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Propaganda v/s Facts: Gujarat police turned a blind eye to the riots?
Continued from... Propaganda v/s Facts: Gujarat riots were totally one-sided, and entire Gujarat burnt?
Fact: Even though the situation was terrible, the police performed its work extremely efficiently. The police force was woefully insufficient.
"Ahmedabad has a police force of 6,000, including 1,500 armed personnel. In addition, the entire state has just four companies (530 jawans) of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) of which only one company could be spared for Ahmedabad. Considering that the mobs that simultaneously surfaced at nearly half a dozen places numbered from 2,000 to 10,000, the forces proved woefully inadequate. At one point on February 28 there were at least 25,000 people targeting the Muslim localities in Ahmedabad alone." - Uday Mahurkar reports for India Today (18 March 2002)
The Times of India reported on 2nd March 2002 on events on 1st March (Friday)- "Neither the Army nor the shoot-at-sight orders given to Gujarat Police could stop riots on Friday 1st March…” And this was on 1st March 2002 when the violence was much less than 28 Feb (Thursday). If even the Army and shoot-at-sight orders couldn’t stop the violence when it was much less, then what must have been the situation on 28 Feb when the Army was not present in the day and the violence was much more? Despite this, the police fired more than 3,900 rounds in the first three days alone and fired 6500 rounds of tear gas shells. As many as 98 people were shot dead by the police in the first three days. For the complete period of rioting, despite the presence of the Army for 73 out of 74 days, the police fired as many 15,000 tear gas shells, and a total of 10,500 rounds. Out of the total people killed in the riots, about 20% have been shot dead by the police.
The Gujarat police saved as many as 2,500 Muslims in Sanjeli, a town in North Gujarat, 5,000 Muslims in Bodeli, in Vadodara and about 10,000 Muslims in Viramgam. A total of about 24,000 Muslims were saved in the first three days alone. Police officials themselves suffered injuries in trying to save the Muslims, as reported by the weekly India Today.
To summarize, the Gujarat police took the following steps as reported by the media.
01. The Indian Express dated 28th February 2002 reported that the State Government had deployed the Rapid Action Force in Ahmedabad and other sensitive areas and the Centre sent in CRPF personnel on February 27 itself even before a single riot had taken place. This is mentioned in 3rd category- 7th paragraph.
02. The Hindu reported in its issue dated 28th February 2002 that "Shoot-at-sight” orders had been given in Godhra on February 27 itself. And so did ALL the English dailies that day. Also read the sentence ” the state government has appealed to the people to maintain peace.”
03. The Hindustan Times reported in its issue dated 28 February 2002 that the entire police force of 70,000 was deployed in Gujarat on 27 February itself after the shocking massacre in Godhra- in view of apprehensions that riots might break out. This was also reported by The Telegraph the same day.
04. On February 28 -despite the deployment of the entire police force, the CRPF personnel and the Rapid Action Force-the situation slipped out of control-according to The Hindu dated 1st March 2002.
05. The Hindu reported in its issue dated 1st March 2002 that at least 10 persons were believed to have been killed in police firing in Ahmedabad alone by evening of February 28. (Same link as number 5, paragraphs 2 and 9 from the top).
06. Curfew was clamped in Godhra on 27 February itself-as reported by The Hindu dated 28 February 2002. Also reported by all English dailies- such as Times of India- dated 28 Feb. The Tribune
07. An indefinite curfew was clamped in 26 cities and towns in the State, including parts of Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda, Rajkot, Nadiad, Anand and Kaira on February 28 in addition to the indefinite curfew in force in Godhra since February 27-according to The Hindu dated 1st March 2002- and every English daily the next day and also weeklies- like India Today- which covered events till Feb 28 in its issue dated 11 March 2002.
08. The Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, frantically called the Army units to Ahmedabad on February 28-as reported by the The Hindu dated 1st March 2002. See 8th paragraph from the top.
09. The Indian Express and The Hindu both reported that Army units started arriving in Ahmedabad on the night of February 28-in their issues the next day-i.e. 1st March 2002. This shows that the Army units reached Ahmedabad so quickly-that the newspapers had the time to report their arrival on February 28 itself itself and publish it on 1st March! (Same link as number 4- 7th paragraph from the top)
10. The Army began flag marches in the worst-affected areas of Ahmedabad, Baroda, Rajkot and Godhra cities and the 'shoot at sight' order was extended to all 34 curfew-bound cities and towns in Gujarat on 1st March 2002-as per The Hindu dated 2nd March 2002.
11. The Gujarat police fired a total of around 4,000 rounds in the first three days alone. This-despite the presence of the Army for 2 out of the 3 days. The police also arrested more than 4,000 people in the first 3 days alone, majority of whom are Hindus. As on 6 May 2002 35,000 people had been arrested for rioting by the police- the highest ever in Gujarat, not even in 1969 and 1985 were so many arrested. On 28 April 2002 The Times of India reported that 9954 Hindus and 4035 Muslims were arrested by police as substantive arrests and 17947 Hindus and 3616 Muslims were arrested as a preventive measure. This gives a total of 27,901 Hindus and 7651 Muslims arrested as on 28 April 2002, a total of 35,552 arrests- the highest ever in Gujarat.
12. The Hindu reported in its issue dated 4th March 2002 that only 2 deaths were reported on 3rd March in the entire state and the violence has ended on 3rd March 2002. Thus the Gujarat government managed to control the situation in 3 days even after the shocking massacre in Godhra- while it took previous Congress governments 6 months to stop the riots in 1969 and 1985 even without any cause as Godhra.
The projection against Modi started AFTER the riots. We have already seen the reports of the newspapers like The Hindu, The Telegraph to note that there were no allegations against Narendra Modi or the Gujarat Government at the time of the actual riots. They started much later. Doordarshan news said on 3rd March 2002 (Sunday) at night in the English bulletin: "Violence has ended in a record time in Ahmedabad… Only 3 days… In the past it would take many weeks… Today (Sunday) curfew was relaxed, people bought items from bazaar…"
No allegation against the state government but praise of controlling violence in just 3 days! All accusations on Narendra Modi and demands for his resignation, dismissal started AFTER the riots. This was because, the media wanted some scapegoat to be made for the riots. It wanted Modi to sack a few police officers, drop a minister or two. But Modi did nothing of the sort. He did not blame anyone, did not make anyone a scapegoat. In an interview to NDTV broadcast on 20 March 2004, Narendra Modi said to Shekhar Gupta (Editor of The Indian Express): "You all wanted that someone be made scapegoat. I did not do that. I allowed you to break all pots on my head alone. You have all decided, all these riots happened under this man (Narendra Modi). Until this man is removed from the Chief Minister’s post, we will not rest in peace. My best wishes to you in your mission.” Narendra Modi did not resign, and the BJP did not dismiss him, so the media was livid.
Modi’s appeal for peace (Video) the same day.
Continued at ... Who started riots after first 3 days?
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