 
deliver in a day or two.’’ 
On February 28, Sheikh was leaving for work when he heard loud shouts outside. 
‘‘We all tried to flee. The mob hit me with sticks and tried to douse me with petrol. I 
managed to escape and reach a nearby dhaba, where I lost consciousness. When I 
regained consciousness after 28 hours, I went back to see only ruins. Some 
policemen escorted me to a nearby chawl, from where I was brought to the relief 
camp.’’ Reshmabano Nadibbhai Sayed, one of Sheikh’s neighbours, says, ‘‘Ever since 
chacha heard about the gory killing, he has turned insane with grief.’’ Reshmabano 
says she witnessed Kausar’s killing. ‘‘As Kausar was being dragged out of her home, 
she kept screaming, pleading with the mob to take away her money, her valuables, 
but spare her and her unborn child. But they pulled out the baby and threw it into 
the fire along with Kausar’s body. When her mother tried to intervene, she was burnt 
as well. When an old man hears all this, won’t he be affected?’’ 
Sheikh says he will never return to Naroda Patiya.‘‘I will go back to Bangalore, where 
my mother-in-law lives. My life is over, but I want to see the murderers of my 
daughter brought to book before I die,’’ he says. 

http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/apr17/iriot.htm 
Gujarat women brutalised during riots 
DH News Service 
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http://www.peopleswatch.org/dm-documents/teesta_setalvad/Media/Media%20Reports%20on%20the%20issue.pdf

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Have we been unfair to Narendra Modi?

Last updated on: September 16, 2011 08:48 IST

    
Gujarat CM Narendra Modi has successfully dodged every defamatory missile hurled at him
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters
Vivek Gumaste.
Calling Modi a Hindu Fuehrer doesn't make him one unless one can substantiate the claim. The law demands hardcore evidence shorn of the dramatic and fantastical nuances of journalistic scribblings. That is where the campaign against Modi comes up short, says Vivek Gumaste.
Like a cat with nine lives, Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, has successfully dodged or countered according to one's perspective, every deadly and defamatory missile hurled against him in the last nine years, post 2002 riots, leading one to this binary conclusion: either he is the craftiest man alive with deceptive skills that surpass the cunning of Machiavelli and Chanakya which no investigatory body can unravel, or he is truly innocent.
Maybe it is time to give Modi his due and the Supreme Court did precisely that when it failed to censor him for his supposed inaction during the riots and refused to recommend an FIR against him.
These were not random decisions but pronouncements that factored in the paucity of culpable evidence in the Special Investigation Team report that had been re-examined by court's own amicus curiae. This puts Modi one step closer to being absolved of the heinous charges related to the Gujarat riots.



Disinformation disseminated to obtain an ideological advantage'

Last updated on: September 16, 2011 08:48 IST


A policemen walks past a building which was burnt during the post Godhra riots in Gujarat
Photographs: Reuters
It is imperative at this stage to refocus on one of the most sensational and most highlighted incident of the riots to appreciate the magnitude of falsehood and disinformation that was deliberately disseminated post the riots to obtain an ideological advantage: the alleged evisceration of a fetus from the womb of a pregnant woman. Kausar Banu.
The SIT report 'found no truth' in the charge that 'a pregnant Muslim woman Kausar Banu was gangraped by a mob, who then gouged out the foetus with sharp weapons.'
I reproduce another news report (OutlookIndia. March 17, 2010. Naroda Patya: Doc Says Kausar Banu Died of Burns) to corroborate this finding:
"Dr Jayant Kanoria, who was in-charge of post-mortem at the city civil hospital in 2002, today told designated judge Jyotsna Yagnik that he had conducted the post mortem on the body of Kausar and two others on March 2, 2002. He said Kausar, who was pregnant, died due to shock after she sustained third degree burn injuries. Kanoria further told the court that there were no external injury marks on her body and the foetus which was also dead was inside her womb."

'It has not been a quest for justice but a witch hunt'

Last updated on: September 16, 2011 08:48 IST

A woman protests against atrocities committed during the Gujarat riots
Photographs: Reuters
Right from the beginning the hate campaign unleashed against Modi has been both duplicitous in design and vindictive in character, replete with half-truths, hyperbole and blatant lies. It has not been a quest for justice but a witch hunt.
A democratic society prides itself on dispensing justice to one and all, subjecting both prince and pauper to the same legal process and applying the same standards to each one of them. Nowhere has this system gone so awry or made to go awry as in the case of Narendra Modi.
In a democracy, every man is presumed innocent until proven guilty. But with Modi the dictum stands reversed. He has been deemed guilty until proven innocent.
Modi has been subjected to one of the most uncouth and by far the ugliest trial by media that modern India has seen; a trial unfettered by ethical probity;  blatantly one-sided in its approach and one that has rarely provided scope for rebuttal by the accused.
Modi has even been physically hounded out of television studios without being allowed to have his say: not something a democratic country can be proud of.
The media must facilitate the process of justice not usurp its role by playing judge, jury and hangman-all rolled into one. In the case of Modi, the media exceeded its brief by a mile.

'1984 anti-Sikh riots were by far the worst pogrom'

Last updated on: September 16, 2011 08:48 IST
The 1984 anti-Sikh riots were by far the worst: 3,000 killed with zero Hindu deaths
Calling Modi a Hindu Fuehrer doesn't make him one unless one can substantiate the claim. The law demands hardcore evidence shorn of the dramatic and fantastical nuances of journalistic scribblings. That is where the campaign against Modi comes up short.
With an inimical government at the Centre for the last seven years, one can be rest assured that Modi would have long been confined to a penitentiary, had even a shred of evidence tying Modi to the barbaric crimes of Gujarat 2002 been unearthed.
Comparison with other notorious riots is essential to expose the willful targeting of Narendra Modi. In the Mumbai riots of 1992 that followed the Babri-Masjid demolition, nearly 900 people died: 575 Muslims and 275 Hindus.
In Gujarat 2002 there were 1044 casualties with Muslims accounting for 794 deaths and Hindus 254. The 1984 anti-Sikh riots were by far the worst: 3,000 killed with zero Hindu deaths: it was a pogrom in the truest sense of the word. But yet it is only Modi who is held up as the arch villain.

'Lynching is not compatible with a democracy'

Last updated on: September 16, 2011 08:48 IST

 Modi must bear for the ghastly riots that occurred on his watch

Nevertheless, Modi cannot exonerate himself from the executive responsibility, distinct from criminal liability; he must bear for the ghastly riots that occurred on his watch. But the extent and magnitude of the blame heaped upon him must be the same as that which can be ascribed to either Rajiv Gandhi, the prime minister of India during the anti-Sikh carnage of 1984 or to Congress CM Sudhakar Naik for the Mumbai riots of 1992-1993. Nothing more nothing less.
The recent Supreme Court decision is not the only one that slants in Modi's favour. The Nanavati Commission constituted on March 6, 2002 by a decree in accordance with the constitution of the country to investigate the post Godhra riots cleared Modi of any criminal wrongdoing after painstakingly interviewing 1,106 witnesses and examining 46,000 affidavits.
No part of this discussion is meant to mitigate or justify the horrendous tragedy of Gujarat 2002. Riots should have no place in a modern, vibrant India, period. All riots must be condemned fair and square. These arguments are put forth to view events in the right perspective so that we can firm up the foundation of our democracy.
You can hang Modi from the highest tree in the land only after he has been found guilty by a fair process in a court of law. If not it is called lynching and lynching is not compatible with a democracy.

Don't misconstrue SC order: Sanjiv Bhatt to Modi

Last updated on: September 15, 2011 01:11 IST
    
Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt
Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt has written an open letter to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, saying the Bharatiya Janata Party stalwart has "completely misconstrued" the order passed by the Supreme Court in the Gulberg Housing Society riot case of 2002.
"It seems you have completely misconstrued the judgement and the order passed by the Honourable Supreme Court of India in Criminal Appeal No 1765 of 2011 arising out of SLP (CRL) No 1088 of 2008 that is Jakia Nasim Ahesan Versus State of Gujarat," Bhatt wrote in a letter to Modi.
"Let me clarify that even by a long shot, the order of the Supreme Court has nowhere, even remotely, suggested that the allegations contained in the complaint filed by Mrs Jakia Jafri (widow of ex-Congress MP Ahesan Jafri who was killed in the riot) were unfounded or false," he said.
"The order of the Honourable Supreme Court is, in fact, a very major leap in the direction of delivering justice to the hapless victims of the Gujarat pogrom."
"The order over which some are gloating in feigned glee is, in fact, a very cleverly worded order that takes the perpetrators and facilitators of the 2002 carnage a few leaps closer to their day of reckoning," Bhatt said.

'False bravado to mislead the people of Gujarat'

Last updated on: September 15, 2011 01:11 IST

Gujarat CM Narendra Modi
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com
"The false bravado comes across as a very smart attempt to mislead the gullible people of Gujarat and instill a false sense of confidence in the political rank and file", Bhatt said.
On September 12, the apex court declined to pass any order on Modi's alleged inaction to contain the riots in 2002 and left it to the Magistrate's court concerned to decide the course of action against him on the basis of SIT report.
Jakia had filed a complaint in the SC, seeking action against Modi and other government officials for the riots.
Bhatt has taken on the Modi government by claiming he was
present at a meeting held on February 27, 2002, (hours after the Godhra train burning) at the CM's residence where Modi had given specific instructions to police officials to go soft on rioters.
Bhatt, who was DCP (State Intelligence Bureau) in Ahmedabad in 2002, was suspended by Modi government last month for not reporting to work for nearly 10 months.
The IPS officer's letter comes a day after Modi wrote an open letter to citizens where he hit out at his detractors for "defaming" him for the 2002 riots and announced he would undertake a three-day fast from September 17 for peace, harmony and unity in the BJP-ruled state.

'I feel deeply pained and cheated by the likes of you'

Last updated on: September 15, 2011 01:11 IST

Zakia Jaaferey, widow of ex-Congress MP Ahesan Jafri who was killed in 2002 Gujarat riots


"As one of the 'six crore Gujaratis', I feel deeply pained and cheated when the likes of you, consciously or inadvertently, mislead the people of Gujarat for ulterior motives," Bhatt said in the letter.
"Gujarat has gained infamy not because of the hapless victims who are tirelessly crusading for the cause of justice and truth, but because of the despicable actions of the people who sowed and cultivated hatred to reap political and electoral benefits. Please give it a thought," he said.
"As all of us understand there can be no Sadbhavna or goodwill without truth and justice. But let me warn you that genuine heartfelt goodwill is something we cannot demand, buy or extort...we can only strive to deserve it. And it is not going to be an easy task," Bhatt said.

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Naroda Patya: Doc Says Kausar Banu Died of Burns

AHMEDABAD | MAR 17, 2010

A doctor deposing before a special court hearing a post-Godhra riot case of 2002 today said the pregnant woman, who was alleged to have been killed by rioters in the area eight years ago, died of burns.

Naroda Patiya riot victims had alleged Babu Bajrangi and Guddu Chara, two of the accused in the case, had slit open a pregnant woman Kausar Banu's abdomen with a sword, taken out her foetus and thrown it into fire.

Dr Jayant Kanoria, who was in-charge of postmortem at the city civil hospital in 2002, today told designated judge Jyotsna Yagnik that he had conducted the post mortem on the body of Kausar and two others on March 2, 2002.

He said Kausar, who was pregnant, died due to shock after she sustained third degree burn injuries.

Kanoria further told the court that there were no external injury marks on her body and the foetus which was also dead was inside her womb.

During post mortem, the foetus was taken out and no injury marks were found on it also, the doctor said, adding the foetus was of a male child weighing 2.5 kg with height of about 47cm.

Kanoria is now posted at government hospital in Nadiad district.

During post-Godhra riots in Naroda Patiya area, 95 persons of the minority community were killed on February 28, 2002.

The Naroda Patiya case is being investigated by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by former CBI director R K Raghavan.

SIT has filed a charge-sheet against over 60 persons in the case which include former minister in the Narendra Modi government Maya Kodnani.

Some of the witnesses in the case have identified Kodnani in the open court and said they had seen her instigating the mob during riots in Naroda area eight years ago.

Trial in the nine cases investigated by the SIT is on in special courts formed by the Gujarat High court on the directions from the Apex Court.
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'Womb slit apart, foetus cut into pieces'

Gaurav ShahaMeghdoot SharonCNN-IBN | Updated Mar 30, 2010 at 12:18pm IST


Ahmedabad: The chilling story of Kausar Bano was one of the worst that came out of the Gujarat riots.
It is said that the womb of the pregnant woman was slit apart, the foetus taken out with a sword, cut into pieces and burnt alive.
But earlier this month, a government doctor said it's all lies, that her body bore no injury marks and her foetus intact when the post-mortem was conducted


\'Womb slit apart, foetus cut into pieces\'


Now, riot survivors have filed an application challenging that. One riots survivor claims it all happened before her own eyes.
"They removed her baby from her stomach and held at a sword's edge. And then they burnt her body completely. How come the doctor can say that he conducted a post-mortem on Kausar Bano's body," said a riots survivor Naroda Patiya.
"How could he recognize her," asked Patiya.
The applicants have submitted photographs of badly charred bodies to drive home the point that there was no way Kausar's body could have been identified.
Raju Shaikh, advocate for victims said, "the post-mortem was originally conducted on an unidentified body. How was Kausar Bano's name given to it ? Who identified it and how? Even SIT has not said that it was Kausar Bano's body."
Victims are also asking why it took over eight years for a doctor to say that Kausar Bano's body bore no external injury marks.
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Shock killed Naroda’s Kausar Bano: Post-mortem report

Published: Thursday, Mar 18, 2010, 10:30 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA




The macabre case went on to become the focal point of the pogrom in Gujarat.

Victims and survivors of Naroda Patia still recount the story of Kausar Bano, who was allegedly raped, her womb torn apart and her eight- month- old foetus taken out in front of her and then slashed into two pieces and thrown into a fire.

However, in a new twist to the incident, Dr Jayant Kanoria who had done the post mortem of Bano, recorded in his statements before the designated court of judge Jyotsna Ben Yagnik, that Bano died due to shock and fear and her dead body bears no internal or external injuries.

According to defence counsel MN Kikani, "Based on post mortem report and during cross examination of witness, Dr Kanoria who had done the post mortem of several victims, it had come to light that Kausar Bano died due to suffocation, fear and shock and her
body bears no external or internal injuries."

Earlier, the prosecution had alleged that on the day of the incident, February 28, 2002, rioters entered Naroda Patia armed with deadly weapons and targeting property of the Muslim community. The mob, which was led by VHP leader Babu Bajranji and Guddu Charra, entered Kausar Bano's house and raped her. After raping Bano, Bajranji and Charra attacked her with swords and her womb was torn apart and the eight-month-old foetus was taken out in front of her and then slashed into two pieces and thrown into a fire.
During his deposition, Kanoria stated that Bano's body bore no internal or external injury; moreover, there was no sword injury on her body.

Kanoria, who is currently posted as district TB officer, Nadiad and was working at the Government Civil Hospital during the time of the riots, also gave statements that Kausar Bano's foetus was removed after the post-mortem was conducted. Kausar Bano's post-mortem was done on March 1, 2002 and her body had only burn injuries, Kanoria said.
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The Times of India
Gujarat Edition 30/03/10

How did doc identify Kausar’s burnt body, asks riot witness

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Ahmedabad: The controversy about the killing of eight-monthpregnant Kausar Bano in Naroda Patia massacre does not seem to die. A witness told the court on Monday that it was additional commissioner of police of crime branch who identified the post mortem report of 2002 as that of Kausar Bano in August 2004.
    After four eyewitnesses deposed before the special court about how mobs had slit Kausar’s womb and flung the foetus before killing her, civil surgeon Dr JS Kanoria, who conducted the postmortem deposed that he found the foetus in the belly only. Dr Kanoria’s statement and photocopy of the autopsy report contradicted the version of witnesses as well as claims made by main accused Babu Bajrangi on Tehelka sting tapes.
    An eyewitness to the incident, Dildar Saiyed has sought further probe in this case and raised critical questions about the doctor’s statement. In his application, Saiyed asked how did Dr Kanoria know this was Kausar when it was unidentified at the time of postmortem on March 2, 2002. It was two years later that the crime branch officer said this was Kausar Bano Khaliq Noormohammed Shaikh. “On what basis, the additional police commissioner made this change in the PM note of 575-02? These facts have not come on record during investigation. Hence, detailed probe is necessary in this direction because the bodies were so badly burnt that it was impossible to identify them,” Saiyed argued in his application. Interestingly, during his deposition, Dr Kanoria told the court that he could not trace original documents of Kausar Bano’s postmortem from Civil Hospital.
    Investigating officer VV Chaudhary’s revelation on Monday before the court also disputed some heroics described unknowingly by Bajrangi before Tehelka. Saiyed sought probe on two specific claims made by Bajrangi — murders of a journalist at Naroda Patia by rioting mob on February 28, 2008 and of a boy named Salim.
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http://www.indianexpress.com/storyOld.php?storyId=2842

‘I will get justice for the raped women even if I have to die for it'
Shefali Nautiyal
Posted: May 17, 2002 at 0000 hrs ISTAhmedabad, May 16:

One woman’s courage is responsible for the first arrest in the first rape case to be registered in Ahmedabad. But for Jannatbibi Kallubhai Sheikh, the arrest of Ratilal Rathod alias Bhavani Singh, who is accused of murder, rioting and raping five women in Naroda Patiya on February 28, is hardly cause for cheer yet.‘‘I am going to do everything I can to see this man behind bars, even if I have to die for it,’’ says Jannatbibi. Rathod, a 50-year-old Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service driver, was remanded to judicial custody today.I saw him rape, kill those women: Jannatbibi (right). Express photo Jannatbibi, who says she witnessed the rape and murder of women during the February 28 Naroda Patiya massacre, filed a complaint in the case, submitted written statements and even travelled to New Delhi to plead her case.‘‘From the very first day, I have been telling everyone that I saw this man killing people and raping not less than five young women. I gave a written statement to the Crime Branch, I filed a complaint at the Shah Alam police chowki. And when Sonia Gandhi came here, I gave her a written statement as well,’’ she says.Jannatbibi met the President and several ministers during her New Delhi visit. ‘‘There too, I told everyone that I could identify the rapists and murderers. I repeatedly named Bhavani Singh in Delhi too.’’ She says she recognised Rathod since he lives with his family in a housing society behind Naroda Patiya. But she only knows him as Bhavani Singh. ‘‘I don’t know any Ratilal Rathod, his name is Bhavani Singh,’’ she says. ‘‘I didn’t know the rest, but we’ve seen Bhavani Singh several times.’’According to Jannatbibi, it was Bhavani Singh who surveyed their homes and gave the green signal to the rest of the mob that was waiting outside. It was Jannatbibi’s testimony that helped bring to light the brutal murder of Kausar Bano, the eight-month pregnant woman who was dragged out of her home, whose stomach was torn open with a sword and whose foetus was burnt before her eyes.‘‘Many of us who were hiding saw the brutal murder, but we were so frightened we could not come out to help,’’ says Jannatbibi.‘‘When we visited Naroda Patiya after a fedays, I met Singh’s daughter, there, looking bright and cheerful in a salwar kameez. She said, ‘Aao paani piten hain (Come, we’ll serve you water)’I told her ‘bahut paani pilaya tum logon ne (you people have given us enough water)’. She just laughed.’’

http://www.indianexpress.com/storyOld.php?storyId=3188

The face behind Gujarat’s foetus headline

Mukta Chakravorty
Posted :May 23, 2002 at 0000 hrs IST
Ahmedabad, May 22


To put a face to the brutal story of Kausar Bano is to give a voice to her 70-year-old father. Mercifully, Khaliq Noor Mohammad Sheikh didn’t see the mobs slitting Kausar’s womb with a sword, dragging out the unborn child that nestled within her and burning both in Naroda Patiya on February 28. He had fainted — when he woke up, he couldn’t even find the charred remains of Kausar Bano and her unborn child.
‘‘I found out how my daughter and her baby had been killed after I went to the Shah Alam relief camp. They could have killed me and spared my pregnant daughter,’’ sobs Sheikh. ‘‘My daughter got married only last year. This would have been her first child. And they did not even allow it to come into this world.’’
Khaliq Shaikh, father of Kausar Bano (inset)

Sheikh was a paint contractor who earned around Rs 4,000 a month. Until February 28, he had two houses in Naroda Patiya. He had two children: Kausar, in her early thirties, and a younger married son.

Kausar’s was a love marriage. She and her unemployed husband, Shahid Sheikh, stayed with her father. Shahid is said to be alive, but nobody at Shah Alam knows his whereabouts.
Sheikh’s neighbours, who are also at the relief camp, remember Kausar as a quiet person, who ‘‘would speak only when spoken to’’. ‘‘She wasn’t educated, but she had learnt diamond-cutting and polishing. She didn’t work, though,’’ says her father. His son Sharmuddin, his wife and two children lived with Sheikh. ‘‘We were a 12-member joint family. My wife’s sister and her family of four also stayed with us,’’ he says. Only three of the 12 — Sheikh, his son-in-law and his wife’s sister’s son — survived.

A day before the massacre, Sheikh says he took Kausar to a hospital in Kalupur for a medical check-up. ‘‘She was complaining of pain. The doctor said she was likely to deliver in a day or two.’’
On February 28, Sheikh was leaving for work when he heard loud shouts outside. ‘‘We all tried to flee. The mob hit me with sticks and tried to douse me with petrol. I managed to escape and reach a nearby dhaba, where I lost consciousness. When I regained consciousness after 28 hours, I went back to see only ruins. Some policemen escorted me to a nearby chawl, from where I was brought to the relief camp.’’ Reshmabano Nadibbhai Sayed, one of Sheikh’s neighbours, says, ‘‘Ever since chacha heard about the gory killing, he has turned insane with grief.’’ Reshmabano says she witnessed Kausar’s killing. ‘‘As Kausar was being dragged out of her home, she kept screaming, pleading with the mob to take away her money, her valuables, but spare her and her unborn child. But they pulled out the baby and threw it into the fire along with Kausar’s body. When her mother tried to intervene, she was burnt as well. When an old man hears all this, won’t he be affected?’’
Sheikh says he will never return to Naroda Patiya.‘‘I will go back to Bangalore, where my mother-in-law lives. My life is over, but I want to see the murderers of my daughter brought to book before I die,’’ he says.

http://www.indianexpress.com/storyOld.php?storyId=8888

‘They slit open her stomach. I think I heard my child cry’
Posted: Sep 06, 2002 at 0000 hrs IST

‘‘Two men snatched S, from my locality. When I understood what they wanted to do, I lay there pretending to be dead. They kicked me on the stomach to see if I was alive. It hurt me a lot but I quietly endured the pain for the sake of my dignity. They raped S... and after they were done, they began hitting her with a sword. Another girl ran past and their attention was now on her, so S escaped.’’

In an act of exemplary courage, perhaps bordering on the desperation of those who have lost everything, 42 victims of the Gujarat riots have come forward to file affidavits with the Justices Shah and Nanavati Commission of Inquiry about atrocities they have experienced or witnessed. The affidavits affirm facts everyone knows but are slowly slipping from public memory: that sexual assaults against women was the most devastating weapon used in Gujarat.

Save three affidavits from men who are relatives of victims of sexual violence, the remaining affidavits are from women who have witnessed or experienced sexual violence. At least 26 affidavits speak of violence committed by mobs, the remaining of atrocities committed by the police.

The testimonies, filed in June 2002, are a result of the painstaking efforts of volunteers of the Mumbai-based legal resources centre for women, Majlis, along with the Ahmedabad-based women’s group, Sahr Waru.

In a perspective affidavit filed before the commission on June 27, lawyer Flavia Agnes of Majlis, sought special rules for procedures and the trial of these offences. She has demanded that the commission prescribe a time-bound hearing of these cases.

Worried at the issue of the safety and security of the women who filed these affidavits, she argues that in the present climate of fear and mistrust, a special forum is necessary to ensure that justice is done to women victims.

Indeed, she says, few affidavits were recorded on sexual violence against women during the Mumbai riots of 1992-93. Today, these incidents have been erased from public memory.

Agnes’s affidavit stated that the stage was set for ‘‘the pre-planned, pre-mediated sexual assault on women on the totally false and baseless news report in the Gujarati newspaper Sandesh, on February 28 itself.

The news item stated: during the burning train incident, several Hindu women were dragged out, raped and their breasts cut off.’ Two days later, the newspaper printed a correction and apology, but the damage was done: girls and women were picked up, stripped, gang-raped or objects inserted into their vaginas and then burnt to cinders.

Recording and attesting the affidavits was no easy task. Repeated visits were undertaken to record oral evidence, maintain contact with the women, gain their trust and prepare only those ready to sign affidavits.

Several women had equally horrifying tales to tell but couldn’t for fear of reprisal. Some were ashamed to speak of the atrocities. A male relative gave a hand-written note containing details of the horrors he had witnessed to the legal activist, telling her, ‘‘Aap tho ladki hain aur mujhe yeh sa batein kehna mushkil hai.’’

The legal activists also had to safeguard against any possibilities of affidavits being retracted under pressure and ensure that there were no contradictions between their affidavits and the statements that police had taken.

Some of the women who spoke up are older and well known in their community. The women are poor and self-employed, usually working as housemaids or doing sewing or zari-embroidery work.

In fact, their poverty and the complete absence of any sort of political support makes them extremely vulnerable.

The affidavits detail the sexual violence of the rioting mobs, but they also accuse the police and different law-enforcing agencies, notably the State Reserve Police and the Rapid Action Force. According to the affidavits, they teased, harassed and taunted the women during the riots, making sexually suggestive remarks, sending a clear signal to the mobs to go ahead. In the post-riots situation, say the women, these agencies launched massive combing operations again, harassing the women with vulgar remarks and innuendoes.

In her affidavit, a woman said that a policeman entered her house asking for her husband and when told he was not in, said, ‘‘It doesn’t matter, I’m here.’’

Then, there was the horrific case of Kausarbano. Mobs slit open her stomach and threw her body and that of the foetus into the fire. But political leaders dismissed accounts of her story, saying that no one by the name existed!

Now, three affidavits filed by Kausarbano’s friends and relatives nail this lie. Her husband’s affidavit states, ‘‘I ran part of the way carrying her in my arms. After some distance, I put her down and both of us began running. They caught her, slit her stomach with a sword pulled out our child from her stomach and paraded the baby on the tip of a sword. I think I heard my child cry. Then, they poured petrol on both of them and lit them.’’

The fear-stricken man, hiding behind a wall, witnessed the entire incident. His friend held him back and forced him to run away. Otherwise he, too, would have died.

Deception, and then death, worked in the case of Suphiya Bano too. The 15-year old girl was raped and later taken to the Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad. First, her name was changed and given in the hospital records as Supriya Marajad. This made it difficult for her relatives to locate her.

After a long search, her father located her and she told him how Naroda Patiya resident Bhavani Singh’s son and others caught her. She gave her statement to the police on March 1.

On March 4, doctors told her father that she was recovering. But when her father went to visit her on March 7, he was told she had died. ‘‘I feel she was killed because she gave a clear statement to police indicting the people who ruined her life,’’ says the father’s affidavit.

Several affidavits pertain to the violence at the residence of MP Ehsaan Jaffri. A housemaid standing in front of his house was caught, stripped with a sword and raped. Another girl witnessed the rape.

‘‘She begged for mercy... Three sisters were also burnt and we could hear them crying for help. My own sister-in-law was stripped. I fell unconscious and later, we found her dead body, her clothes were torn and her private parts mutilated.’’

Not surprisingly, there are no affidavits from rape victims. As a riot victim said, ‘‘We won’t talk of what happened in your house, don’t speak of what happened in our house.’’

The writer is a freelance journalist

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Post mortem reports ( available in the judgement in Naroda Patiya case ) mention no name-Extracts from Naroda Patiya judgement -- {A-18 refers to Bajrangi)


Page 37-38
There were post mortem done on bodies of 85 victims. None of the report carries the name of the victim.
PW
No.
Exh.
Name of
Witness
Status of
Witness &
involves
which
accused
Proves or refers documents
during deposition, if any, or
brought in cross.
103
656
Dr. Jayant
Somabhai
Kanoriya
.
P.M. Doctor
 (a) Exh.657 – P.M.Note of unknown
female aged 25 years.
(b) Exh.658 – P.M.Note of unknown
male aged 20 years.
(c) Exh.659 – P.M.Note of unknown
female aged 25 years.
(d) Exh.661 – Intimation by Police
Surgeon, Civil Hospital with
reference to P.M.No.575, 576 &
577/02.
(e) Exh.662 – Inquest Panchnama
drawn for death of 58 persons of
khancha / water tank / evening
occurrence.



So why was there denial of Kausar’s fate? That becomes clear when we look at the attempt to discredit Tehelka Sting operation. As per Dr. Kanoriya’s testimony, there was no sharp injury to the  abdomen of the woman whose PM he conducted.


Page 178 (Defence argument)

PW-103, Dr.Kanoriya opines that there was no injury by sharp cutting instruments on the stomach of Kausharbi and no injury was caused to the foetus in her body. Hence it is clear that her postmortem Exh.657, inquest panchnama Exh.662 (qua body No.7), do not tally to one another. The prosecution story of the Kausharbi of having been stabbed by sword by A-18, therefore, needs to be held totally false, which also affects the genuineness of the 'Sting Operation' and which proves that the 'Sting Operation' was not genuine. It was simplicitor reading of the script given to the PW.
.......................
(b-12.2) In deposition, A-18 has been ascribed the role of giving sword blow on stomach of Kausharbanu, but before SIT, this role has been assigned to Guddu. In SIT, no role is assigned to A-18 by the PW. In SIT, no role is assigned to A-61 of giving inflammable to Bhavani to burn Kausharbanu as against the deposition. As a result, the role assigned to A-61 and A-40 becomes doubtful and hence, both of them are entitled to benefit of doubt qua this PW. Even A-40 also deserves benefit for the reason that, he was merely present at the site without doing any overt act including possessing weapon at the site.

Let us see court’s observation

(b-12.3) It is not important as to what was the name of that
woman whose stomach was slit, what is important is, whether
such occurrence has taken place or not.

The arguments of defence as well as the spirit of
entire cross-examination on the topic is to submit that such
occurrence with pregnant woman has never occurred and that
the entire incident is got up, concocted and is totally a
perverted presentation.

..............
. At the cost of repetition, it is opined that in the
facts and circumstances of the case, the extra-judicial
confession of the accused is satisfactory and sufficient evidence
and that, it itself is singly able to prove the guilt. The other
points have been discussed merely to come to a more firm
conclusion which has in fact been concluded by the Court on
the extra-judicial confession of A-22 on rape and A-18 on
slitting the stomach of a pregnant Muslim woman.
.......................
(c) OPINION :
(c-1) Through this witness, the prosecution is not
successful in proving the case of slitting the stomach of
Kausharbanu and then burning her alive by taking out the fetus
from her body. However, the possibility and probability of the
occurrence of doing away with one Muslim pregnant woman is
found to be probable as even A-18 has admitted it in his extrajudicial
confession. The occurrence of Kausharbanu can be
accepted as far as her homicidal death at khancha is concerned
in which she was killed by attacking on her stomach.
........................
PW 228 seems to be very truthful witness, when he states that Kausharbanu and her maternal aunt viz. mother of Kausharbanu were with him at the hall, and that he has then seen them at the khancha, the witness was only 14 years boy then and from the acceptable and dependable part of his deposition, no doubt is left out in the mind of the Court that the witness has seen an attack on Kausharbanu and that Kausharbanu was dragged by four persons (this fact is also stated by PW 147). No doubt is also left out on the fact that sword blow was given to Kausharbanu and then she was burnt at the site of khancha (this fact is also told by PW 142, 147, etc. 158 who, all have seen the occurrence).
(K-6) The submission on the incident of Kausarbanu need not to be separately dealt with over here, since the point of determination for the charge u/s.315 has the detailed discussion on this incident. Suffice it to say here that, the dead body of Kausarbanu was not identified dead body. Moreover, in case of superficial injury, in case of the body being 100% burnt and in case of body being charred, the sign of injury may not remain on body, as the sign of injury would remain on body if the injury is on a deeper layer. When it is not clear on record as to, to what extent the injuries were sustained by Kausarbanu, it would not be proper to disbelieve the eyewitness of crime. The P.M. Report of Kausarbanu is the guesswork of PW 285 which is not believed to be genuine.
.................................
(6) While appreciating the oral testimony of PW 228, it should be kept in mind that at that time, he was 14 years old boy and his understanding about the life would obviously quite limited.
(7) Neither PW 228 nor A-18 are expert of gynaecology, hence their version related to occurrence which is closely associated with the subject of gynaecology is to be understood as their personal perception of the occurrence, but it undoubtedly proves that occurrence of ghastly attack on Kausharbanu has taken place.
(8) On the aspect of probability of the occurrence, in addition to the circumstantial evidence emerged from the complaint narrated above, the concept of caesarean needs to be kept in mind which shows that the occurrence as narrated by A-18 is not unlikely. In fact, the occurrence was much close to caesarean. It is known that sword cannot be less than any knife and with the help of sword also, the caesarean is possible.
(9) As has been concluded by this Court, PW 225, 228, 158 and even A-18 in his Sting Operation are all speaking truth, but the only point is that PW 228 and A-18 are talking of the occurrence which is having connection with subject of gynaecology.
(10) Unfortunately, the prosecuting agency has not examined any gynaecology expert to prove the probability of the occurrence, the investigating agency has not investigated on the scientific possibility of happening of the occurrence, the previous investigator has also not collected any evidence and examined the probability, the defence has also not examined any gynaecology expert to decide about the gynaecological improbability, the P.M. record is polluted and is not reliable, the burial receipts and P.M. reports are prepared with different aims and are not appearing to be a pure record. Support is available from the oral or evidence to the occurrence of homicidal death of Kausharbanu. Reliance has to be placed only on circumstantial evidence as well, as has been emerged on record.
(11) A-18 is neither experienced nor trained gynaecologist who can do caesarean at the site with the help of sword, but the gist of his conversation is that he killed a pregnant woman by sword blow and while killing her, it is obvious that some piece of flesh must have been on the tip of the sword which A-18 seems to have perceived to be fetus.
(12) PW 228, the 14 years old cousin of Kausharbanu is also not an expert. What he has seen, is his experience through his senses viz. his eyes that he saw attack on Kausharbanu by A-18. Such an attack was on the stomach of Kausharbanu. Kausharbanu was a pregnant woman of full term or near to full term as emerges from the oral evidence of her husband, PW 225 who has also deposed that she went to her parent's house for delivery. This goes with social custom wherein a woman comes to the parental home for delivery and thus, the brilliant probability and possibility was that of full term pregnancy of Kausharbanu or atleast near to full term pregnancy of Kausharbanu.
 (13) Now, therefore from oral evidence of PW 228 and confession of A-18, it, becomes very clear on record that when A-18 attacked Kausharbanu, by giving sword blow on her stomach. The Kausharbanu as has been held was passing through the stage of full term pregnancy or near to full term pregnancy and that it was almost admitted position from the oral evidence of PW 225 and PW 158 that right from the noon, with the physical exercise alongwith tremendous mental stress, Kausharbanu was moving here to there. PW 158 and PW 225 focus on the tremendous hardship suffered by the victims on that day. PW 225 focuses on the fact as to what a mental agony Kausharbanu must have undergone when the sword blow was on Kausharbanu at khada. It is different that the same was not successful and therefore, mental agony. Because of this background, she must be tremendously exhausted, tired, totally lost and because of this background, successful attack by A-18 must have resulted in her falling down on earth and becoming unconscious. The attack by A-18 was very much on stomach of Kaushar as is very clearly proved on record, but it cannot be believed that A-18 could take out fetus from the body because that can be done by a trained gynaecologist or very experienced person and that not even co-incident can be accepted as probability for taking out fetus from the body of pregnant woman, however, the flesh which came out seems to have been perceived by A-18 and all concerned as fetus from her body. In nutshell, it is held that there was successful attack by A-18 on pregnant Kausharbanu who then fell down, who then became unconscious, the attack resulted into injuries and then ultimately she was burnt there at the site and thus her homicidal death was committed alongwith fetus in her body. Thus, A-18 is held to be author of homicidal death of Kausharbanu.
.................................................
(x) As discussed above, burial receipt is not conclusive proof, non-availability of dead body of Kausharbanu is as well probable, hence no corroboration be available from the P.M. of unknown dead bodies. Dead body of Kaushar was not identified.
(xi) The most important topic of the entire occurrence is the perception of A-18 and perception of PW 228. A-18 is not a gynaecologist who would be knowing the art of caesarean nor he had any intention of killing a pregnant woman nor he seems to have specifically made preparation for this. In fact, as emerges on record, coincidentally his attack was on this pregnant woman, hence his act and omission is falling within the category of committing homicidal death of Kausharbanu, it is not proved that it was committed by any of the accused with intention or mens rea as is required to prove the offence u/s. 315of the I.P.C.
(xii) This Court was discussing on the human perception, coming back to that point, since A-18 was not experienced and trained person of doing or operating caesarean on pregnant woman, it cannot be expected that he would bring out the fetus on the point of sword, but the fact remains that he does not speak lie, he reveals true story and that true story is to be seen with the lenses of his perception. Now, the lenses of his perception guide this Court that he did an attack on the pregnant woman viz. Kausharbanu by sword which was successful attempt, in this attempt, he could injure Kausharbanu on her stomach because of which, piece of flesh which must have come out was perceived by A-18 as fetus. When A-18 as a matured man understood or perceived piece of flesh as fetus, what to talk about only 14 years boy who witnessed the incident with his little understanding about life about the position of pregnancy, about the caesarean and many more such things, thus PW 228 is speaking truth like A-18 is also speaking truth.
..............................................................
Hence this Court is inclined to hold that the murder of Kausharbanu was committed in the evening occurrence at the site of the offence because of attack of unlawful assembly through A-18 on her stomach. She was then after burnt alive alongwith her fetus.

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