India: Gujarat Officials Took Part in Anti-Muslim Violence

New Report Documents Complicity of the State Government
(New York, April 30, 2002) - State officials of Gujarat, India were directly involved in the killings of hundreds of Muslims since February 27 and are now engineering a massive cover-up of the state's role in the violence, Human Rights Watch charged in a new report released today.


Residents at the Chartoda Kabristan camp in Ahmedabad. The camp, with 6,000 residents, is located on the site of a Muslim graveyard. Residents were sleeping in the open, between the graves.
2002 Smita Narula/Human Rights Watch

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"What happened in Gujarat was not a spontaneous uprising, it was a carefully orchestrated attack against Muslims. The attacks were planned in advance and organized with extensive participation of the police and state government officials."

Smita Narula, senior South Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch


The Indian parliament is scheduled today to debate the situation in Gujarat, and may vote to censure the Indian government for its handling of the violence.

"What happened in Gujarat was not a spontaneous uprising, it was a carefully orchestrated attack against Muslims," said Smita Narula, senior South Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch and author of the report. "The attacks were planned in advance and organized with extensive participation of the police and state government officials."

The police were directly implicated in nearly all the attacks against Muslims that are documented in the 75-page report, 'We Have No Orders to Save You': State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat. In some cases they were merely passive observers. But in many instances, police officials led the charge of murderous mobs, aiming and firing at Muslims who got in the way.

Under the guise of offering assistance, some police officers led the victims directly into the hands of their killers. Panicked phone calls made to the police, fire brigades, and even ambulance services generally proved futile. Several witnesses reported being told by police: "We have no orders to save you."

Three weeks after the initial attacks, Human Rights Watch visited Ahmedabad, a site of large-scale destruction, murder, and several massacres, and spoke to both Hindu and Muslim survivors of the attacks. The report also provides testimony on retaliatory attacks against Hindus, which Human Rights Watch strongly condemned.

More than 850 people have been killed in the Western state of Gujarat in the past two months, most of them Muslims. Unofficial estimates have put the death toll as high as 2,000. The violence began on February 27 after a Muslim mob in the town of Godhra attacked and set fire to two carriages of a train carrying Hindu activists. Fifty-eight people were killed.

Starting February 28, 2002, a three-day retaliatory killing spree by Hindus left hundreds dead and tens of thousands homeless and dispossessed. The looting and burning of Muslim homes, businesses, and places of worship was also widespread. Muslim girls and women were brutally raped. Mass graves have been dug throughout the state. Gravediggers told Human Rights Watch that bodies keep arriving, burnt and mutilated beyond recognition.

Burnt Muslim shops and restaurants dot the main roads and highways in Ahmedabad. Neighboring Hindu establishments remain notably unscathed.

Between February 28 and March 2, thousands of attackers descended on Muslim neighborhoods, clad in saffron scarves and khaki shorts, the signature uniform of Hindu nationalist groups, and armed with swords, sophisticated explosives, and gas cylinders. They were guided by voter lists and printouts of addresses of Muslim-owned properties-information obtained from the local municipality. In the weeks following the attacks, Hindu homes and businesses were also destroyed in retaliatory attacks by Muslims.

The groups most directly involved in the violence against Muslims include the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council, VHP), the Bajrang Dal, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that heads the Gujarat state government. Collectively, they are known as the sangh parivar, or family of Hindu nationalist organizations.

The Gujarat state administration has been engaged in a massive cover-up of the state's role in the massacres and that of the sangh parivar. Numerous police reports filed by eyewitnesses after the attacks have specifically named local VHP, BJP, and Bajrang Dal leaders as instigators or participants in the violence. The police, reportedly under instructions from the state, face continuous pressure not to arrest them or to reduce the severity of the charges filed. Top police officials who sought to protect Muslims have been removed from positions of command.

"This is a crisis of impunity," said Narula. "If charges against members of these groups are not investigated and prosecuted accordingly, violence may continue to engulf the state, and may even spread to other parts of the country."

The violence in Gujarat has triggered national outrage and has been strongly condemned by political parties, the National Human Rights Commission, the Indian prime minister, and civil society at large. Both the Godhra massacre and the attacks that ensued have been documented in meticulous detail by Indian human rights and civil liberties groups and by the Indian press.

"After two months of violence, the international community is now waking up and needs to respond," said Narula.

Government figures indicate that more than 98,000 people, an overwhelming majority of them Muslim, are residing in more than one hundred relief camps throughout the state. The state government has failed to provide adequate and timely humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons in Gujarat. Relief camps visited by Human Rights Watch were in desperate need of more government and international assistance. One camp with 6,000 residents was located on the site of a Muslim graveyard. Residents were literally sleeping in the open, between the graves.

Assistance from international humanitarian and United Nations agencies is urgently needed for Hindus and Muslims in relief camps, Human Rights Watch said. It urged the Indian government to actively seek the assistance of international agencies and to invite United Nations human rights experts to investigate state and police participation in the violence in Gujarat.

Human Rights Watch also urged the international community to put pressure on the Indian government to comply with international human rights and Indian constitutional law and end impunity for orchestrated violence against Indian minorities.

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  28 Comments   Comment

  1. Natheer Ahmad from Philippines

    Assalamu alaykum.

    Indian, Pakistani, Afghan Muslims (and the like) must now come to realize that they in fact are supporting theenemies with money. How? One is by supporting Bollywood- watching Hindu/Indian movies, buying magazines with over made-up kuffar and mushrik women, buying the same women featured in postcards, listening to their haram music, etc.

    Hello? Look at what happened to your brothers and sisters. And did you see the picture of the same kuffar and mushrikin burning a copy of the Qur'an? And those who burned the train, if they were really Muslims, they should learn that actions they do without consultations and approval of the whole community only lead to sufferings of fellow Muslims. And they should have been prepared to defend their brothers and sisters in case of retaliation.

    Again, back to basics people. At least do not help the kuffar with your money if you can't fight them. With the number of Muslims in India, I believe it will make a dent in the profits of the kuffar if Muslims stopped supporting Indian movies. And don't tell me there are Muslims actors too, I know and they should not be there in the first place.


  2. ALI from United States

    To Messenger of Peace (Post no. 4015):

    I am glad to know that, like all the decent people, you abhor the violence in India. However, your comments that Muslims incited the situation needs to be corrected. According to articles exhibited on this site and written by independent sources, it was the Hindu thugs that started the conflict. On their way back from the demolished Babri mosque where they intend to construct a temple, they boarded the train that took them through Muslim thoroughfare. In the train, they were drunk and rowdy, and harrassed anyone that didn't participate in pro-Hindu chants. At various stations, they would help themselves to refreshments sold by the Muslim vendors without paying for them. The final straw came when they forced a Muslim girl into a rail car. According to some accounts, she tried to come to the aid of her elderly father, a vendor who was being harrassed by the rowdy Hindus. I think these barbarians were rapping her.

    The news preceeded the train to the next station and the Muslims there demanded the release of the girl to no avail. The rage incited by the Hindus along with the availability of fuel at that moment created a dangerous combination that led to the incident of train fire where 58 people died.

    I think you'll be able to retrieve some of the articles from the archieve on this site. Read for yourself and check out the sources.

    Unfortunately, the Indian government and the local government in Gujarat have been very decadent in letting the Hindus run amoke and continue to inflict their barbaric ways upon the Muslims. I hope peace will prevail and people responsible will be brought to justice--but that's too far-fetched of an idea when dealing with the current Indian government.


  3. samshath from UAE

    I had been reading the happenings in Gujarat helplessly. As a muslim, my heart goes to my sisters and brothers who were raped, burnt and killed. It is very clear that these incidents were pre-planned with the blessings of the government. Police is there to protect the citizens. If they join hands with the attacking mobs what can common public do? its a shame that there was not even one police who had the concsience to stop the attrocities? why didnt the PM of India send armed forces to bring peace in that area? Whatever is said and done, they have implemented their plans successfully. What is America, the warrior fighting against terrorism doing about this? To catch one Ossama Bin Laden, it destroyed Afghan and roped in all the other countries to harrass muslims. Now, muslims are refugees in their own land. They are scared to go back to their houses. What guarantee is there that this will not happen in the other parts of India. Most of the muslim families are without any male member as they are working abroad. What protection do our muslim sisters have? There are many unanswered questions.. The CM of Gujarat should be dismissed and Central Govt shd rule that stat for sometime, the police officers who were on duty shd be dismissed. And the PM should appologize to the muslim community and give a guarantee that this will not happen elsewhere.

  4. Ali from U.S.A

    To SAM, first of one force people to convert to Islam, this is Hindu excuse. 58 people kill because of they weren't paying for their food and service. Hindu group returning after worshipping pagan RAM were forcing them to say SRI-RAM slogan. You dark age thinker, go see light.

  5. Messenger of peace from USA

    I dont support what happened in gujarat. The killings were gruesome and most uncalled for, but has anyone ever thought why all this started? Everyone blames hindus for killing muslims, but the muslims first started the duesl by burning alive 58 hindus, isnt that gruesome? I have never heard any muslim condemning this klling.



  7. Faizal from USA

    What happened to muslims in Gujrath is beyond words. We must remember that every action has a reaction. Thousands of little children are parentless, in which most cases, they were burned to death in front of their own eyes. Allah saw it all and the satans will be punished by Allah! Amin. That punishement, ladies and gentelmen, will be more than interesting !

  8. Mohamed from USA

    Reply to Sonia..

    Please learn your history well before you make such unfounded statements. You only expose your lack of knowledge when you make such statements. Here are a few facts in a nutshell to redirect your learning in proper way.

    Muslims did not divide India. India is not a Hindu Country. It belongs to the Muslims of India as well, They were in the forefront of the freedom struggle. They have contributed to its development. They have been and are part of it. They will be a part of it as well.

    Only the majority community needs to live as a majority. The Problem in India is we have a majority with a inferiority complex. The day they get over this, we will have real peace and prosperity in India.

  9. M.Zubair siddique from Pakistan

    My daer muslims brothers as you know that muslims are being killed by the non-muslims over the worl-d and they have made-up us their slave because ou-r leaders are not bold.That is why we are being k-illed,robbed and our houses and mosques are being burnt.Kashmiris have already been killed by the INDIANS and now the muslims of gujrat.We have to -do something.We will have to protest against INDI-A and ISRAEL.We should not give jobs to INDIAN and we should not use INDIAN products.

  10. A S Khan from India

    The organisation for Islamic states should help to rehabilitate the victims of both communities.

  11. TAHIR from pakistan

    India Gov't is not doing well against Muslim.India government totally fail and totally support to these stupid illiterate Hindus.

    I request to human right commission to stop this and give the guarantee to save Muslims. Muslims are symbol of peace.

  12. Neyaz ahmad farooquee from India

    I want to tell Mr.sam that everyone want to accept best,that's why Indians accepted Islam.You claimed that Muslims killed Hindus in train that is wrong.It was the Sangh privar's men who fired the train to carry forward the pre planned attack on Muslims.I visited Gujarat to find out real cause,the result I got that it was only Hindus who did it.Even Hindus of Gujrat claimed when I went to know the reality showing myself as a Hindu.

  13. Sonia from US

    First these muslims divided our country and now they don't want to leave our country. Why can't they leave us alone? I'm just sick of their barbaric acts. I think India should force strict policy to move every single muslim out of the country and send them one by one to Pakistan. They wanted their separate state. India as being so nice to them gave it's own piece of land and still they are not satisfied. They will never be which is why they are being treated bad everywhere around the world. They need to learn respect and a lesson on humanity. I think they should live in their own community which is: Pakistan (PERIOD)

  14. sajid from india

    the voilance in gujrat was pre planned and well supported by the state and national govt that is BJP(bhartiya janta party)i was in tears when i seen pictures of inncent people burned alive sisters and mothers raped and then burned alive and innocent childrens being killed,why ? what they did ? only b.c they are muslim they are being killed?why people all over world hate muslim why? the answer is we muslims forgot what is islam and we left islam breaking the laws which was given by allah and going against quran and hadith.i request all the muslims join hands with quran and hadith and put it in our lives that onlt will save muslims .ameeen

  15. ahbdul ahad from uae

    even if the country loose the entire muslim

    population - if pagens can unite and vote for

    the same, they can rule the country - if it may

    happend, all of them will pronounce the

    'shahada' exept the 12% high cast - politicaly

    motivated poor pagens. Let see Insha Allah!

  16. sam from INDIA

    India accepted Muslims, Pakistan forced people to convert to Islam.

    The people in the train were burned alive by Muslims. Why? Because they wanted to rebuild our most holy temple?

    Why do you need to spread Islam in India? You have Pakistan. Go there. Leave us in peace. Maybe we are cow worshipping, idol worshipping etc. etc. etc. but then why do you want to come to our country? JUST LEAVE US ALONE!!! PLEASE!

  17. shaik mohammed mohboob from india

    it is qutie gursome that his type of well planned attacks are backed by the governement who while taking oath has promse to safegaurd the citzens rights irrespective of their religion,the gaurds in kahaki dress are the main culpicts then the saffron ,i think the main aim to terrose muslims.

  18. Rabs from saudi arabia

    It was very gruesome and very terrible to read the fact finding report. Its a shame that the government could do nothing instead are busy in shielding the culprits.

    But on other hand i would definately appreciate the secular parties/people specially sister smita narula for taking pains in finding these hidden facts and working hard to bring this better fact before unaware public. I surely slaute you sister.

    My sincere sympathies and condolences to the shattered families.

    Lets all unite together to fight against these deadly beasts and make our country voilence free country.



  19. umar farook from india

    Muslim ummah should come under one belt is best solution for fighting against our enemies.Forgetting Quran & sunnah, Muslim society is being run their life is basic mistakes basic factor for those things.

  20. Abdul Ghani from India

    I am very asshamed of what has happen in Gujarat and very helpless as i could not do anything for them. But I request our Muslim Leaders protest for what has happen in gujarat. And file a case against the culprits.

    I pray to Allah to help the muslims all over the world and i appeal to all muslims to come together and oppose these things so that it should not happen in near future.

  21. Abdullah mohammad from INDIA

    India has become the next BOSNIA! unless UN puts sanctions on BJP and its organisations

    (RSS)Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (MAIN UNIT)

    (VHP)Vishwa Hindu Parishad


    these organizations would continue with their plans as they have the administration and media with them.even the police is anti muslim and fires at muslims when they try to escape the HINDU mobs numbering 10000 - 20000 which is nothing below a war.

  22. Muhammed Faizel from USA

    We,all muslims across the world should come up and help those who all affected in the riots in all possible way by helping financially and even arming them against any future attacks .we should also try to get international exposure as much as possible and try to put maximum pressure on Indian government to avoid this sort of bloodshed .

    May Allah bless us all

  23. Fazal a khan from U.S.A

    As an aIndian i feel ashmed for what is happening in Gugrit, if India wants to survive as a secular country, they must punish every one irrespective of their religion or political association, and narender modi should be tried for crime against humanity, start with the top.

  24. Javs from UK

    This is really tragic and saddening news. May Allah help the oppressed and punish the oppressor.

  25. Mansoor from Netherlands

    Despite all these horrendous crimes committed with impunity by the Hindu terrorists, what is more shocking is the silence of the so-called Muslim countries and the civilised West.. Had the same crimes been committed against Christian minorities of India,we would have listened the cries of declaring India as a terrorist state..

    But as Muslims we must come forward and help the beseiged Muslims of Gujarat in any way possible...


  26. Nasir K from Denmark

    First of all, thank you brother Fahim for the details for sending our contribution I was really desperately searching for one.

    Secondly, If we all try, in our own little means, to tru to finance people and institutions like who are involved in giving quality education to the Muslim pupilcreate a better Indian Muslim community in the long run.

    My two yens. :)the

  27. Fahim from India

    Indian BJP Hindutva government has surpassed Jews in their brutality. At least Jews just kill point blank, seldom gang rape Palestinian women, but in India, they strip, rape and pour petrol (probably Arab petrol) to make a bonfire of Muslim families.

    The only solace nd direction in these tearful times, I get from Quran:


    "Those who are bent upon denying the Truth are allies of one another...unless you act likewise (i.e. help and protect each other), there would be tumult and oppression on Earth and great corruption." (Holy Qur'an 8: 73)


    Dear brothers and Sisters, let's unite in Hearts and deeds. Let's feel for each other and keep our differences aside...and those of us who want to contribute, but doesnt know where to contribute, please read details for sending your contributions at:

    *Islamicity please don't delete this, I am your member and request you to let these contribution details go on.*


    Faheem SIDDIQUI

  28. Mohammed Azmathullah from Kuwait

    Salaamulaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuhu !

    Dear Brothers and Sisters,

    It is highly depressing to read these articles. Its high time we have to realise that these incidents are not because disbelievers have become strong, but because we have become weak. Our Iman is weak. Consider a piece of wire...if connected to the power source...even the most courageous wouldnt dare touch it...but if it is disengaged then even a kid can kick it around.

    We are being raped, looted, burnt, lacerated only because we have lost the contact with Allah.

    May Allah make us understand that our aim of life is DAWAH.

    We seek only Allah's help because Allah is the best of the helpers.

    Wake up brothers and sisters! For Allah is oftforgiving and ever merciful.

    Lets get back where we lost our way. Our success isnt in killing in retaliation, but getting close to Allah and seeking his goodwill...

    And Allah SWT knows best !

    Allahummansuril Islama Wa Aaizzal Muslimeen

    Wa Dhillah Shirka Wa Mushrikeen

    Anta Maulana Fa Ansunra Allal Qaumil Kaafireen


    Allah Haafiz