IMC-USA Weekly News Digest – March 29th, 2010

In this issue


Indian Americans welcome summons by India’s Supreme
Court to interrogate Gujarat CM Modi for role in 2002 Pogroms

Washington D.C.,
Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Indian Muslim
Council-USA (IMC-USA –,
an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and
tolerant ethos, welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court of India to
order the interrogation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi by the
Special Investigation Team (SIT) inquiring into the 2002 massacres.

urge strong measures be taken to ensure a transparent, unbiased
interrogation and that an FIR be registered against Modi in light of the
Tehelka video tape confessions," said Rasheed Ahmed, the president of
IMC-USA. In a sting operation conducted by the investigative magazine
Tehelka, several Hindutva activists involved in the pogrom including the
Gujarat state prosecutor were caught on tape boasting how they were
able to derail the judicial process of redressing justice to the

The Supreme Court issued summons on the basis of a
complaint filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Eshan
Jafri. In the violence which engulfed the state in the aftermath of
Godhra train burning, Mr. Jafri and numerous others were killed in a
residential complex in Ahmedabad known as the Gulberg Society. The
overall death toll in the Gujarat massacres exceeded 2,500 as per
Gujarat police records.

Modi, who has so far managed to
avoid deposing before any of the panels probing the post-Godhra
violence, has been named as an accused along with 63 others, that
include politicians, bureaucrats and police officers, in the complaint
filed by Zakia Jafri for their role in the larger conspiracy behind the
communal riots.

In related developments, the Gujarat High
Court has also issued a notice to the Nanavati Commission asking it to
explain, by April 1, whether it too would summon Narendra Modi as part
of its inquiry on the Gujarat riots of 2002. The court issued the order
after Mukul Sinha, convener of Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM), who also
represents some riot victims of the Gujarat carnage, filed the petition
in the High Court pleading for a directive to the commission to summon
Mr. Modi.

Advocate Mukul Sinha will be touring the United
States next month to speak on his experiences with the Jan Sangharsh
Manch and their successful public interest litigations on the Gujarat
riots in the Gujarat High Court.

Indian Muslim Council-USA
is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United
States with 10 chapters across the nation.


Dr. Hyder Khan
phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270


Modi fails to show up for Gujarat riot questions

Modi to appear before SIT on Mar 27

Modi agrees to appear before SIT on Mar 27

SIT should have filed FIR against Modi: Teesta Setalvad

demands to file an FIR against Modi

riot summons on Modi with FIR hole

Victims expect little from Modi call

Resolve issue of damaged Muslim shrines: court to Gujarat

to Top

Communal Harmony

Bareillys Hindus, Muslims rebuild shrines and peace
(Mar 22, 2010, New Kerala)

If the recent riots made Bareilly cry for peace, the trouble-torn
district in western Uttar Pradesh is now witnessing a rare show of
communal harmony now – Muslims taking up the construction of a damaged
temple and Hindus joining hands to restore a mazar (mausoleum). The
Hanuman temple, popularly known as the Bajrangi Mandir, and the Peer
Bhai Meer Zafar Ali’s mausoleum – both situated a few metres away in
Kohadapeer area in Bareilly, some 250 km from Lucknow – were damaged
March 2 during communal violence. "Hindus are restoring the mazar and
Muslims the temple just to give a befitting reply to those who want to
widen the Hindu-Muslim rift for vested interests," Vikas Sharma, a
Kohadapeer resident, told IANS on the telephone from here.

our opinion, those who damaged the two religious places cannot be of any
religion. They were just anti-social elements, who have nothing to do
with Hinduism or Islam. Our ongoing cooperation for restoring the
religious places would definitely counter communal forces to a
considerable extent," added Sharma (40), who is an English lecturer at a
college here. Kohadapeer, a Muslim-dominated locality has over 3,000
registered voters. Majority of the people of the locality had their
commercial establishments reduced to ashes during communal violence.

work for the temple and the mausoleum has been undertaken by the funds
raised by Kohadapeer residents. "We all wanted to forget the ugly
episode, but actually did not know how to do it," Afroz Khan (65), who
has a jewellery business, told IANS. "It all started out of a
conversation among some elders of the locality. After the curfew was
relaxed, some elders from both the communities met at a dhaba (eating
joint) and shared their painful experiences about the riots. When one of
our friends told us that the district administration would soon be
restoring the religious places, we decided why not do it ourselves by
contributing funds," he added.

It’s not that only people from the
affluent class have contributed money for the restoration of the two
religious places. Even street-vendors and those not from well-off
families have chipped in for the noble cause. "Vegetable vendors,
daily-wage labourers are all contributing their bit for the restoration
exercise. Though financial constraints did not allow them to give money,
they are working as labourers in the restoration exercise," said Hasan
Fatma (52), whose cloth shop was set ablaze during communal violence.

restoration work started two days ago and will be completed in a day or
two, locals say. Though night curfew in the trouble-hit areas of
Bareilly district still continues, the authorities have lifted all
restrictions on vehicular movement. A communal clash over the passage of
a Barawafat procession followed by sporadic arson March 2 led to curfew
in several parts of the district. Till now, nearly 400 people have been
arrested for their alleged role in the communal violence.

[Back to

News Headlines

Guj riots: Modi questioned by SIT for over 9 hours
(Mar 28, 2010, Indian Express)

For the first time since the riots in Gujarat eight years ago, state
Chief Minister Narendra Modi subjected himself to marathon questioning
by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT in two sessions lasting for more than
nine hours. The controversial BJP leader, who faces allegations of
omission and commission with regard to the mob attack on a housing
society in which a former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri and 68 others were
killed, drove to the SIT office in the heart of Gandhinagar where he was
questioned by a team of officers headed by A K Malhotra, a former CBI

After a marathon session lasting over five hours from 12
noon to 5 PM Modi left the SIT office telling reporters that he would
come back in the evening. Modi, 59, returned to the SIT office at 9 PM
and faced a second round of questioning for four hours ending at 1 AM
because he was keen that the entire exercise be completed today itself.
Emerging from the second round of quizzing at the SIT office at the old
secretariat building, the Chief Minister told mediapersons that the
investigators told him that his question was over. "I have been told by
SIT that your work is over", Modi said. Though there was no official
word on the questioning, Modi is said to have replied to 62 of the 68
questions put to him in the first session.

This was the first
time that Modi was probed since the carnage eight years back. "This was
the first time in eight years that someone wanted to speak to me on the
issue and I attended that", Modi said.

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