After 3 decades justice has been served to 1984 Sikh massacre victims. Needless to say right from day one, everybody knew who was behind the pogrom. But in the same vein, doesn’t everyone know who was behind the 2002 Gujrat pogrom? So, when will the victims get justice?
The 1984 anti-Sikh riots, also known as the 1984 Sikh Massacre, was a series of organised pogroms against Sikhs in India by anti-Sikh mobs (notably Congress Party members) in response to the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.Independent sources estimate the number of deaths at about 8,000 – 17,000. Official Indian government reported about 2,800 Sikhs were killed in Delhi.
Similarly, the 2002 Gujarat riots were a three-day period of inter-communal violence in the western Indian state of Gujarat. Following the initial incident there were further outbreaks of violence in Ahmedabad for three months; statewide, there were further outbreaks of violence against the minority Muslim population for the next year.
According to official figures, the riots ended with 1,044 dead, 223 missing, and 2,500 injured. Of the dead, 790 were Muslim and 254 Hindu. The Concerned Citizens Tribunal Report estimated that as many as 1,926 may have been killed. Other sources estimated death tolls in excess of 2,000. Many brutal killings and rapes were reported on as well as widespread looting and destruction of property. The Chief Minister of Gujarat at that time, Narendra Modi, was accused of initiating and condoning the violence, as were police and government officials who allegedly directed the rioters and gave lists of Muslim-owned properties to them.
Though officially classified as a communalist riot, the events of 2002 have been described as a pogrom by many scholars, with some commentators alleging that the attacks had been planned, with the attack on the train was a “staged trigger” for what was actually premeditated violence. Other observers have stated that these events had met the “legal definition of genocide,”or referred to them as state terrorism or ethnic cleansing.
Instances of mass violence include the Naroda Patiya massacre that took place directly adjacent to a police training camp; the Gulbarg Society massacre where Ehsan Jafri, a former parliamentarian, was among those killed; and several incidents in Vadodara city.
Scholars studying the 2002 riots state that they were premeditated and constituted a form of ethnic cleansing, and that the state government and law enforcement were complicit in the violence that occurred. But when will the kith and kin of Gujrat victims get justice?