'Is Narendra Modi sahab a coward?'
It's more than eight years now but the victims who survived the Gulbarg Society and Naroda Patiya massacre are still awaiting justice. They believe that the state government of Gujarat, and the man who heads it, have a moral responsibility towards providing justice to those who were killed in the riots that followed the burning of Sabarmati Express on February 27 in which 58 kar sevaks were killed.
In a meet-the-press organised by a non-government organisation Prashant and Citizens for Justice and Peace in Ahmedabad on March 22 those who survived the massacres made a fervent plea to Chief Minister Narendra Modi to come before the Special Investigating Team (appointed by the Supreme Court to answer) and answer the criminal charges leveled against him by the victims.
While reports suggest that Narendra Modi is likely to appear before SIT on March 27 there was controversy over his appearance before SIT on March 21 which turned out to be a no-show.
Here are three voices of victims who survived the Gulbarg Society and Naroda Patiya massacre pleading to and accusing the Gujarat chief minister of various criminal charges to appear before SIT.
Ijaz Pathan, resident of Gulbarg Society: Why is Modi sahab scared to appear before the SIT
I was in Gulbarg Society, bungalow number 18. When the rioters set fire to the building in February 2002 the police did not support us. Former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri called all the top police officers in the state and as last resort had also called Narendra Modiji. The only thing he got from Modiji were abuses and bad words.
I was standing next to Jafri sahab. When I asked him what happened he said 'I called on the chief minister of Gujarat to help save us and he has only abuses for me. Don't expect anybody to come and save us. And after that he became very disappointed and went into the kitchen.
After that the rioters took him out and slaughtered him.
Now that the SIT has issued summons to Narendra Modiji when he himself proclaims in his speeches, in front of the media that terrorists had plans to assassinate him then why is Modi sahab scared to appear before the SIT. Has he turned kaayar (coward)?
Now that the truth (about Narendra Modi's complicity in the post Godhra riots) is about to be revealed why is he getting scared? We urge him to come before and cooperate with SIT. If he is not involved then he must go before SIT.
Video: Prasanna D Zore
Narendra Modi shouldn't show such cowardice
Sairaben Sandhi, resident of Gulbarg Society, Room no 6
"Four people from my family were killed in the Gulbarg Society massacre. From the last 8 years we have been running everywhere for getting justice and when we are close to getting justice why is Narendra Modi backtracking from going before SIT. On other occasions he attends 100 meetings going around in helicopters then why can't he attend the SIT meeting even for an hour.
Who's is he scared of? He should not show such cowardice. In his speeches he always says that he is with the people of Gujarat and protecting their lives is my responsibility then why is he going back on his words.
When he has got an opportunity to come clean in the matter then he should come forward to prove his innocence. We want an answer from him as to why only we (Muslims) were targeted.
When Ehsan Jafri called Narendra Modi to help save us and send police protection we heard Modi saying this to Jafri sahab: You are still alive?
We want justice and we would like to request Modiji to help and cooperate with us and help us get justice."
Will we ever get justice?
Jannat Bibi Kalluben, Naroda Patiya resident:
"Will we ever get justice in the Naroda Patiya massacre case?
Now that this case has been dragging on for eight years what we want is only justice. But will we ever get justice?
125 people were killed in the Naroda Patiya massacre. When Modi says that I am with you, with the people of Naroda Patiya, I will give help get justice for you. It's about time. Why is he going back on his words now.
We are only asking for justice, nothing else."