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Hindus Confess to Gujarat Carnage


CAIRO An Indian weekly magazine has released a series of videotaped
confessions of Hindu activists of hacking hundreds of Muslims to
death in the southern state of Gujarat and detailing blatant state
collusion over the 2002 massacre, reported the Washington Post on
Friday, October 26.

"It is a very disturbing story," said Tarun Tejpal, the editor of the
weekly Tehelka, which released the confessions.

"It is a story that makes me worry about the kind of India we are
living in."

The videos showed Hindu activists and politicians bragging about
hacking Muslims to death and burning their bodies.

Some activists confessed that they doused petrified Muslims in
kerosene and burned them alive.

Another activist said that he slit open the stomach of a pregnant
Muslim woman.

"There is a complete absence of remorse in these confessions," said

"The perpetrators of the violence have themselves confessed to the

The videos are the result of a six-month investigation by a by a
Tehelka investigative reporter, who posed as a research scholar and
spoke to the activists.

Up to 2,500 people, mostly Muslims, were hacked and burnt to death by
Hindu extremists in Gujarat in 2002.

The carnage took place after 59 Hindu pilgrims were died on train in
a fire some blamed on Muslims.

India's Supreme Court has accused the Hindu nationalist government in
Gujarat of being complicit in the killings.

Gujarat carnage was the worst religious violence India had seen in

India is home to the world's largest Muslim population after
Indonesia and Pakistan.

Hindus account for more than 80 percent of the country's 1.1 billion
population while Muslims make up about 13 percent.

State Collusion

The video also showed an Indian Hindu politician confessing that
Gujarat's chief minister Narendra Modi had given the green light for
the Hindu extremists to go ahead with their rampage.

"He (Modi) had given us three days to do whatever we could," admitted
Haresh Bhatt, a leader of Bajrang Dal, a hardline Hindu group
affiliated to the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

"He said he would not give us time after that, he said this openly,"
he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Modi, who is seeking a reelection in December state elections,
earlier claimed that the massacre was a spontaneous reaction to the
train fire.

Arvind Pandya, a Gujarat government counsel at a riot inquiry panel,
said Modi's "blood was boiling" when he first heard of the train fire.

"His reaction was like this, 'if he were not a minister he would have
burst bombs ... detonated a few bombs in Juhapura'," Pandya said,
referring to a Muslim suburb in Gujarat's main city Ahmedabad.

Indian Muslims said the videos were no surprise.

"None of these confessions are new to us. We have experienced all
this firsthand," said Shakeel Ahmed, a legal activist in Gujarat and
a member of the Association for the Protection of Civil Rights.

He, however, said that the videotaped confessions mount pressures on
the state government to act against the perpetrators.

"The perpetrators themselves are admitting to the heinous crimes," he

"Whether it will bring justice depends on political will. Many of the
accused are our rulers today. Who will investigate them?"

Right groups complain that little has been done to catch the culprits.

They insist that there was no trace of accountability on government
officials who reportedly engineered the massacre.

Only about a dozen people have been convicted from 3,200 cases filed.


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