Stop Modi Industry shenanigans exposed.
Maya, many others convicted on tutored,
false and fabricated charges
Dr R Balashankar
NARODA Patiya convictions last week became a big media event for two reasons. First, the quantum of punishment in this case is unheard of in Indian judicial history. Second, at least some of the persons convicted, including the media linchpin Ms Maya Kodnani, are believed to be victims of a calculated frame up with nothing more than their political prominence supporting their involvement in the crime. This in fact has been the hallmark of the lynch mob mindset popularised by the Indian secularists and pro-Islamic activists in the aftermath of the riots in Gujarat in February 2002. They assiduously tried to paint Gujarat as some sort of black hell where Hindu revivalism had set up its ideological laboratory.
The progressive, popular Chief Minister Narendra Modi was hoisted as the modern day hate icon and defeating him the most urgent task for the creation of the 21st century world order.
THESE hate mongers failed in their effort at all levels, legal, political, ideological and economic matrix but the effort has to go on, for in the last one decade both western and petro dollar flowing in has already acquired an institutional shape of a bread and butter industry for the people involved. Any straw in the wind is a weapon in the stop-Modi project and it needed at least one big political persona with the taint of court conviction in a riot case. So the Narodapatiya convictions became more a political instrument than a phase in riot and crime jurisprudence. It foxes one to think how only riot in Gujarat hit headlines. How it is that a Tarun Gogoi is not targeted for not protecting Muslims in Kokrajhar.
Every so-called secular politician in the country, be it Mulayan Singh, Lalu Yadav, Sharad Pawar, Tarun Gogoi, P Chidambaram, or the Sonia Congress has more riot stains on their forehead, presiding ineffectively over riots or not nabbing the culprits afterwards than Modi. Yet, media with its biased agenda focuses only on Gujarat. This is the significance of the latest convictions in the 2002 riots.
India has a long history of riots. Most riots have a tale of instigation, provocation, reaction and retribution. Some of the riots that immediately come to mind are Assam, Mumbai, Udaypur, Bhagalpur, Bhiwandi, Moradabad, Nelli (Assam), Maliana (Meerut), anti-Sikh riots in Delhi and whole of north-central India and the Gujarat riots. In most of these instances Congress played a villainous role while the BJP offered succour to the hapless victims.
The perpetrators in all of them mostly went unpunished. The story is the same in the case of targeted terrorist killings too where the victims were overwhelmingly Hindus. But only the last one, the Gujarat, we remember. All the riot spots also have a tendency of recurring riots. But for Bhagalpur and Gujarat one thing common about all other riots is that the rioting cases were never pursued to fish out evidences and punish the guilty, while compensating the victims.
This is particularly galling in the instance of the anti-Sikh pogrom of 1984, in which by all recorded evidence the Congress party was the culprit, The BJP and Sangh pariwar saved thousands of Sikh families. Congress leaders were charge sheeted — but never punished—and the violence was planned and justified at the highest level.
Gujarat riots became notorious, for the massive riot industry it has spawned. Thanks to the impartial, non-interfering approach of the state government, every single riot case was investigated and arrests made, but the riot industry concentrated in tarnishing the image of the state, manufacturing evidence and witnesses. Paid agents and witnesses were never in short supply there. One central theme was trying to implicate maximum number of persons in the name of riots so that never again a Hindu will stand to protect his right and honour. Teach the Hindus of Gujarat a lesson that they will not forget for generations was the secularist-Islamist project.
The witnesses were trained and tutored to make false but convincing accusations and statements with the motive of maximising the quantum and number of punishments. And implicating persons of political standing and repute was next in the agenda. So that the Hindus will always remain imbecile, hopelessly divided, unreacting and unremembering of the crimes perpetrated on them. The instances of these have been reported voluminously in these columns from time to time. There is no need to repeat them.
Maya Kodnani is just one such prey. The facts in the judgement in Maya Kodnani’s case are so startling that it has all the trappings of the Islamist tactics mentioned above. It is on record that on Feb 28 morning Kodnani delivered a speech at the Vidhan Sabha. Then she left at 9.15 am for Sola Civil Hospital where the charred bodies of the Hindu victims of Godhra were brought the preceding night. Here she was booed by incensed relatives of the Hindu victims. They accused her of not protecting the Hindus as a BJP person. She actually had to flee the spot with police escort around 11.30 AM. The police escorted her till Subhash bridge and from there she went to Meghaninagar Civil Hospital and from there to her house in Naroda. The judge has not called two Mamlatdars ( Mamlat is an executive magistrate ) and the police inspector of Sola police station, a policemen who had seen Kodnani till 11.15 am , to give their testimony. Is this not intriguing?
The statements of the four witnesses regarding Kodnani have been taken on record by the court in another similar case of the same day, the Narodagam case in which too she is an accused. This is again unusual. Evidence supporting her has been considered by one judge in one case but ignored by another judge (Jyotsna Yagnik) in an identical case.
These facts support the charges made by BJP leaders like Yatin Oza, who had defended Mayaben once in the case, that she has been convicted on tutored evidence created by motivated activists. What’s more, the judge didn’t even see the CD containing record of Kodnani’s telephone calls on that day. This was one of the evidences considered by the Judge while convicting her.
Clearly, notwithstanding the gravity of the Narodapatiya massacre the judgement delivered by judge Jyotsna Yagnik, once a junior lawyer of known Congress leader Manubhai Palkhiwala reads like a monologue. The Congress lawyer is also acting principal of the IM Nanavati Law College in Ahmedabad which is owned by a prominent Congress-connected family.
Similarly, the trial court ignored many crucial evidences that nail the conspiracy charge against Kodnani and others.
What has caused much heart burn is the fact that the conviction has taken place on the basis of the evidence created by motivated leftist NGOs who take perverse pleasure in Hindu bashing. Those who are celebrating the Narodapatiya judgement are the same activists who were out to save the killers of the equally gruesome Godhra carnage. Whatever crime the Muslims commit they are Teflon coated. Even when the Hindus are on the receiving end they are demonized. Godhra massacre actually triggered the Hindu reaction. Islamists projected that the train at Godhra was a pure accident. They propped up the Banerjee Commission by Lalu Yadav to save the killers of Godhra. The same Banerjee was later rewarded by the UPA Government for his “services”. The judgement in the Godhra carnage nailed their lie.
The Narodapatiya convictions which we analysed in the issue dated September 16 has many chinks. Reports indicate that the conspiracy angle which the trial court immensely relied on to award unheard of punishments to the convicts was essentially a figment of imagination of the prosecution. First of all on February 28, 2002, the first three killings were premeditated and the victims were all Hindus. The killings took place in the Narodapatiya locality. There was tension already after the Godhra train massacre. The targeted killings of the Hindus in the east Ahmedabad area infuriated and inflamed reactions in the Hindu areas. There was no conspiracy here. Linking Maya Kodnani seems to have come as an afterthought, as the riot industry was always looking for big names. The BJP MLA was popular in the area. Her 28 year conviction defies all logic. Unlike in the West the maximum punishment in India is either a life sentence or a hanging. This is what even Kasab got. Is Kodnani more a criminal than Kasab? India is not US where long years of convictions have given birth to a flourishing jail industry.
In this particular case, the jail terms have been awarded separately, not concurrently, so the maximum number of years in jail is assured. This makes good headlines, but what a travesty of justice? The court must have been convinced of the criminal charges, but unfortunately, the public is not. Justice should be done convincingly, not arbitrarily. The balance between the insanity of accusations and the sanity of evidence presented is the crux of any convincing conviction. That is why the adage it is not enough that justice is done but it has to be done seemingly.
The killing of three Hindus by organised Muslim mobs in the morning of February 28 in Narodapatiya area is recorded. It was this incident that triggered mob violence later in the area and nearby Narodagram and Gulberg. How can one conclude that there was no conspiracy in the killing of the Hindus in the same area and there was a plot behind the retaliation later? It is a conjecture.
There was further the carnage the previous day of Godhra in the backdrop. It is on record how a riotous Muslim mob near a mosque in the area pulled out Ranjit Chavada, and so inhumanely brutalized his body with monstrous instinct. A Muslim truck driver simultaneously ran over a Hindu mob killing one and injuring two others in the area. Around the same time, in a third incident, Ghanshyam Patel, a young labourer was cut with sword by a Muslim mob in Narodagram. As the news of these three killings almost simultaneously between 10 and 11.30 AM spread, Hindu mobs from nearby areas started retaliation, according to media reports. There is no justifying the retaliation, but how can a conspiracy theory be built around this incident and drag the names of BJP and pro-Hindu organisation leaders? In one instance the eyes of the Hindu victim were gorged out by the murderous mob. Asks BJP MLA Yatin Oza, “There was not a single incident of attack on Muslims in the area till these three gruesome murders. How can a reaction to brutal killing be qualified as conspiracy?”
In enforcing the rule of law there is no space for wreaking vengeance. The Narodapatiya convictions look dissatisfying and adventurous because the trial court in many places gets carried away with its admonitions, pontifications and editorializing espousing prejudicial disposition in the case for arbitration. A spontaneous mob action cannot be equated with a premeditated terror strike in which the place, timing and the victims are pre-planned and targeted. In 99 per cent of these attacks the victims are Hindus. Should these facts be brushed under the carpet for political convenience? The problem arises when the media, politicians and the law enforcing agencies approach differently, the crimes perpetrated by the Muslims and the Hindus. The Muslim victimhood is hailed and celebrated but Hindus are expected to of comatose behaviour even in the face of grave provocation. When Karsevaks are roasted to death in a train bogey, eyes of the victims’ gorged out, body mutilated there are secularists describing such crimes as accident.