How Gujarat Police Used Islamophobia To Build Terror Case With No Evidence Against 124 Men
When 124 Muslim men were arrested in December 2001, in a post-midnight operation in the city of Surat in Gujarat, and charged with conspiring to boost the illegal activities of a banned Islamic terrorist organisation, it instantly became a sensational case….
Nineteen years later, on 6 March 2021, every one of these 124 Muslim men was acquitted, along with three men arrested later. This time, the order of acquittal, bail orders, accounts of the men and those of their lawyers etched a narrative that has none of the bluster of December 2001… charges under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967.
What has emerged from the court orders and our interviews with eight of those acquitted across three cities is how police tapped into popular Islamophobia with claims of terror plots and foreign counterparts, and a long, humiliating legal battle for the accused, while their personal lives, families and reputations were slowly ravaged….