This blog is a small effort towards the cause of ensuring the secular soul of India, endures.
Within hours of that infamous act, riots began breaking out across the country. Among the most affected centres was the financial capital, then called Bombay. In two stages of rioting that broke out, chiefly between December 6-December 12, 1992 and January 6-January 19, 1993, nearly a thousand died.
The state and central governments, both led by the Congress party, watched like Neros as violence enveloped the city and innocent people were killed on the streets. The police, far from protecting the city, on many occasions found common cause with the rioters. The Shiva Sena, another 'Hindutva' party in Maharashtra, was directly involved in instigating and executing violence.
In that darkest period of Bombay's history, the only estate which tried to do its duty was the fourth one.
On March 12 1993 came the serial blasts which shook both the foundations of Bombay and the secular soul of India. The riots of Dec 92-Jan 93 would later be described by Justice BN Srikrishna as a causative factor for the serial blasts. Of the 900 killed during the riots that the report documented, 575 were Muslim, 275 Hindus, 45 unknown and 5 others. In the bomb blasts, over 250 died, over 700 were injured.
This blog is to reassure the souls of the departed that the story of how they died will continue to be told.
In the furore of fear and uncertainty post the blasts, the Congress set up a commission to enquire into both the riots and the bomb blasts. That was the Justice BN Srikrishna Commission. Justice Srikrishna toiled for 5 years in a painstaking investigation which uncovered shocking truths:
a) Bombay Police collaboration with the rioters, against the minority community
b) refusal by Bombay Police to document even cases of murder, and firs of other complaints brought by several directly affected by the riots
c) the premeditated nature of the second round of riots, particularly by the Shiv Sena, whose leaders were named in the report as directly organising rioting, issuing inflammatory missives through official party organs, and organising provocative maha-artis which were often followed by violence
d) the many failures and dereliction of duty by the Congress-run state government
- So what happened to the Shiv Sena leaders directly named by Justice Srikrishna in his report?
- What action was taken against the guilty Bombay Police officers?
- What did the Congress party do to implement report findings against both its political rivals and its own partymen?
- What salves of justice were applied to a deeply wounded city?
And what happened to the mostly Muslim individuals - both guilty and innocent - of planning and executing the serial bomb blasts? The longest trial in Indian judicial history saw 100 of the 129 accused convicted. Details of punishments including death sentence are detailed here.
This blog is in the hope that India will strive to become a country where justice is upheld for all, and seen to be done for all.
In 1992-1993, the city of Bombay was let down by its supposed protectors, both in white and in khaki. The new, post-liberalisation Indian media, which duly reported the worst offences during the riots and detailed the bomb blasts and subsequent investigations, has been content to forget both these incidents and consign the Srikrishna Report to the dustbin of history.
This blog — which police station by police station in the city of Bombay reproduces without editing the findings of the Justice BN Srikrishna Report — is in the hope that the people will never forget.