Three Men and a Baby – Part 3

There was an interesting article by “Media Crooks” today where he refers to an incident on Dabgarwad Massacre. He in fact quotes from Wikipedia, a most unreliable source. Therefore I thought it was prudent to do some cross checking. Excerpts from

DILAVER HUSSAIN SON OF MOHAMMADBHAILALIWALA ETC.
Vs.
RESPONDENT:
STATE OF GUJARAT AND ANR.
DATE OF JUDGMENT 05/10/1990

It was a three member bench.

Quote from Wikipedia by Media Crooks

Extract from the SC Judgement

The Dabgarwad Massacre was a legal case involving the burning down of a single mother Maniben’s home in Ahmedabad, India, on June 9, 1985. The incident resulted in the deaths of 8 Hindus, and has come to symbolize the carnage, security mismanagement, and sloppy investigation during the 1985 Ahmedabad violence. On February 1985, a mass movement against Gujarat Government’s new policy of caste based reservation was launched in Ahmedabad. Congress(I) government came down on movement participants with an iron fist… Most of the movement participants were Hindu students. It is alleged that Congress(I) leadership used Muslim mafia don Abdul Latif’s gang against the movement’s participants. As a result, Ahmedabad was rocked with communal riots, between Hindus and Muslims, for several months. The agitation that started in February 1985 against government policy of reservation in the State of Gujarat turned into communal riots of shocking magnitude between Hindus and Muslims in March 1985, and resulted in mass exodus of Dabgars, a Hindu community, from their houses in the affected locality.
There was a mass exodus of Hindus from their houses in the riot hit locality of Dabgarwad, Dariapur. When peace was partially restored, few residents returned; However, Maniben continued to live in her house, with her two daughters and four grand-children, because she had no other place to go or she was confident that she shall not be harmed. On 9 June 1985 at 1:30 PM, Military which was stationed at Dabgarwad was withdrawn. As a result, a large Muslim mob attacked Maniben’s house, which is located about 250 feet from police outpost, setting fire to it, and chaining it from outside resulting in death of Maniben, her two daughters, four grand-children and son of a neighbor. Next house set ablaze was of Navin Chandra, Kantilal, Kalidas and others. Mob, including women, attempted to prevent fire brigade from extinguishing the fire. All accused, including main appellant Dilaver Hussain Mohammad Laliwala, were acquitted on 5 October 1990 due to lack of evidence. Supreme Court of India criticized police investigators for late recording of evidence, failure to produce the Chief Fire Officer as witness and delay in preparation of panchnama of Maniben’s home. When calm was partially restored, some of them returned. Maniben one of the deceased however continued to live in her house with other members of her family.

On 9th June, 1985, due to absence of military which had been stationed there, members of minority community con- verged from two sides and indulged in most cowardly and shameful act of pushing open the door of Maniben’s house, setting fire to it, and then chaining it from outside re- sulting in death of the lady, her two daughters, four grand- children and son of a neighbour. Next house set ablaze was of Navin and then

many others.

Charge was framed against sixty three under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1985 and various offences including section 302, Indian Penal Code. Fifty six were acquitted by the Trial Judge. Those convicted have come up in appeal. At the same time, a reference has been made for confirmation of death sentence.

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