By Faisal Hashmi
Tehelka-Aaj Tak sting has not brought out anything that we did not know already. Its real worth lies in the clear confession by some of the major actors in the stage-managed massacre of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002.
The latest sting operation by Tehelka lays out the horrors of Gujarat 2002 in all its gory, chilling detail. The major accused in the massacres – Babu Bajrangi, Haresh Bhatt, Madan Chawal, Dhimani Bhatt, Rajendra Vyas and others – boast how they cut Muslims into pieces and set them on fire.
One character says they had brought in a large number of swords from Punjab to use them freely against Muslims. The police did not stop anybody from doing anything. If some policemen tried to obstruct their violent campaign, all that they had to do was shout “Jai Shri Ram” and the police would allow them to do whatever they wanted.
Yet another character had a stone chips business, for which he blasted mountains using dynamite. He diverted a lot of explosives to Shiv Sena, RSS and VHP-Bajrang Dal-BJP activists, who used it to blast Muslim homes, with people inside them.
They boasted that they had full support of the police who carried explosives from one place to another where the rioters were given the explosives to blast Muslim homes and commercial properties. One policeman is reported to have shot at Muslims running away from rioters instead of acting against the miscreants.
The tapes point towards Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s culpability as well. According to the revelations in the tape Modi had allowed the rioters three days’ time to destroy as many Muslims as possible. After that the government would intervene and the violence would come to a stop.
Hindutva rabble-rouser Praveen Togadia had asked the rioters to do everything in a way that allowed only foot soldiers to be caught by law. If the leaders were implicated in criminal cases the cadres will be demoralised, one major accused in the pogrom said.
Now, is there any more proof required? This should be enough proof of the Sangh’s and its star players’ involvement in the pogrom. The court can take suo motto cognizance of the tapes.
Faisal Hashmi is with the Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi