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Antics of Prashant Bhushan and Arundhati Roy, defamatory lies and support to criminals

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Author of the book “Gujarat Riots: The True Story” which gives all the details about the 2002 Gujarat riots - Godhra and thereafter.

Supreme Court advocate and ‘activist’ and former AAP leader Prashant Bhushan has written an article in The Indian Express condemning the arrest of 5 leftist activists by Maharashtra Police, who are accused of supporting Naxals. Booker Prize winner and ultra-Leftist Arundhati Roy too has condemned their arrest and both of them instead demanded action against the police for arresting them! It needs to be remembered here that Prashant Bhushan was the lawyer of Arundhati Roy in the past, in 2002 at least.

It is necessary to know the antics of Prashant Bhushan and Arundhati Roy in the past, to know who they are. Our website as well as OpIndia have in the past exposed Arundhati Roy’s lies in her 7 page-long (approx. 6000 words) essay in Outlook dated 6 May 2002 on the violence in Gujarat. She wrote: “Last night a friend from Baroda called. Weeping. It took her fifteen minutes to tell me what the matter was. It wasn’t very complicated. Only that Sayeeda, a friend of hers, had been caught by a mob. Only that her stomach had been ripped open and stuffed with burning rags. Only that after she died, someone carved ‘OM’ on her forehead”.

Shocked by this despicable “incident”, the then BJP Rajya Sabha MP Balbir Punj got in touch with the Gujarat government. The police investigations revealed that no such case, involving someone called Sayeeda, had been reported either in urban or rural Baroda. Subsequently, the police sought Roy’s help to identify the victim and seek access to witnesses who could lead them to those guilty of this crime. But the police got no cooperation. Instead, Roy, through her lawyer Prashant Bhushan replied that the police had no power to issue summons. Thus she hedged behind technical excuses. Balbir Punj took up this incident in his rejoinder published as Dissimulation In Word and Images in Outlook, July 8, 2002.

This incidentally also exposes Prashant Bhushan as a liar, and an accomplice-in-crime of Arundhati Roy. He too knew that that story by Arundhati Roy was concocted and not true, but he defended Arundhati Roy on some technical excuse. There are many more lies that Arundhati Roy wrote in that article, as well as in an ‘apology’ she gave later, which we will see later.

Prashant Bhushan has defended the fanatic Muslims who roasted the train in Godhra on 27 February 2002, even after the conviction of 31 Muslims by the trial court on 22 Feb 2011. He said “The case is based on wrong premise that warrants a re-investigation”. The investigation was done by an SIT ordered and monitored by the Supreme Court of India, constituted on a petition by Zakia Jafri, the widow of Ehsan Jafri. What is the ‘wrong premise’ of the Godhra case? None. Why should there be a ‘re-investigation’- just because the investigation proved the guilt of fanatic Muslims? He also said: “On any account, the sentenced persons cannot be charged with murder and conspiracy. At the worst, they should be charged for arson,” he said after their conviction. Why? Who roasted the 59 Ram sewaks including 25 women and 15 children to coal in Godhra, if not the attackers? Why should they not be charged with murder and conspiracy? There was a judicial confession in February 2003 by one accused that Godhra was a planned conspiracy, and that he had himself taken part in it, and looted the Ramsevaks’ belongings before setting the train afire, though he later retracted it in August 2003. Besides, it is impossible for Godhra to have been anything but planned, otherwise a mob of 2000 cannot assemble in 5 minutes having got 140 litres of petrol, and acid bombs and petrol bombs at 7:48 am.

Prashant Bhushan refused to accept that Muslims burnt the train in Godhra, even after their conviction. The outrage after Godhra should have been at least as much as that after Nirbhaya or Kathua. Even such a horrific massacre could not melt Bhushan’s heart and he defended such brutal killers. Is it any surprise then that he will support supporters of Naxals, and instead demand action against the Police for arresting them? Such a supporter of horrific, barbaric killers needs to be exposed for who he is, and not be allowed to be labeled as an ‘activist’.

On Godhra, the mainstream parties and UPA Government defended the horrific killers who roasted to coal 59 despite knowing fully well that Muslims burnt the train in the densely Muslim-dominated Signal Falia area of Godhra. It is one thing to defend some accused of Godhra saying: “They were not a part of the mob which burnt the train”. It is quite another to deny totally that any mob burnt the train and call it as an ‘accident’ or allege that the train was instead burnt by VHP or BJP. The UPA constituted a fake Banerjee Committee, which whitewashed the heinous crime of the fanatic Muslims, and called it an ‘accident’ in Jan 2005. Even the Banerjee Committee said that Godhra was an accident, it did not say that BJP-RSS men did it. But Lalu Yadav went to a level even below that of U C Banerjee. In Jan-Feb 2005, Lalu campaigned in rallies in Bihar saying “BJP-RSS ke logon ne Godhra mein 59 logon ko jalaya, bola Musalman ne jalaya…” [BJP-RSS men killed 59 in Godhra, said Muslims did it].

The Congress Party officially fully defended the findings of the Banerjee Committee and said that Godhra was an accident, with its national spokesmen Anand Sharma and Abhishek Singhvi in the forefront. They attacked BJP for questioning the findings of the Banerjee Committee. This is real defending of the heinous killers. Many Congress leaders went a step ahead, going to the extent of accusing BJP-RSS-VHP of killing the 59 Ramsewaks in Godhra, like Lalu. How would it seem if tomorrow a BJP Govt ordered a fake commission like Banerjee on Kathua which gave a report that the death of the 8 year old girl was an accident, and then BJP leaders campaigned saying: “Congress-Left ke logon ne Kathua mein 8 saal ki ladki ka balatkar aur katal kiya, bola Hinduon ne kattal kiya”? This is how bad the Left-liberal seculars are and were. None of them showed any disgust when Lalu did this on Godhra, many of them defended Banerjee Committee findings and they staunchly defend Lalu today. And Prashant Bhushan is no better. Naturally such defenders of heinous killers like Congress will condemn arrests of Maoist supporters when it they are done under BJP, never mind if their own government had arrested some of them earlier.

What else has Prashant Bhushan done? He was the lawyer of dismissed IPS Sanjiv Bhat in the Supreme Court in October 2015 when the SC condemned Bhat and exposed him for who he is. We will first see the misdeeds of Sanjiv Bhat, and then see the role of Prashant Bhushan in advocating for such a man, and a few more facts. These are given in detail in Chapter 12 of the book “Gujarat Riots: The True Story”.

Sanjiv Bhat claimed in 2011 that he was present in a crucial meeting held on 27 Feb 2002 late night at CM’s Bunglow Gandhinagar at 10:30 pm. The SC-appointed SIT debunked Sanjiv Bhat’s claim of being present in that 27 Feb meeting. On pages 30-31 of the SIT closure report, the SIT says that Sanjiv Bhat has also claimed to be present at Narendra Modi’s second meeting at his (Modi’s) residence (i.e. in Gandhinagar, away from Ahmedabad) on the morning of 28 February at 10:30 AM. The SIT report says on page 44:

“Further, on 28 February 2002, he remained at Ahmedabad till 10:57 hours and then returned to Ahmedabad at 20:56 hours. The claim of Sanjiv Bhat that he had attended a meeting at CM’s residence [in Gandhinagar] on 28-02-2002 at 1030 hours is proved to be false and incorrect. CM’s residence is at Gandhinagar, more than 25 KMs from Ahmedabad, and normally takes 30 to 45 minutes to reach there. His further claim that he had seen the late Ashok Bhat and Shri I K Jadeja, the then Ministers in the DGPs office at 11:00 hours on 28-02-2002, is also belied from the call detail records in as much as the location of the mobile phone of Shri Sanjiv Bhat was at Prerna Tower, Vastrapur-I, Ahmedabad, which happened to be at a distance of 1.5 Kms appropriately from his residence and Shri Bhat could not have reached Police Bhavan, Gandhinagar before 11:30 hrs by any stretch of imagination (page 44)…”

This shows that Sanjiv Bhat also wrongly claimed to have been present at the 28 February morning meeting at CM House Gandhinagar at 10:30 AM. Instead the mobile location is shown to be Ahmedabad at 10:57 AM, more than 25 km away from CM House, Gandhinagar. This fact of Sanjiv Bhat’s lie of being present in the 28 Feb 10:30 am morning meeting being exposed by his call records and SIT has been totally suppressed by the media, and Prashant Bhushan has advocated for this man Sanjiv Bhat. This shows what a fraud Prashant Bhushan is, he has never ever answered about this false claim of his client Sanjiv Bhat being debunked by his call records, and instead condemned Narendra Modi defending Sanjiv Bhat’s allegations on him!

The SIT report says on pages 423-428:

“Government of Gujarat vide its letter dated 22-6-2011 forwarded a set of emails exchanged between Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, DIG, Gujarat Police and certain individuals during April & May 2011. It was mentioned in the above letter that during the course of an inquiry instituted against Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, IPS by DG (Civil Defence), Gujarat regarding misuse of official resources, some revelations have been made having direct bearing on the cases monitored by SIT. The material forwarded by Govt. of Gujarat has been scrutinized and the salient features of the same are summarized as below:

(1) That top Congress leaders of Gujarat namely Shri Shaktisinh Gohil, Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Legislative Assembly and Shri Arjun Modhvadhia, President of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee are in constant touch with Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, DIG. They are providing him “Packages”, certain materials and also legal assistance. Further, on 28-04-2011, Shri Sanjiv Bhatt exchanged mails with Shri Shaktisinh Gohil and the former gave points for arguments in Hon’ble Supreme Court matter, allegations to be made against the members of SIT and to establish that the burning of a coach of Sabarmati Express at Godhra Railway Station was not a conspiracy. From the emails, it appears that Shri Sanjiv Bhatt was holding personal meetings with senior Congress leaders as well. In one of the emails, he even mentions that he was “under exploited” by the lawyer representing Congress before Nanavati Commission of Inquiry.

(2) That Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had been persuading various NGOs and other interested groups to influence groups to influence the Ld. Amicus Curiae and the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India by using “Media Card” and “Pressure Groups”….

(10) That Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had been taking advice of Ms. Teesta Setalwad in connection with his evidence before Nanavati Commission of Inquiry. He had also been in touch with various journalists, NGOs and had been forwarding his representations, applications and other documents through email, whereas on the other side he had been claiming privilege that being an Intelligence Officer he was duty bound not to disclose anything unless, he was legally compelled to do so.

(11) That Shri Sanjiv Bhatt has been maintaining a close contact with Shri Rahul Sharma, DIG of Gujarat Police and had been getting his mobile phone calls analyzed with a view to ascertain his own movements of 27-02-2002. This shows that Bhatt does not recollect his movements on that day. He has also been trying to ascertain the movements of Late Haren Pandya, the then Minister of State for Revenue on 27-02-2002, with a view to introduce him as a participant of the meeting of 27-02-2002 held at CM’s residence, but could not do so, as Shri Rahul Sharma had informed him after the analysis that there was absolutely no question of Late Haren Pandya being at Gandhinagar on 27-02-2002 night.

From the study of emails, it appears that certain vested interests including Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, different NGOs and some political leaders were trying to use Hon’ble Supreme Court/SIT as a forum for settling their scores. This would also go to show that Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had been colluding with the persons with vested interests to see that some kind of charge-sheet is filed against Shri Narendra Modi and others.”

This makes things absolutely clear and also shows that many people were involved in this fraud, who knew that Sanjiv Bhatt was not present at the 27 February 2002 meeting, but far from bringing out the truth to the investigators, were helping in this false claim. Prashant Bhushan, being Sanjiv Bhat’s lawyer also knew all these things, but did not reveal it to the investigators, and supported this fraudulent & false claim to demonize and frame Narendra Modi in a false charge.

The late Haren Pandya of course, was not present in that meeting. The SIT report also says on page 56 that Haren Pandya’s mobile records show that he was in Ahmedabad on 27 Feb 2002 at 22:52 hours, meaning that it was impossible for him to attend the meeting in Gandhinagar at 10:30 PM on 27 Feb. This shows that Sanjiv Bhat was not present at all in the meeting, and he did not even know basic facts about the meeting. It is known since August 2002 that Haren Pandya was by no means present in the meeting. But Sanjiv Bhat did not even know this and hence first asked Rahul Sharma to find out if Haren Pandya could be introduced as a witness-a participant in that meeting.

Most importantly, this shows that Sanjiv Bhat was not present at all. If Sanjiv Bhat was present in the meeting, wouldn’t he know if Haren Pandya was present or not? Why would he need to ask Rahul Sharma to find the call details? Prashant Bhushan, as a lawyer of such a man Sanjiv Bhat would know all the facts of this case. They always say: “Never lie to your lawyer”. Despite this, he supported all such deeds of Sanjiv Bhat and tried to get Narendra Modi framed in this case. Prashant Bhushan and Sanjiv Bhat’s frauds are seen clearly here.

Now let us see some deeds of Arundhati Roy. She lied to a US audience in 2013 that the 59 Ram sewaks (including 25 women and 15 children) burnt to coal in Godhra by a mob of 2000 Muslims were ‘returning after demolition of Babri Masjid’ while in reality the Babri Mosque was demolished in 1992, and Godhra happened in 2002. She had of course, also lied that ‘No one knows who set fire to the train’ while at that time in 2013 there had already been a conviction of 31 Muslims by the trail court for it, and it has been clear like the sun since 27 Feb 2002 that it was a mob of Muslims who set fire to the train in the densely Muslim populated area of Signal Falia in Godhra.

In 2010, she wrote a three-part series in The Guardian comparing Maoists with Mahatma Gandhi. In 2010, even Congress MP Shashi Tharoor had criticized her for that description of Naxals.

We have quoted earlier the article of Arundhati Roy in Outlook dated 6 May 2002 when she gave a horrific description of ‘Sayeeda’ being killed. That same article had alleged that Ehsan’s Jafri’s daughters were stripped & burnt alive, which was proven incorrect with a statement issued by Jafri’s son, which was mentioned by the then BJP MP Balbir Punj in his counter article in Outlook. But the interesting part is here, after this lie was exposed.

After this, Arundhati Roy wrote “An Apology” in the Outlook dated 27th May, 2002. The full text of that apology titled “To the Jafri Family, An Apology” was:

“In a situation like the one that prevails in Gujarat, when the police are reluctant to register FIRs, when the administration is openly hostile to those trying to gather facts, and when the killings go on unabated—then panic, fear and rumour  play a pivotal  role. (Note how she blames others! And her charges are totally false too, police were by no means reluctant to file FIRs, nor was administration hostile to those gathering facts.) People who have disappeared are presumed dead, people who have been dismembered and burnt cannot be identified, and people who are distraught and traumatised are incoherent. So, even when those of us who write, try and use the most reliable sources, mistakes can happen. But in an atmosphere so charged with violence, grief and mistrust, it’s important to correct mistakes that are pointed out.

There is a factual error in my essay Democracy: Who’s She When She’s at Home? (6th May). In describing the brutal killing of Ehsan Jafri, I have said that his daughters had been killed along with their father. It has subsequently been pointed out to me that this is not correct. Eyewitness accounts say that Ehsan Jafri was killed along with his three brothers and two nephews. His daughters were not among the 10 women who were raped and killed in Chamanpura that day.

I apologise to the Jafri family for compounding their anguish. I’m truly sorry.

My information (mis-information, as it turned out) was cross-checked from two sources. Time magazine (11th March) in an article by Meenakshi Ganguly and Anthony Spaeth, and “Gujarat Carnage 2002: A Report to the Nation” by an independent fact-finding mission, which included K.S. Subrahmanyam, former I.G.P. Tripura, and S.P. Shukla, former Finance Secretary. I spoke to Mr.  Subrahmanyam about the error. He said his information at that time came from a senior police official. (What was the name of that official? Neither Subrahmanyam nor Arundhati Roy tell it!) This and other genuine errors in recounting the details of the violence in Gujarat in no way alter the substance of what journalists, fact-finding missions, or writers like myself are saying.”

We have covered this case in more detail in our book “Gujarat Riots: The True Story” as has S K Modi in his book “Godhra- The Missing Rage”. This apology is also false, since Roy claims that 10 women were raped and killed that day. In truth. no rapes had taken place in Chamanpura in this incident. After reading the then English newspapers in the first week of March 2002, one finds no mention of any rapes at all. These stories of rape started coming out in the middle of March 2002, after Time magazine concocted lies in its issue of 11th  March, 2002, copied by Arundhati Roy. It is a fact that this false story of Jafri’s daughters being raped was not invented by Roy, it was copied by her from others. She only ends up exposing the ‘sources’ she cited as liars, Time magazine as well as the fake report made by Subrahmanyam and S P Shukla, which also included Kamal Mitra Chenoy as among the makers. Neither Roy nor the Time correspondent can point out any proven rapes in this case. Roy also apologizes to the Jafri family, not to the BJP or Narendra Modi for defaming them by her incorrect claim. She should also have done that. And she should also have apologized to the country. Note how, while giving the apology, Roy makes sure that it is only “To the Jafri family”.

 Now let us see some more of her claims full of lies. Roy says, “His (Ehsan Jafri’s) phone calls to the Director-General of Police, the Police Commissioner, the Chief Secretary, the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) were ignored. The mobile police vans around his house did not intervene.”  The fact is that police outside his house not only intervened, they shot dead five rioters outside his house and saved the lives of 180 Muslims at a great risk to their own personal  life.  The Times of India also reported online that the police and fire brigade did their best to disperse rioters and nowhere did it allege any inaction on the part of police.

India Today weekly dated 18 March 2002 clearly admits that at least 5 people were shot dead by the police outside Jafri’s house. SIT report also says that on page 1.The police also saved the lives of some 200 Muslims, since 68 out of the 250 people inside the house died. Jafri’s widow Zakia Jafri also said in her statement to the Police, recorded under Section 161 of CrPC on 6 March 2002 that the police saved her and many others. It was impossible for the police to control the mob of around 10,000+ people and the mob had gone crazy after Jafri fired from his revolver on the crowd, which injured 15 Hindus and killed 1- as per the SIT report on page 1. But despite this the police saved 200 Muslims in this episode. And nowhere did The Times of India accuse the police of not doing anything. On the contrary, it said that the furious mob, gone crazy by Jafri firing on it, did not allow fire tenders to reach the house. We quote from Times of India online edition 28 Feb night at 9:41 PM “Meanwhile fire tenders which rushed to the spot (Chamanpura- Ehsan Jafri case) were turned back by the irate mob which disallowed the Ahmedabad Fire Brigade (AFB) personnel and the district police from rushing to rescue”. Thus the Police and the Fire Brigade ‘rushed to the rescue’ and did not indulge in neglect of duty.

And this Times of India report POSTED ONLINE at 2:34 PM of 28 February also says that police fired on the crowd injuring 6, who were taken to hospital where 3 were critical at that time, and ultimately 5 died. The SIT report said on page 1, that the police lathi-charged the mob, fired 124 rounds, and burst 134 tear gas shells at the spot on 28 February 2002, in which 4 Hindus were killed and 11 injured. Arundhati Roy conveniently ignored all these facts, and instead lied that ‘Police vans outside his house did not intervene’!

Also Roy says-“His phone calls to the Director-General of Police, the Police Commissioner, the Chief Secretary, the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) were ignored.” Roy’s lies are exposed since that day (28 February) the Chief Secretary G Subbarao was abroad, out of India on leave as mentioned in SIT closure report, page 448. He was recalled immediately after Godhra on 27 Feb and he returned on 1 March 2002. So how could Jafri have called the Chief Secretary for help on 28 Feb when he was out of India on leave that day?

The SIT has examined call records of the then Police Commissioner P C Pandey of 28 Feb 2002 and found that 302 calls had been made/received by him on that day, but they do not include any call by Ehsan Jafri, whose landline was the only phone in operation in the entire Housing complex on 28 Feb 2002. Thus Arundhati Roy’s claim that Jafri called the Police Commissioner (P C Pandey) is proved false from call records, mentioned by the SIT in its report.

Arundhati Roy is thus the Queen of fiction, alleging that Jafri made calls to important people which were ignored, when in reality Jafri made no calls to them. She has never given any apology for these fictitious claims (only given a fake apology on a false claim of Jafri’s daughters being raped, and made sure it was given only ‘To the Jafri family’). And her lawyer was Prashant Bhushan! Any wonder then that these two are demanding action against Police for arresting Maoist supporters? This is blatant interference in the working of Police, and support to alleged violators of law.

If the arrested activists are innocent, they will be acquitted by court. But how will Roy and Bhushan allow law to take its own course, when they WANT to demonize Narendra Modi and BJP? They will already proclaim them as innocent, hold the police as guilty, and ignore inconvenient facts such as the one that many of these 5 had been arrested earlier during the UPA time on similar charges!

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Author of the book “Gujarat Riots: The True Story” which gives all the details about the 2002 Gujarat riots - Godhra and thereafter.
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