Gulberg Massacre: Tortuous Journey to Justice

Written by Sabrangindia Staff | Published on: June 1, 2016

Media Reports: Witnesses Statement- Jafri did call Modi for help during riots (November 2009)

An eyewitness in the 2002 Gulberg massacre case told the fast-track court, that while his house was under attack by rioters, Congress leader Ehsan Jafri did indeed make a phone call to Chief Minister Narendra Modi for help only to be abused. The witness, Imtiaz Said Khan Pathan is one of the survivors of the Gulberg Society massacre. According to his deposition, Pathan said that due to the mob attacking the society, he had gone to Jafri’s house for protection. Furthermore, Pathan said that Jafri revealed to him that he was going to call Modi for protection and after inquiring about Modi’s response; Jafri said that the Chief Minister had abused him instead of providing help.
A week later, another witness, Rupa Mody deposed before the same court. Rupa Mody confirmed Imtiaz Pathan’s deposition which alleged that Ehsan Jafri did call Chief Minister Narendra Modi for help. Rupa Mody further elaborated on the brutality of the massacre which occurred at Jafri’s residence. Her statement also alleges that the police had forged her statement dated July 1, 2002 and that they pressured her to change her statement in front of the Nanavati Shah Commission in return for help in finding her son.
The reports are from The Indian Express and The Times of India

  1. ‘When Jafri called Modi for help during riots, CM abused him’ (The Indian Express) (Nov 5, 2009)
  2. Jafri had called CM for help, Parzania mother tells court  (The Times of India) (Nov 11, 2009)


Media Reports: Gulberg Society victims demand transfer of trial, allege Judge’s bias

Some witnesses and victims of the Gulberg Society communal riots massacre in 2002 have demanded transfer of the trial from the special court of Judge B.U. Joshi, alleging a “bias” in favour of the accused. A transfer petition was subsequently filed in the court of principal sessions Judge G.B. Shah. The transfer petition alleged that the Judge, Joshi, showed a distinct bias in favour of the accused. After the first two witnesses, Irfan Pathan and Rupa Mody had recorded their statements, no other witnesses were allowed to identify the accused and any objections raised by the lawyers of the witnesses were constantly overruled.
Furthermore, the petition states the treatment of accused constable Rajesh Jinger. Jinger was arraigned as an accused, but the judge did not order his arrest and allowed him to go free on a bond. This occurred despite the fact that Jinger did not file a bail plea.
The petition states how the victims don’t see any hope of justice from Judge Joshi and cited the example of the Best bakery case as one which was transferred to another court.

The media reports are from The Hindu, The Indian Express, CJP Online and The Times of India.
  1. Gulberg Society victims demand transfer of trial  (The Hindu) (Jan. 26, 2010)
  2. Witnesses call trial judge biased (The Indian Express) (Jan. 26, 2010) 
  3. GULBERG TRIAL UPDATE Victim Witnesses Move Tranfer Petition,  Judge Biased (CJP Online) (Jan. 25, 2010) 
  4. Gulbarg massacre witnesses demand change of judge (The Times of India)  (Jan. 26, 2010) 


Application in the Supreme Court highlighting the Inadequacies in the SIT investigation(Phone call records) (March 29, 2011)

Advocate for the victims and witnesses in the Gulberg Society Massacre case, S M Vohra, has filed a detailed application urging the Trial Court to order the SIT (Special Investigation Team) appointed by the Supreme Court to rectify the loopholes in evidence brought on record in this case.

The application details how under provisions of the Evidence Act it is critical that the integrity and authenticity of the CD placed on records by Rahul Sharma then DCB Crime before the Nanavati Commission is verified and call records ownership are authenticated and locational reach of mobile towers are proved. By deliberately being lax in tying up the evidence, an escape route could be provided to the perpetrators.
For example
--the destruction of phone records of Ahsan Jafri has not been probed by SIT nor statements recorded or criminal responsibility pinned on the policemen perpetrators responsible for this offence
--similarly the phone records of senior cops like then Commissioner of Police PC Pande who received 15 calls from the Chief Minister's Office between about 12 noon and 3 pm when both Gulberg society and Naroda were under attack has been left un-investigated with no statement being recorded of Pande or the CMO in this connection.