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2002 Gujarat violence

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The skyline of Ahmedabad filled with smoke as buildings and shops are set on fire by
rioting mobs
The 2002 Gujarat violence, also known as the Gujarat pogrom
was a period of
inter-communal violence in the Indian state ofGujarat which lasted for approximately
three days. Following the initial incident there were further outbreaks of violence
in Ahmedabadwhich lasted for approximately three weeks; statewide, there were further
outbreaks of mass killings against the minority Muslim population that lasted about three
The burning of a train in Godhra on 27 February 2002, which caused the
deaths of 58 people including Hindu activists returning from Ayodhya, is believed to
have triggered the violence.
Some commentators, however, hold the view that the
attacks had been pre-planned, were well orchestrated, and that the attack on the train
was in fact a "staged trigger" for what was actually premeditated violence.

According to the official figures, the riots resulted in the deaths of 790 Muslims and 254
Hindus; 2,500 people were injured non-fatally, and 223 more were reported
Other sources estimate that up to 2000 Muslims died.
There were
instances of rape, children being burned alive, and widespread looting and destruction
of property. Chief Minister Narendra Modi has been accused of initiating and condoning
the violence, as have police and government officials who allegedly directed the rioters
and gave lists of Muslim-owned properties to them.
In 2012, Modi was cleared of
complicity in the violence by a Special Investigation Team appointed by the Supreme
Court of India. The Muslim community are reported to have reacted with "anger and
disbelief" and Teesta Setalvad, of the NGO, Citizens for Peace and Justice, has said
that the legal process was not yet complete as there existed a right to appeal.
In July
2013 allegations were made that the SIT had suppressed evidence.
On 26 December
2013, an Indian court upheld the earlier SIT report and rejected a petition seeking
prosecution of Mr. Modi.

While officially classified as a communalist riot, the 2002 events have been described
as a pogrom by many scholars and commentators.
Other independent observers
have stated that these events had met the "legal definition of genocide",
and called it
an instance of State Terrorism.
Still others have said the incidents were
tantamount to ethnic cleansing.
Instances of mass violence which occurred include
the Naroda Patiya massacre that took place directly alongside a police training
the Gulbarg Society massacre where Ehsan Jafri, a former member
of parliament, was among those killed, and several incidents in the city
of Vadodara.
Martha Nussbaum has said that "There is by now a broad consensus
that the Gujarat violence was a form of ethnic cleansing, that in many ways it was
premeditated, and that it was carried out with the complicity of the state government and
officers of the law"

Godhra train burning
Main article: Godhra train burning

The Sabarmati Express afire
On the morning of 27 February 2002, the Sabarmati Express, returning from Ayodhya to
Ahmedabad, was stopped near the Godhra railway station. Several of the passengers
were Hindu kar sevaks,, or activists, returning from Ayodhya after a religious ceremony
at the site of the demolished Babri Masjid.
Under controversial circumstances, four
coaches of the train caught on fire, trapping many people inside. In the resulting
conflagration, 59 people, including 25 women and 25 children, were burned to death.

The government of Gujarat set up a commission to look into the incident, the sole
member of which was retired Gujarat High Court judge K G Shah.
Following outrage
over Shah's alleged closeness to Modi, retired Supreme Court judgeG.T. Nanavati was
appointed chairman of the two person commission.
After spending six years going
over the details of the case, the commission submitted its preliminary report, concluding
that the fire was arson committed by a mob of 1000-2000 local people.
Husain Haji Ibrahim Umarji, a cleric in Godhra, and a dismissed Central Reserve Police
Force officer named Nanumiyan were presented as the "masterminds" behind the
As of March 2014, the commission had yet to submit its final report.
findings of the commission were called into question by a video recording released
by Tehelka magazine, in which Arvind Pandya, counsel for the Gujarat government,
stated that the findings of the Shah-Nanavati commission would support the view
presented by the BJP, as Shah was "their man" and Nanavati could be bribed.

The union government also set up a committee to probe the incident, headed up by
retired Supreme Court judge Umesh Chandra Banerjee. The committee concluded that
the fire had begun inside the train and was most likely accidental.
However, the
Gujarat High Court ruled in 2006 that the matter was outside the jurisdiction of the union
government, and that the committee was therefore unconstitutional.

In February 2011, the trial court convicted 31 people and acquitted 63 others based on
the murder and conspiracy provisions of the Indian Penal Code, saying the incident was
a "pre-planned conspiracy".

mainly Muslims.
The death penalty was awarded to
11 convicts; twenty others were sentenced to life imprisonment.
Maulvi Umarji,
presented by the Nanavati-Shah commission as the prime conspirator, was acquitted
along with 62 other accused for lack of evidence.

The Concerned Citizens Tribunal(CCT), headed by Teesta Setalvad also concluded that
the fire had been an accident, stating that the attack by a mob was part of a government
conspiracy to trigger riots across the state.
Several other independent
commentators have also concluded that the fire itself was almost certainly an accident,
saying that the initial cause of the conflagration will never be
Historian Ainslie Thomas Embree stated that the official version of
the attack on the train, that it was organized, carried out by people under orders from
Pakistan, was entirely baseless.

Post Godhra violence

Location of major incidents.
Following the attack on the train the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) called for a
statewide bandh (strike), even though these have been declared by the Supreme Court
to be unconstitutional and illegal. It is common knowledge in India that these strikes are
usually followed by violence. No action was taken by the state to prevent the strike, or
put a stop the initial violence.
Independent reports indicate that former VHP
president Rana Rajendrasinh had endorsed the strike, and that Modi and Rana had
used inflammatory language which could worsen the situation.

Modi declared that the attack on the train had been carried out by "terrorists", these
words were interpreted as a signal to take vengeance on the Muslim
Local newspapers and members of the state government used the
Godhra incident to incite the violence. They claimed without proof
the attack on the
train was carried out by Pakistan's intelligence agency and that local Muslims had
conspired with them to attack Hindus in the state. False stories were also printed by
local newspapers which claimed that Muslims kidnapped and then raped some Hindu

The day following the fire coordinated attacks began. Men wearing saffron robes and
khaki shorts arrived en masse in trucks. They had swords, explosives and gas cylinders
which were used to destroy homes and places of business. Attacks were made in full
view of police stations and police officers, however the police did not intervene.
rioters used mobile phones to coordinate their attacks.
By days end on 28 February
in 27 towns and cities a curfew was declared.
A minister who spoke
with stated that though the circumstances were tense in Baroda and
Ahmedabad, the situation was under control, and that the police who had been
deployed were enough to prevent any violence. In Baroda the administration also
imposed a curfew in seven areas. The deputy superintendent of police stated that the
Rapid Action Force had been deployed to sensitive areas in Godhra. Gordhan
Zadaphia, the state home minister believed there would be no retaliation from the Hindu
Two days after (on 1 March) the violence had begun troops were airlifted
into the state and began flag marches. Modi, stated that the violence was no longer as
intense as it had been and that it would soon be brought under control, he also said that
if the situation warranted it, then the police would have help by deploying the army. A
shoot to kill order was also issued.
However the troop deployment was withheld by
the state until the most severe aspects of the violence had ended, and it was not until 1
March that contingents of troops began to be deployed to help put down the
After more than two months of violence a unanimous vote to gain federal
intervention was passed in the upper house of parliament. Members of the opposition
made accusations that the government had failed to give protection to Muslims in what
was, after ten years the worst rioting in India.

There was widespread targeted destruction of shrines and mosques. The tomb of Malik
Asin was bulldozed, the Muhafiz Khan Mosque was also destroyed. The tomb of the
eighteenth century saint Wali Gujrati was leveled and paved over the following day by
the council. It is estimated that 230 masjids and dargahs were destroyed during the
For the first time in the history of communal riots Hindu women took part,
and looted Muslim shops.
It is estimated that up to 150,000 people were displaced
during the violence.
It is estimated that 200 police officers died while trying to control
the violence and human rights watch has reported on acts of exceptional heroism by
Hindus, Dalits and tribals who tried to protect Muslims from the violence.

Attacks on Muslims
Dionne Bunsha writing on the Gulbarg Society massacre and murder of Ehsan Jafri,
has said that Jafri begged the crowd to spare the women, he was dragged into the
street and forced to parade naked yet he refused to say "Jai Shri Ram". He was then
beheaded and thrown onto a fire, following this the rioters returned and burned Jafri's
family, including two small boys to death. After the massacre Gulbarg burned for a
According to Siddharth Varadarajan on 28 February in the districts of Morjari
Chowk and Charodia Chowk, in Ahmedabad of forty people killed by police shooting, all
were Muslim.
It is estimated that at least 250 girls and women had been gang
raped and then burned to death.
Children were killed by being burnt alive and those
digging mass graves described the bodies as "burned and butchered beyond
Children were force fed petrol and then set on fire, pregnant women
were gutted and their unborn child's body then shown to the women. In the Naroda
Patiya mass grave of 96 bodies 46 were women. The murderers also flooded homes
and electrocuted entire families inside.
Violence against women also included their
being stripped naked, objects being forced into their bodies and then their being killed.
According to Kalpana Kannabiran the rapes were part of a well organized, deliberate
and pre-planned strategy, and that this puts the violence in the area of a political
pogrom and genocide.
Other acts of violence against women were acid attacks,
beatings and the killing of women who were pregnant. Children were also killed in front
of their parents.
George Fernandes in a discussion in parliament on the violence
caused widespread furore in his defence of the state government, saying that this was
not the first time that women had been violated and raped in India.

Children and infants were speared and held aloft before being thrown into
Describing the sexual violence perpetrated against Muslim women and girls,
Renu Khanna writes that the survivors reported "that sexual violence consisted of forced
nudity, mass rapes, gang-rapes, mutilation, insertion of objects into bodies, cutting of
breasts, slitting the stomach and reproductive organs, and carving of Hindu religious
symbols on women's body parts."
The Concerned Citizens' Tribunal, characterised
the use of rape "as an instrument for the subjugation and humiliation of a
Testimony heard by the committee stated that:
A chilling technique, absent in pogroms unleashed hitherto but very much in evidence
this time in a large number of cases, was the deliberate destruction of evidence. Barring
a few, in most instances of sexual violence, the women victims were stripped and
paraded naked, then gang-raped, and thereafter quartered and burnt beyond
recognition ... The leaders of the mobs even raped young girls, some as young as 11
years old ... before burning them alive ... Even a 20-day-old infant, or a fetus in the
womb of its mother, was not spared.

According to Vandana Shiva "Young boys have been taught to burn, rape and kill in the
name of Hindutva".

Attacks on Hindus
Human rights watch has reported that 10000 Hindus had been displaced during the
[citation needed]
many Hindu residents were in fear of reprisal attacks or being
mistaken for Muslim. Hindu home and business owners had placed saffron flags or
pictures of Hindu deities on their properties to identify themselves as Hindu. On 17
March there was an attack by Muslims on Dalits. In Himatnagar, a man was found dead,
his eyes had been gouged out. The Sindhi Market and Bhanderi Pole areas of
Ahmedabad, were also attacked.

There was a retaliatory attack in Jamalpur which resulted in 25 Hindus injured and five
house being razed. The police quickly responded, and the colony was visited by Modi
after a short period of time.
According to Varadarajan the majority of Hindu deaths
were from shootings by the police, some were killed by Hindutva rioters after they had
been mistaken for Muslims, with some deliberately killed for having worked with, or
having befriended Muslims. A report from Frontline on the violence in Ahmedabad of
249 bodies recovered by 5 march, 30 were Hindus. Of these 13 had died as a result of
police action and several others had died while attacking Muslim owned properties. 24
Muslims had died in police shootings even though there had been very few attacks by
Muslims on Hindu neighborhoods.

Media coverage
The events in Gujarat were the first instance of communal violence in India in the age of
24-hour news coverage, and were televised worldwide, this coverage played a central
role in the politics of the situation. Media coverage was generally critical of the Hindu
right; however the BJP portrayed the coverage as an assault on the honour of Gujaratis
and turned the hostility into an emotive part of their electoral campaign.

With the violence receding in April a peace meeting was arranged at Sabarmati
Ashram, a former home of Gandhi. Hindutva supporters and Police officers attacked
almost a dozen Journalists. The state government banned television news channels
critical of the government's response, and local stations were blocked. Two reporters
working for STAR News were assaulted several times while covering the violence, on a
return trip from having interviewed Modi when their car was surrounded by a crowd, one
of the crowd claimed that they would be killed should they be a member of a minority
community. Prasun Sonwalkar believes the media can play an important role in
highlighting acts of action, or inaction and abuses of power.

The Editors Guild of India, in its report on media ethics and coverage on the incidents
stated that the news coverage was exemplary, with only a few minor lapses. The local
newspapers Sandesh Gujarati and Gujarat Samachar however were heavily
The report states that Sandesh had headlines which would "provoke,
communalize and terrorise people. The newspaper also used a quote from a VHP
leader as a headline, "Avenge with blood". The report also stated that Samachar had
played a role in increasing the tensions, but did not give all of its coverage over to
"hawkish and inflammatory reportage in the first few weeks" The paper also carried
reports to highlight communal harmony. Gujarat Today was given praise for showing
restraint and for the balanced reportage of the violence.

Critical reporting on the Gujarat government's handling of the situation helped bring
about the Indian government's intervention in controlling the violence. The Editorial
Guild of India rejected the charge that graphic news coverage aggravated the situation,
saying that the coverage exposed the "horrors" of the riots as well as the "supine if not
complicit" attitude of the state, helping propel remedial action.

Allegations of state complicity
Dipankar Gupta believes that the state and police were complicit in the violence is an
undoubted fact. Gupta has also said that some officers were outstanding in the
performance of their duties such as Himanshu Bhatt and Rahul Sharma. Sharma was
reported to have said "I don't think any other job would have allowed me to save so
many lives".
These attacks have been described by Gyanendra Pandey as pogroms
and a new form of state terrorism, and that these incidents are not riots but "organized
political massacres".
According to Paul Brass the only conclusion from the evidence
which is available points to a methodical Anti-Muslim pogrom which was carried out with
exceptional brutality and was highly coordinated.

The media has also described the attacks as state terrorism rather than "communal
riots" due to the lack of state intervention.
Selective targeting of properties was shown
by the destruction of the offices of the Muslim Wakf board which was located within the
confines of the high security zone and just 500 meters from the office of the chief
Cited as further evidence of state complicity was that the rioters had
printouts of voter registration lists, allowing them to target Muslim properties.

According to Scott W. Hibbard the violence had been planned far in advance, and that
similar to other instances of communal violence the Bajrang Dal, the VHP and
the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh all took part in the attacks.
An investigation by
the British high commission concluded that the violence had been pre-planned and the
state government had supported the rioters and that the violence had the mark of ethnic
cleansing. This report also said that while Modi remained in power then reconciliation
between the Hindu and Muslim communities would not be possible.
The US
Commission on International Religious Freedom Report in 2003 and 2004 called India a
"country of particular concern", and cited as one reason for this was the violence in
2002. They also wrote the even though India has a tradition of democracy, minorities
are subjected to mass killings and intense violence periodically. It also made note that
those who carry out these acts of violence are rarely held accountable for their

An international fact finding committee formed of all women international experts from
US, UK, France, Germany and Sri Lanka reported, "sexual violence was being used as
a strategy for terrorising women belonging to minority community in the state."

The CCT report includes testimony of the then Gujarat BJP minister Haren
Pandya (since murdered), who testified about an evening meeting convened
by Narendra Modi the evening of the Godhra train burning. At this meeting, officials
were instructed not to obstruct the Hindu rage following the incident.
The report also
highlighted a second meeting, held in Lunawada village ofPanchmahal district, attended
by state ministers Ashok Bhatt, and Prabhatsinh Chauhan, and other BJP and RSS
leaders, where "detailed plans were made on the use of kerosene and petrol for arson
and other methods of killing."
The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind claimed in 2002 that some
regional Congress workers collaborated with the perpetrators of the violence.

Organizations such as Human Rights Watch criticised the Indian government for failure
to address the resulting humanitarian condition of the people, the "overwhelming
majority of them Muslim," who fled their homes for relief camps in the aftermath of the
events, as well as the Gujarat state administration for engaging in a cover-up of the
state's role in the massacres.

In response to allegations of state involvement, Gujarat government spokesman, Bharat
Pandya, told the BBC that the rioting was a spontaneous Hindu backlash fuelled by
widespread anger against Muslims. He said "Hindus are frustrated over the role of
Muslims in the on-going violence in Indian-administered Kashmir and other parts of

The US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, John Hanford,
expressing concern over religious intolerance in Indian politics, said that while the
rioters may have been aided by state and local officials, he did not believe that the BJP-
led central government was involved in inciting the riots.

Criminal prosecutions
Prosecution of those accused for criminal actions during the violence faced problems
with witnesses being either bribed or intimidated, local judges were also biased.
As of
April 2013 249 convictions had been secured, 184 Hindus and 65 Muslims. 31 of the
Muslim convictions were for the Train incident in Godhra.

The Indian Supreme Court has been strongly critical of the state government's
investigation and prosecution of those accused of violence during the riots, directing
police to review about 2,000 of the 4,000 riot-related cases that had been closed citing
lack of evidence or leads.
Following this direction, police identified nearly 1,600 cases
for re-investigation, arrested 640 accused and launched investigations against 40 police
officers for their failures.

Human Rights Watch alleged
that state and law enforcement officials were harassing
and intimidating
key witnesses, NGOs, social activists and lawyers who were fighting
to seek justice for riot victims. In its 2003 annual report, Amnesty International stated,
"the same police force that was accused of colluding with the attackers was put in
charge of the investigations into the massacres, undermining the process of delivery of
justice to the victims."

The Best Bakery murder trial received wide attention after witnesses retracted testimony
in court and all of the accused were acquitted. The Indian Supreme Court, acting on a
petition by social activist Teesta Setalvad, ordered a retrial outside Gujarat in which nine
accused were found guilty in 2006.
A key witness, Zaheera Sheikh, who repeatedly
changed her testimony during the trials and the petition was found guilty of perjury.

After a local court dismissed the case against her assailants, Bilkis Bano approached
the National Human Rights Commission and petitioned the Supreme Court seeking a
retrial. The Supreme Court granted the motion, directing the Central Bureau of
Investigation to take over the investigation. CBI appointed a team of experts from CFSL
Delhi and AIIMS under the guidance and leadership of Professor T. D. Dogra of AIIMS
to exhume the mass graves to established the identity and cause of death of victims.
The team successfully located and exhumed the remains of victims.
The trial of the
case was transferred out of Gujarat and directing the central government to appoint the
public prosecutor.
Charges were filed in a Mumbai court against nineteen people
as well as six police officials and a government doctor over their role in the initial
In January 2008, eleven men were sentenced to life imprisonment for
the rape and murders and a policeman was convicted of falsifying evidence.

In 2005, the Vadodara fast-track court acquitted 108 people accused of murdering two
youths, during a mob attack on a group of displaced Muslims returning under police
escort to their homes in Avdhootnagar. The court passed strictures against the police
for failing to protect the people under their escort
and failing to identify the attackers
they had witnessed.

Nine people were convicted of killing a Hindu man and injuring another during group
clashes in Danilimda, Ahmedabad on 12 April, while 25 others were acquitted.

Eight people, including a VHP leader and a member of the BJP, were convicted for the
murder of seven members of a family and the rape of two minor girls in the village of
Eral in Panchmahal district.

52 people from Pavagadh and Dhikva villages in Panchmahal district were acquitted of
rioting charges for lack of evidence.

A stringent anti-terror law, the POTA, was used by the Gujarat government to charge
131 people in connection to the Godhra train fire, but not invoked in prosecuting any of
the accused in the post-Godhra riots.
In 2005 the POTA Review Committee set
up by the central government to review the application of the law opined that the
Godhra accused should not be tried under the provisions of POTA.

In February 2011 a special fast track court convicted 31 Muslims for the Godhra train
burning incident and the conspiracy for the crime

On 9 November 2011, a court in Ahmedabad sentenced 31 Hindus to life imprisonment
for murdering dozens of Muslims, by burning a building in which they took shelter.
other Hindus were acquitted of murder charges due to lack of evidence.
additional people were convicted for attempted murder on 30 July 2012, while 61 others
were acquitted.

On 29 July 2012, an Indian court gave the verdict in the Naroda Patiya massacre case
and convicted 32 people, including former state minister Maya Kodnani and Hindu
leader Babu Bajrangi of involvement in the attacks. The court case began in 2009, and
over 300 people (including victims, witnesses, doctors, and journalists) had testified
before the court. For the first time, the verdict acknowledged the role of a politician in
inciting Hindu mobs. Activists say that the verdict will embolden the opponent of
Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat, in the crucial run-up to state elections later
this year, when Modi will seek a third term. Modi refused to apologise and denied that
the government had a role in the riots. Twenty-nine people were acquitted during the
verdict. Teesta Setalvad, a human rights campaigner, said, "For the first time, this
judgment actually goes beyond neighborhood perpetrators and goes up to the political
conspiracy. The fact that convictions have gone that high means the conspiracy charge
has been accepted and the political influencing of the mobs has been accepted by the
judge. This is a huge victory for justice."

In April 2009, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) setup by the Supreme Court of
India to investigate and expedite the Gujarat riot cases submitted before the Court
that Teesta Setalvad had cooked up cases of violence to spice up the incidents. The
SIT which is headed by former CBI director, R. K. Raghavan has said that false
witnesses were tutored to give evidence about imaginary incidents by Setalvad and
other NGOs.
The SIT charged her of "cooking up macabre tales of killings".

The court was told that 22 witnesses, who had submitted identical affidavits before
various courts relating to riot incidents, were questioned by SIT and it was found that
the witnesses had not actually witnessed the incidents and they were tutored and the
affidavits were handed over to them by Setalvad.

The report which was brought to the notice of the bench, consisting of Justices Arijit
Pasayat, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam, noted that the much publicised case of a
pregnant Muslim woman Kausar Banu being gangraped by a mob and foetus being
removed from sharp weapons, was also cooked up and false.

Many of the investigations and prosecutions of those accused of violence during the
riots have been opened for re-investigation and prosecution.

There were more than 60 investigations by national and international bodies many of
which having investigated the incident, concluded there was support from state officials
in the violence.
The report from the National Human Rights Commission of
India(NHRC) concluded that the attacks had been premeditated, that state government
officials were complicit and that there was evidence of police not acting during the
assaults on Muslims. The report also made mention of the BJP and Modi in "Promoting
the attitudes of racial supremacy, racial hatred and the legacy of Nazismthrough his
governments support of school textbooks in which Nazism is glorified". The US state
department also found "that Modi revised high school textbooks to describe Hitler's
'charismatic personality' and the 'achievements of Nazism'.
[124][Note 1]
The NHRC also
stated that Res ipsa loquitur applied as the state had comprehensively failed to protect
and had not upheld the rights of the people as set out in the Constitution of India.

The CCT report which was headed up by Krishna Iyer, a retired justice of the Supreme
Court released its findings in 2003 and stated that contrary to the government allegation
of a conspiracy in Godhra, this incident had not been pre-planned and there were no
evidence to indicate otherwise. On the statewide riots the CCT reported that several
days before the Godhra incident, the excuse used for the attacks, homes belonging to
Hindus which were in Muslim areas and been marked with pictures of Hindu deities or
saffron flags, this had been done to prevent any accidental assaults on Hindu homes or
businesses. The CCT investigation also discovered evidence that the VHP and the
Bajrang Dal had training camps in which people were thought to view Muslims as an
enemy. These camps were backed and supported by the BJP and RSS. They also
reported that "The complicity of the state government is obvious. And, the support of the
central government to the state government in all that it did is also by now a matter of
common knowledge."

The state government commissioned J G. Shah to conduct, what became, a
controversial one man inquiry into the Godhra incident, its credibility was questioned
and the NHRC and the National minorities commission requested that a sitting judge
from the supreme court be appointed. The supreme court overturned the findings by
Shah stating, "this judgement is not based on the understanding on any evidence, but
on imagination".

Early in 2003 the state government of Gujarat set up the Shah-Nanavati commission to
investigate the entire incident, from the initial one at Godhra to the ensuing violence.
The commission has been caught up in controversy from the beginning, activists and
members of the opposition insisted on a judicial commission be set up and headed by a
sitting judge rather than a retired one from the high court, the state refused. Within a few
months Nanavati, before hearing any testimony declared there was no evidence of
lapses by either the police or government in their handling of the violence.
In 2008
Shah died and was replaced by Justice Akshay Mehta, a retired high court
Metha's appointment was controversial as he was the judge who allowed
Babu Bajrangi to be bailed, Bajrangi is a leader of Bajrang Dal and is a prime suspect in
the massacre at Naroda Patiya.
In July 2013 the commission was given its 20th
extension, and Mukul Sinha of the civil rights group Jan Sangahrsh Manch said of the
delays "I think commission has lost its significance and it now seems to be awaiting the
outcome of the 2014 Lok Sabha election,"
In 2007 Tehelka in an undercover
operation had said that the Shah-Nanavati commission had relied on "manufactured
evidence" Tehelka editor Tarun Tajpal has claimed that they had taped witnesses who
stated they had given false testimony after they had been bribed by the Gujarati police
force. Tehelka also recorded Ranjitsinh Patel where he stated that he and Prabhatsinh
Patel had been paid 50,000 rupees apiece to amend earlier statements and to identify
as conspirators some Muslims.
According to B G Verghese the Tehelka expose was
far too detailed to have been a fake as some had claimed.

A fact finding mission by the Sahmat organisation and headed up by Dr. Kamal Mitra
Chenoy concluded that from the evidence the violence was more akin to ethnic
cleansing or a pogrom rather than an instance of communal violence as they would be
usually defined. The report said that the violence surpassed other periods of communal
violence such as in 1969, 1985, 1989, and 1992not only in the amount of lives lost, but
in the savagery of the attacks.

There was widespread destruction of property. 527 places of worship such as, masjids,
Temples, cemeteries, dargahs and schools had been either destroyed or
It is estimated that Muslim property losses were, "100,000 houses, 1,100
hotels, 15,000 businesses, 3,000 handcarts and 5,000 vehicles destroyed."
In total
27,780 persons were arrested, either for rioting or as a preventative measure. For
criminal behaviour 11,167 of which 3,269 were Muslim and 7,896 Hindu. Preventative
arrests were 16,615 of which 2,811 were Muslim and 13,804 being Hindu. It was
reported by the Concerned Citizens Tribunal that 90 percent of those arrested were
almost immediately granted bail, even if they had been arrested on suspicion of murder
or arson. There were also media reports that political leaders gave those being released
public welcomes as they were given bail. This contradicts what the state government
had been saying during the violence, that "Bail applications of all accused persons are
being strongly defended and rejected".

According to R.B.Sreekumar police officers who had followed the rule of law and helped
prevent the riots from spreading were punished by the Modi government. They were
subjected to disciplinary proceedings and transfers with some having to leave the
Sreekumar also claims that intimidation of whistleblowers and the subversion
of the justice system are common practice.
Sreekumar also alleged that the state
government issued "unconstitutional directives", with officials asking him to kill Muslims
involved in rioting or disrupting a Hindu religious event. The Gujarat government denied
the allegations, calling them "baseless" and instigated out of malice because Mr.
Sreekumar was not promoted.

Following the violence Bal Thackeray then leader of the nationalist group Shiv
Sena said "Muslims are a cancer to this country ... Cancer is an incurable disease. Its
only cure is operation. O Hindus take weapons in your hands and remove this cancer
from your roots".
Pravin Togadia general secretary of the Vishva Hindu
Parishad(VHP) said "All Hindutva opponents will get the death sentence" and Ashok
Singhal then president of the VHP has said that the violence in Gujarat was a
"successful experiment" which would be repeated nationwide.

The militant group Indian Mujahideen have carried out attacks in revenge and to also
act as a deterrent against further instances of mass violence against Muslims.
also claimed to have carried out the 2008 Delhi bombings in revenge for mistreatment
of Muslims, they referenced the destruction of the Babri Mosque and the violence in
Gujarat 2002.
In September 2002 there was an attack on the Hindu temple
of Akshardham, the gunmen carried letters on their persons which suggested that it was
a revenge attack for the violence that the Muslims had gone through.
In August 2002
Shahid Ahmad Bakshi, an operative for the militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba in an act of
revenge over the violence planned to assassinate Modi, Pravin Togadia of the VHP and
other members of the right wing nationalist movement.

In 2005 Modi was invited to the US to speak before the Asian-Americans hotel owners
association. A petition was set up and signed by academics requesting that Modi be
refused a diplomatic visa, Hindu groups in the US also protested and planned to
demonstrate in cities in Florida. A resolution was submitted by John
Conyers and Joseph R. Pitts in the House of Representativeswhich condemned Modi
for inciting religious persecution. Pitts also wrote to then Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice requesting Modi be refused a visa. On 19 March Modi was
denied a diplomatic visa and his tourist visa was revoked

Human rights watch has accused the state of orchestrating a cover up over their role in
the violence. Human rights activists and Indian solicitors have urged that legislation be
passed so that "communal violence is treated as genocide".
Following the violence
thousands of Muslims were fired from their places of work, and those who tried to return
home had to endure an economic and social boycott.

On 3 May, former Punjab police chief K P S Gill was appointed as security adviser to
the Chief Minister.
Defending the Modi administration in the Rajya Sabha against
charges of genocide, BJP spokesman V K Malhotra said that the official toll of 254
Hindus, killed mostly by police fire, indicates how the state authorities took effective
steps to curb the violence.

Opposition parties as well as three coalition partners of the BJP-led central government
demanded the dismissal of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for failing to contain
the violence, with some calling for the removal of Union Home Minister L. K. Advani as

On 18 July, Chief Minister Narendra Modi asked the Governor of Gujarat to dissolve the
state assembly and call fresh elections.
The Indian Election Commission ruled out
early elections, citing the prevailing law and order situation, a decision the union
government unsuccessfully
appealed against in the Supreme Court.

Elections were held in December, and Modi was returned to power in a landslide

In 2004, the weekly newspaper Tehelka published a hidden camera expos alleging
that BJP legislator Madhu Srivastava bribed Zaheera Sheikh, a witness in the Best
Bakery killings trial.
Srivatsava denied the allegation,
and an inquiry committee
appointed by the Indian Supreme Court drew an "adverse inference" from the video
footage, though it failed to uncover evidence that money was actually paid.
In a 2007
expose, the newspaper released hidden camera footage of several members of the
BJP, VHP and the Bajrang Dal admitting their role in the riots.
Among those
featured in the tapes was the special counsel representing the Gujarat government
before the Nanavati-Shah Commission, Arvind Pandya, who resigned from his post
after they were made public.
While the report was criticised by some as being
politically motivated,
some newspapers said the revelations simply
reinforced what was common knowledge.
However there were several
inaccuracies in the statements that diluted the impact of the sting operation. Babu
Bajrani and Suresh Richard in the statements said that Narendra Modi visited Naroda
Patiya one day after the massacre to thank them. However official record shows that
Naredra Modi didn't visit Naroda Patiya. VHP activist, Ramesh Dave told Tehelka
reporter that S.K.Gadhvi, one of the divisional superintendents of Police killed five
Muslims in Dariapur area as promised to him. But the official records show that Gadhvi
was only posted in Dariapur one month after the riots. During his tenure no such
incident took place in Dariapur.
The Gujarat government blocked telecast of cable
news channels broadcasting the expose, a move strongly condemned by the Editors
Guild of India.

Taking a stand decried by the media and other rights groups, Nafisa Hussain, a
member of the National Commission for Women accused organisations and the media
of needlessly exaggerating the plight of women victims of the riots.
which was
strongly disputed as Gujarat did not have a State Commission for Women to act on the
The newspaper Tribunereported that "The National Commission for Women
has reluctantly agreed to the complicity of Gujarat Government in the communal
violence in the state." The tone of their most recent report was reported by
the Tribune as "lenient".

In April 2012, a Special Investigation Team found absolved Modi of any involvement in
the Gulberg massacre, arguably the worst episode of the riots.

In his report, Raju Ramachandran, the amicus curiae for the case, strongly disagreed
with a key conclusion of the R. K. Raghavan-led SIT: that IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt was
not present at a late-night meeting of top Gujarat cops held at the Chief Minister's
residence in the wake of 27 February 2002 Godhra carnage. It has been Bhatt's
claim made in an affidavit before the apex court and in statements to the SIT and the
amicus that he was present at the meeting where Modi allegedly said Hindus must
be allowed to carry out retaliatory violence against Muslims. Ramachandran was of the
opinion that Modi could be prosecuted for alleged statements he had made. He said
there was no clinching material available in the pre-trial stage to disbelieve Bhatt, whose
claim could be tested only in court. "Hence, it cannot be said, at this stage, that Shri
Bhatt should be disbelieved and no further proceedings should be taken against Shri

Further, R. K. Shah the public prosecutor in the Gulbarg Society massacre resigned as
the public prosecutor because he found it impossible to work with the SIT and further
stated that "Here I am collecting witnesses who know something about a gruesome
case in which so many people, mostly women and children huddled in Jafri's house,
were killed and I get no cooperation. The SIT officers are unsympathetic towards
witnesses, they try to browbeat them and don't share evidence with the prosecution as
they are supposed to do."

Relief efforts
Amnesty International's annual report on India in 2003 claimed the "Gujarat government
did not actively fulfill its duty to provide appropriate relief and rehabilitation to the

The state government initially offered compensation payments of 200,000 rupees to the
families of those who died in the Godhra train fire and 100,000 rupees to the families of
those who died in the subsequent riots, which local Muslims described as
Subsequently, the government set the compensation amount at
150,000 rupees.

By 27 March, nearly 100,000 displaced people moved into 101 relief camps. This
swelled to over 150,000 in 104 camps the next two weeks.
The camps were run by
community groups and NGOs, with the government committing to provide amenities
and supplementary services. Drinking water, medical help, clothing and blankets were
in short supply at the camps.
At least another 100 camps were denied government
support, according to a camp organiser.
and relief supplies were prevented from
reaching the camps over fears that they may be carrying arms.
On 9 September
2002, Narendra Modi during his speech mentioned that he was against running relief
camps.This speech was initially withheld by the Gujarat government from the SIT. In
January 2010, the Supreme Court ordered the government to hand over the speech and
other documents to the SIT.
"What brother, should we run relief camps? Should I start children-producing centres
there? We want to achieve progress by pursuing the policy of family planning with
determination. Ame paanch, Amara pachhees! (we are five and we have twenty-five)
Can't Gujarat implement family planning? Whose inhibitions are coming in our way?
Which religious sect is coming in the way? ..."

Relief camp organisers alleged that the state government was coercing refugees to
leave relief camps, with 25,000 people made to leave eighteen camps that were shut
down. Following government assurances that camps would not be shut down, the
Gujarat High Court bench ordered that camp organizers be given a supervisory role to
ensure that the assurances were met.

On 23 May 2008, the Union Government announced a 3.20 billion rupee (US$80
million) relief package for the victims of the riots.

1984 anti-Sikh riots
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Sikh genocide" redirects here. For the genocide of 1762, see Sikh holocaust of 1762.
For the genocide of 1746, see Sikh holocaust of 1746.
1984 anti-Sikh riots

A Sikh man being surrounded and beaten by a mob
Date 31 October 1984 3 November 1984
Target Sikhs
Deaths >8,000 (3,000 in Delhi)

The 1984 anti-Sikhs riots or the 1984 Sikh Massacre were a series
of pogroms
directed against Sikhs in India, by anti-Sikh mobs, in response to
the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. There were more than
deaths, including 3,000 in Delhi.
The Central Bureau of Investigation, the main
Indian investigating agency, is of the opinion that the acts of violence were organized
with the support from the then Delhi police officials and the central government headed
by Indira Gandhi's son, Rajiv Gandhi.
Rajiv Gandhi was sworn in as Prime Minister
after his mother's death and, when asked about the riots, said "when a big tree falls, the
earth shakes".

During the Indian Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi in the 1970s, thousands of
Sikhs campaigning for autonomous government were imprisoned. The sporadic
violence continued as a result of an armed Sikh separatist group which was designated
as a terrorist entity by the Indian government. In June 1984, during Operation Blue Star,
Indira Gandhi ordered the Indian Army to attack the Golden Temple and eliminate any
insurgents, as it had been occupied by Sikh separatists who were stockpiling
weapons. Later operations by Indian paramilitary forces were initiated to clear the
separatists from the countryside of Punjab state.

The violence in Delhi was triggered by the assassination of Indira Gandhi, India's prime
minister, on 31 October 1984, by two of her Sikh bodyguards in response to her actions
authorising the military operation. The Indian government reported 2,700 deaths in the
ensuing chaos. In the aftermath of the riots, the Indian government reported 20,000 had
fled the city, however the People's Union for Civil Liberties reported "at least"
1,000 displaced persons.
The most affected regions were the Sikh neighbourhoods
in Delhi. Human rights organisations and newspapers across India believe the
massacre was organised.
The collusion of political officials in the massacres and
the Judiciary's failure to penalise the killers alienated normal Sikhs and increased
support for the Khalistan movement.
The Akal Takht, the governing religious body
of Sikhism, considers the killings to be a genocide.

In 2011, Human Rights Watch reported the Government of India had "yet to prosecute
those responsible for the mass killings".
The 2011 WikiLeaks cable leaks revealed
that the United States was convinced about the complicity of the Indian
government ruled by the Indian National Congress in the riots, and termed it as
"opportunism" and "hatred" of the Congress government against Sikhs.
The United
States has denied to recognize the riots as genocide, but do acknowledge that
"grave human rights violations" did take place.
Also in 2011, a new set of mass
graves were discovered in Haryana, and Human Rights Watch reported that
"Widespread anti-Sikh attacks in Haryana were part of broader revenge attacks" in

See also: List of terrorist incidents in Punjab (India) and Punjab insurgency
In 1973 Akali Dal and other Sikh groups introduced the Anandpur Sahib Resolution,
which demanded special status for Punjab and Sikhs. In the late 1970s and early
1980s, security in Punjab started deteriorating due to State level and religious politics,
leading to the sacking of the Punjab government in 1983.

A section of Sikhs turned to militancy in Punjab; some Sikh militant groups aimed to
create an independent state called Khalistan through acts of violence directed at
members of the Indian government, army or forces. Others demanded an autonomous
state within India, based on the Anandpur Sahib Resolution. A large number of Sikhs
condemned the actions of the militants.

By 1983, the situation in Punjab had become highly volatile. In October 1983, some
Sikh militants stopped a bus and shot six Hindu bus passengers. On the same day,
another group of extremists killed two officials on a train.
The Congress(I)-led
Central Government dismissed its own Punjab's government, declaring a state of
emergency, and imposed the President's Rule in the state. During the five months
preceding Operation Blue Star, from 1 January 1984 to 3 June 1984, 298 people had
been killed in various violent incidents across Punjab. In five days preceding the
Operation, 48 people had been killed in the violence.

Characteristics of violence[edit]
See also: Hondh-Chillar Massacre
After the assassination of Indira Gandhi on 31 October 1984, by two of her Sikh
bodyguards, anti-Sikh riots erupted on 1 November 1984, and continued in some areas
for days, killing more than 3,000 Sikhs.
Sultanpuri, Mangolpuri, Trilokpuri, and other
Trans-Yamuna areas of Delhi were the worst affected. Mobs carried iron rods, knives,
clubs, and combustible material, including kerosene and Petrol. The mobs swarmed into
Sikh neighbourhoods, arbitrarily killing any Sikh men or women they could find. Their
shops and houses were ransacked and burned. In other incidents, armed mobs stopped
buses and trains, in and around Delhi, pulling out Sikh passengers to be lynched or
doused with kerosene and burnt alive. Others were dragged out from their homes and
hacked to death with bladed weapons.
Such wide-scale violence cannot take place without police help. Delhi Police, whose
paramount duty was to upkeep law and order situation and protect innocent lives, gave
full help to rioters who were in fact working under able guidance of sycophant leaders
like Jagdish Tytler and H K L Bhagat. It is a known fact that many jails, sub-jails and
lock-ups were opened for three days and prisoners, for the most part hardened
criminals, were provided fullest provisions, means and instruction to "teach the Sikhs a
lesson". But it will be wrong to say that Delhi Police did nothing, for it took full and keen
action against Sikhs who tried to defend themselves. The Sikhs who opened fire to save
their lives and property had to spend months dragging heels in courts after-wards.

-Jagmohan Singh Khurmi, The Tribune
These riots are alternately referred to as pogroms
or massacres.

Meetings and distribution of weapons[edit]
On 31 October, the crowd around the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, began
shouting for vengeance with slogans such as "Blood for blood!" and turned into an
unruly mob. At 17:20, President Zail Singh arrived at the hospital and the mob outside
stoned his car. The mob began assaulting Sikhs by stopping cars and buses to pull
Sikhs out of them and burn their turbans.
The violence on 31 October was restricted
to the area around the AIIMS and did result in many Sikh deaths.
People in other
parts of Delhi reported their neighbourhoods were peaceful.
Throughout the night of 31 October and morning of 1 November, Congress leaders met
with local supporters to distribute money and weapons. Congress party MP Sajjan
Kumar and Trade Unionleader Lalit Maken handed out 100 rupee notes and bottles of
liquor to assailants.
On the morning of 1 November, Sajjan Kumar was seen holding
rallies in, at least, the following Delhi neighbourhoods; in Palam Colony from 06:30 to
07:00, in Kiran Gardens from 08:00 to 08:30, and in Sultanpuri from around 08:30 to
In Kiran Gardens at 8:00 AM, Sajjan Kumar was seen distributing iron rods
from a parked truck to a group of 120 people and instructing them to "attack Sikhs, kill
them, and loot and burn their properties".
At an undefined time in the morning of 1
November, Sajjan Kumar led a mob of people along the Palam Railway main road to
the Mangolpuri neighbourhood where the crowd answered his calls with chants of "Kill
the Sardars" and "Indira Gandhi is our mother and these people have killed her".
Sultanpuri, Moti Singh, a Sikh who had served in the Congress party for 20 years heard
Sajjan Kumar give the following speech:
Whoever kills the sons of the snakes, I will reward them. Whoever kills Roshan Singh
and Bagh Singh will get 5,000 rupees each and 1,000 rupees each for killing any other
Sikhs. You can collect these prizes on November 3 from my personal assistant Jai
Chand Jamadar.
[note 1]

The CBI recently told the court that during the riot Sajjan Kumar had said that "not a
single Sikh should survive".
It also said that Delhi police kept its "eyes closed"
during the riot as it was pre-planned.

In the neighbourhood of Shakarpur, Congress (I) leader Shyam Tyagi's home was used
as a meeting place for an undefined number of people.
H. K. L. Bhagat, the Minister
of Information and Broadcasting distributed money to Boop Tyagi, Shyam Tyagi's
brother, and ordered him to Keep these two thousand rupees for liquor and do as I
have told you.... You need not worry at all. I will look after everything.

During the night of 31 October, Balwan Khokhar, a local Congress (I) party leader who
was later implicated in the ensuing massacre, held a meeting at the Ration Shop of
Pandit Harkesh in the Palam Colony.
At 08:30 on 1 November, Shankar Lal Sharma,
an active Congress party supporter, held a meeting at his shop where he formed a mob
and had the people swear to kill Sikhs.

The chief weapon used by the mobs, kerosene was supplied by a group of Congress
Party leaders who owned filling stations.
In Sultanpuri, Brahmanand Gupta, the
president of the A-4 block Congress Party distributed oil while Congress Party MP
Sajjan Kumar "instructed the crowd to kill Sikhs, and to loot and burn their properties" as
he had in other meetings throughout New Delhi.
In much the same way, meetings
were held in places like Cooperative Colony in Bokaro where P.K. Tripathi, president of
the local Congress Party and owner of a gas station in Nara More, provided kerosene to
Aseem Shrivastava, a Masters student at the Delhi School of
Economics described the organised nature of the mobs in an affidavit submitted to
the Misra Commission:
The attack on Sikhs and their property in our locality appeared to be an extremely
organized affair...There were also some young men on motorcycles, who were
instructing the mobs and supplying them with kerosene oil from time to time. On more
than a few occasions we saw auto-rickshaw arriving with several tins of kerosene oil
and other inflammable material such as jute-sacks.

A senior official at the Ministry of Home Affairs informed journalist Ivan Fera, that an
arson investigation of several businesses burned in the riots had uncovered an
unnamed combustible chemical "whose provision required large-scale
Eyewitness reports confirmed the use of a combustible chemical
besides kerosene.
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committeelater identified
70 affidavits which cited the use of a highly flammable chemical in its written arguments
before the Misra Commission.

Use of voter lists by the Congress Party[edit]
On 31 October, Congress party officials provided assailants with voter lists, school
registration forms, and ration lists.
The lists were used to find the location of Sikh
homes and business, an otherwise impossible task because they were located in
unmarked and diverse neighbourhoods. On the night of 31 October, the night before the
massacres began, assailants used the lists to mark the houses of Sikhs with letter
In addition, because most of the mobs were illiterate, Congress Party officials
provided help in reading the lists and leading the mobs to Sikh homes and businesses
in the other neighbourhoods.
By using the lists the mobs were able to pinpoint the
locations of Sikhs they otherwise would have missed.

Sikh men not in their homes were easily identified by their distinctive turban and beard
while Sikh women were identified by their dress. In some cases, the mobs returned to
locations where they knew Sikhs were hiding after consulting their lists. One man, Amar
Singh, escaped the initial attack on his house by having a Hindu neighbour drag him
into his neighbour's house and declare him dead. However, a group of 18 assailants
later came looking for his body, and when his neighbour replied that others had already
taken away the body an assailant showed him a list and replied, "Look, Amar Singh's
name has not been struck off from the list so his dead body has not been taken

Timeline of events[edit]
First day (31 October)[edit]
09:20: Indira Gandhi is shot by two of her Sikh security guards at her residence, No.
1 Safdarjung Road, and rushed to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
10:50: Indira Gandhi dies.

11:00: All India Radio listeners learn that the two security guards who shot Indira
Gandhi were Sikhs.
16:00: Rajiv Gandhi returns from West Bengal and reaches AIIMS. Stray incidents
of attacks in and around that area.
17:30: The motorcade of President Zail Singh, who is returning from a foreign visit,
is stoned as it approaches AIIMS.
evening and night
Organized and well equipped gangs of ruffians set out in different directions from
The violence, including violence towards Sikhs and destruction of Sikh properties,
Rajiv Gandhi is sworn in as the Prime Minister.
Senior advocate and BJP leader Ram Jethmalani, meets Home Minister P.V.
Narasimha Rao and urges him to take immediate steps to protect Sikhs from further
Delhi's Lt. Governor, P.G. Gavai and Police Commissioner, S.C. Tandon, visits
some of the affected areas.
Second day (1 November)[edit]
The first killing of a Sikh occurs in East Delhi.
09:00: Armed mobs take over the streets of Delhi and launch a massacre.
Among the first targets were Gurdwaras, the holy temples of Sikhs
The worst affected areas are low income colonies like Trilokpuri, Shahdara, Geeta
Colony, Mongolpuri, Sultanpuri and Palam Colony. The few areas where the local
police stations take prompt measures against mobs see hardly any killings or major
violence. Farsh Bazar and Karol Bagh are two such examples.
Third day (2 November)[edit]
Curfew is announced throughout Delhi, but is not enforced. The Army deployed
throughout Delhi too but ineffective because the police did not co-operate with
soldiers (who are not allowed to open fire without the consent of senior police
officers and executive magistrates).
Mobs continue to rampage.
Fourth day (3 November)[edit]
Violence continues. By late evening, the national Army and local police units
work together to subdue the violence. After law enforcement intervention,
violence is comparatively mild and sporadic.In Delhi the dead bodies of the
victims of riots were taken to All India Institute of Medical Sciences New Delhi
and Civil Hospital Mortuary Tis hazari, Delhi.

The Delhi High Court, while pronouncing its verdict on a riots-related case in
2009, stated:

Though we boast of being the world's largest democracy and the Delhi
being its national capital, the sheer mention of the incidents of 1984 anti-
Sikh riots in general and the role played by Delhi Police and state machinery
in particular makes our heads hang in shame in the eyes of the world polity.
There are allegations that the government destroyed evidence and shielded
the guilty. Asian Age, an Indian daily newspaper, ran a front-page story
calling the government actions "the mother of all cover-ups."

From 31 October 1984 to 10 November 1984, human rights groups People's
Union for Democratic Rights and the People's Union for Civil
Liberties conducted an inquiry into the riots by interviewing victims, police
officers, neighbours of the victims, army personnel and political leaders. In
their joint report, entitled Who Are The Guilty?, they concluded:
The attacks on members of the Sikh Community in Delhi and its suburbs
during the period, far from being a spontaneous expression of "madness"
and of popular "grief and anger" at Mrs. Gandhi's assassination as made out
to be by the authorities, were the outcome of a well organised plan marked
by acts of both deliberate commissions and omissions by important
politicians of the Congress (I) at the top and by authorities in the

Eyewitness accounts obtained by Time magazine state the Delhi
Police looked on as "rioters murdered and raped, having gotten access to
voter records that allowed them to mark Sikh homes with large Xs, and large
mobs being bused in to large Sikh settlements".
Time reported the riots
only led to minor arrests and that no major politician or police officer had
been convicted and quotes Ensaaf,
a human rights organisation, as saying
the government worked to destroy evidence of involvement by refusing to
record First Information Reports.

A Human Rights Watch report published in 1991 on violence between Sikh
separatists and the Government of India traces part of the problem back to
the government response to the violence:
Despite numerous credible eye-witness accounts that identified many of
those involved in the violence, including police and politicians, in the months
following the killings, the government sought no prosecutions or indictments
of any persons, including officials, accused in any case of murder, rape or

There are allegations that the violence was led and often perpetrated
by Indian National Congress activists and sympathizers during the riot. The
government, then led by the Congress, was widely criticised for doing very
little at the time, possibly acting as a conspirator. Voting lists were used to
identify Sikh families.

A few days following the massacre, many surviving Sikh youth in Delhi had
retaliated in either joining or creating Sikh militant groups. This lead to series
of more violence in the Punjab, where several assassinations of
senior Congress party members took place. The Khalistan Commando
Force and Khalistan Liberation Force took responsibility of the targeted hits
in retaliation. An underground network had also been established between
the victims of the genocide and Sikh extremists.
On 31 July 1985, Harjinder Singh Jinda, Sukhdev Singh Sukha and Ranjit
Singh Gill of Khalistan Commando Force assassinated Lalit Maken (Member
Parliament of India and a leader of Congress (I)) to take revenge for the
1984 anti-Sikh riots. In a 31-page booklet titled Who Are The Guilty,
the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) listed 227 people who led the
mobs, Lalit Maken's name was third on the list.

Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha also assassinated
Congress (I) leader Arjan Dass because of his involvement in the 1984 anti-
Sikh riots. Arjan Dass's name appeared in various affidavits submitted by
Sikh victims to the Nanavati Commission which was headed by Justice G.T.
Nanavati, retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India.

In Delhi, 442 of the rioters were convicted by the courts. 49 of these were
sentenced to the life imprisonment, and another three to imprisonment of
more than 10 years. 6 Delhi Police officers were punished for lapses during
the riots.
In April 2013, the Supreme Court of India dismissed the appeal of
three convicts who had challenged the High Court's decision to award them
life sentence.

In April 2013, the Karkardooma district court in Delhi convicted five people
Balwan Khokkar (former councillor), Mahender Yadav (former MLA), Kishan
Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal for inciting a mob against the
Sikhs in the Delhi Cantonment area. It acquitted the Congress leader Sajjan
Kumar in the same case, leading to protests.

Numerous commissions have been set up to investigate the riots. The most
recent commission on the pogroms, headed by Justice G.T. Nanavati,
submitted its 185-page report to the Home Minister, Shivraj Patil on 9
February 2005 and the report was tabled in Parliament on 8 August 2005.
Ten commissions and committees have so far enquired into the riots. The
commissions below are listed in the order they were formed. Many of the
primary accused were acquitted or never charge-sheeted.
Marwah Commission[edit]
This commission was appointed in November 1984. Ved Marwah, Additional
Commissioner of Police, was assigned the job of enquiring into the role of the
police during the carnage of November 1984. Many of the accused officers of
Delhi Police went to Delhi High Court. As Ved Marwah completed his inquiry
towards the middle of 1985, he was abruptly directed by the Home
Ministry not to proceed further.
Complete records of the Marwah
Commission were taken over by the government and were later transferred
to the Misra Commission. However, the most important part of the record,
namely the handwritten notes of Mr Marwah, which contained important
information, were not transferred to the Misra Commission.
Misra Commission[edit]
Misra commission was appointed in May 1985. Justice Rangnath Misra, was
a sitting judge of the Supreme Court of India. Justice Misra submitted his
report in August 1986 and the report was made public six months thereafter
in February 1987. In his report, Justice Misra stated that it was not part of his
terms of reference to identify any person and recommended the formation of
three committees.
The commission and its report was criticised by People's Union for Civil
Liberties and Human Rights Watch as biased. A Human Rights Watch report
recording the Misra Commission noted:
It recommended no criminal prosecution of any individual, and it cleared all
high-level officials of directing the pogroms. In its findings, the commission
did acknowledge that many of the victims testifying before it had received
threats from local police. While the commission noted that there had been
"widespread lapses" on the part of the police, it concluded that "the
allegations before the commission about the conduct of the police are more
of indifference and negligence during the riots than of any wrongful overt

People's Union for Civil Liberties criticised the Misra commission for keeping
information on the accused secret while revealing the names and addresses
of victims of violence.

Kapur Mittal Committee[edit]
Kapur Mittal Committee was appointed in February 1987 on the
recommendation of the Misra Commission to enquire into the role of the
police, which the Marwah Commission had almost completed in 1985 itself,
when the government asked that committee to wind up and not proceed
After almost two years, this committee was appointed for the same purpose.
This committee consisted of Justice Dalip Kapur and Mrs Kusum Mittal,
retired Secretary of Uttar Pradesh. It submitted its report in 1990. Seventy-
two police officers were identified for their connivance or gross negligence.
The committee recommended forthwith dismissal of 30 police officers out of
72. However, till date, not a single police officer has been awarded any kind
of punishment.
Jain Banerjee Committee[edit]
This committee was recommended by the Misra Commission for
recommending registration of cases. It consisted of Justice M.L. Jain, former
Judge of the Delhi High Court and Mr A.K. Banerjee, retired Inspector
General of Police.
The Misra Commission held in its report that a large number of cases had not
been registered and wherever the victims named political leaders or police
officers, cases were not registered against them. This committee
recommended registration of cases against Mr Sajjan Kumar in August 1987,
but no case was registered.
In November 1987, press reports criticised the government for not registering
cases despite the recommendation of the committee. In December 1987, one
of the co-accused along with Sajjan Kumar, namely Mr Brahmanand Gupta
filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court and obtained a stay against this
committee. The government did not oppose the stay. The Citizen's Justice
Committee filed an application for vacating the stay. Ultimately, the writ
petition was decided in August 1989 and the high court quashed the
appointment of this committee. An appeal was filed by the Citizens Justice
Committee in the Supreme Court of India.
Potti Rosha Committee[edit]
Potti Rosha Committee was appointed in March 1990, by the V.P. Singh
government, as a successor to the Jain Banerjee Committee. In August
1990, Potti-Rosha issued recommendations for filing cases based on
affidavits victims of the violence had submitted. There was one
against Sajjan Kumar. A CBI team went to Kumar's home to file the charges.
His supporters locked them up and threatened them harm if they persisted in
their designs on their leader. As a result of this intimidation, when Potti-
Rosha's term expired in September 1990, Potti and Rosha decided to
disband their inquiry.
Jain Aggarwal Committee[edit]
The committee was appointed in December 1990 as a successor to the Potti
Rosha Committee. It consisted of Justice J.D. Jain, retired Judge of the Delhi
High Court and Mr D.K. Aggarwal, retired DGP of Uttar Pradesh. This
committee recommended registration of cases against H.K.L. Bhagat, Sajjan
Kumar, Dharamdas Shastri and Jagdish Tytler.
The Committee also suggested setting up of two three Special
Investigating Teams in the Delhi Police under a Deputy Commissioner of
Police and the overall supervision by the Additional Commissioner of Police,
In-charge CID and also to review the work-load of the three Special Courts
set up to deal with October November 1984 riots cases exclusively so that
these cases could be taken up on day-to-day basis.
The question of appointment of Special Prosecutors to deal with October
November 1984 riots cases exclusively was also discussed. This committee
was wound up in August 1993. However, the cases recommended by this
committee were not even registered by the police.
Ahuja Committee[edit]
Ahuja Committee was the third committee recommended by the Misra
Commission to ascertain the total number of killings in Delhi. This committee
submitted its report in August 1987 and gave a figure of 2,733 as the number
of Sikhs killed in Delhi alone.
Dhillon Committee[edit]
The Dhillon Committee, headed by Mr Gurdial Singh Dhillon was appointed
in 1985 to recommend measures for the rehabilitation of the victims.
This committee submitted its report by the end of 1985. One of its major
recommendations was that the business establishments, which had
insurance cover, but whose insurance claims were not settled by insurance
companies on the technical ground that riot was not covered under
insurance, should be paid compensation under the directions of the
government. This committee recommended that since all insurance
companies were nationalised, they be directed to pay the claims. However,
the government did not accept this recommendation and as a result
insurance claims were rejected by all insurance companies throughout the
Narula Committee[edit]
Narula Committee was appointed in December 1993 by the Madan Lal
Khurana led BJP government in Delhi. One of the recommendations of the
Narula Committee was to convince the Central Government to grant sanction
in this matter.
Mr. Khurana took up the matter with the Central Government and in the
middle of 1994, the Central Government decided that the matter did not fall
within its purview and sent the case to the Lt. Governor of Delhi. It took two
years for the Narasimha Rao Government to decide that it did not fall within
Centre's purview.
Narasimha Rao Government further delayed the case. This committee
submitted its report in January 1994 and recommended the registration of
cases against H.K.L. Bhagat and Sajjan Kumar. Ultimately, despite the delay
by the Central government, the CBI was able to file the charge sheet in
December 1994.
The Nanavati Commission[edit]
The Nanavati Commission was established in 2000 after some
dissatisfaction was expressed with previous reports.
The Nanavati
Commission was appointed by a unanimous resolution passed in the Rajya
Sabha. This commission was headed by Justice G.T. Nanavati, retired Judge
of the Supreme Court of India. The commission submitted its report in
February 2004. The commission reported that recorded accounts from
victims and witnesses "indicate that local Congress leaders and workers had
either incited or helped the mobs in attacking the Sikhs".
Its report also
found evidence against Jagdish Tytler "to the effect that very probably he
had a hand in organising attacks on Sikhs".
It also recommended
that Sajjan Kumar's involvement in the rioting required a closer look. The
commission's report also cleared Rajiv Gandhi and other high
ranking Congress (I) party members of any involvement in organising riots
against Sikhs. It did find, however, that the Delhi Police fired about 392
rounds of bullets, arrested approximately 372 persons, and "remained
passive and did not provide protection to the people" throughout the

Role of Jagdish Tytler[edit]

Jagdish Tytler in 2010
India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) closed all cases against Jagdish
Tytler in November 2007 for his alleged criminal conspiracy to engineer riots
against Sikhs in the aftermath of Indira Gandhis assassination on 31
October 1984. CBI submitted a report to the Delhi court which stated that no
evidence or witness was found to corroborate the allegations against Tytler
of leading murderous mobs during 1984 Re-probe Tytlers role: Court.
was also alleged in the court that then member of Indian Parliament Jagdish
Tytler was complaining to his supporters about relatively "small" number of
Sikhs killed in his parliamentary constituency Delhi Sadar, which in his
opinion had undermined his position in the ruling Indian National
Congress party of India.

However in December 2007, a certain witness, Jasbir Singh, who is living in
California, appeared on several private television news channels in India,
and stated he was never contacted by Central Bureau of Investigation.
India's main opposition party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded an
explanation from the minister in-charge of CBI in Indian Parliament.
However, Minister of State for Personnel Suresh Pachouri, who is in-charge
of department of CBI, and was present in the parliament session, refused to
make a statement.

On 18 December 2007, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Delhi
court, Sanjeev Jain, who had earlier dismissed the case after CBI submitted
a misleading report in his court, ordered India's Central Bureau of
Investigation to reopen cases relating to 1984 anti-Sikh riots against Jagdish

In December 2008, a two-member CBI team was sent to New York to record
the statements of two eyewitnesses, Jasbir Singh and Surinder Singh. The
two witnesses have stated that they saw Jagdish Tytler lead a mob during
the riot, but did not want to come to India as they feared for their
They also blamed the CBI for not conducting a fair trial and
accused it of protecting Tytler.
However, in March 2009, CBI gave a clean chit to Tytler, amidst protests
from Sikhs and the opposition parties.

On 7 April 2009, a Sikh reporter with Dainik Jagran, Jarnail Singh hurled his
shoe at home minister P Chidambaram in protest against the clean chit given
to Tytler and Sajjan Kumar. He was however let off as the home minister did
not want the police to pursue the case, in lieu of the upcoming Lok Sabha
(general) elections.

On 9 April 2009, over 500 protesters from various Sikh organisations from all
over the country gathered outside the court which was scheduled to hear
CBI's plea of closing the case against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler in the
1984 anti-Sikh riotscase. Later in the day, Tytler announced his decision to
pull out of the Lok Sabha elections, saying he does not want to cause
embarrassment to his party. This has forced the Congress party to cut the
Tytler and Sajjan Kumar Lok Sabha tickets.
On 10 April 2013, Delhi court
ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to reopen the 1984 anti-
Sikh riots case against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler.Court ordered CBI to
further probe killing of 3 persons in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which
Jagdish Tytler was given clean chit.

Civil case in New York[edit]

Kamal Nath in 2008
On 14 March 2011, an American-based NGO, Sikhs for Justice, filed a civil
suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York accusing the Indian government of complicity in the riots. The court
issued a summons to the Indian Congress Party and Kamal


The court complaint was dismissed in March 2012 by Judge
Robert Sweet of the US District Court Southern District of New York, against
Nath, who stated that the court lacked jurisdiction in the case.
The 22-
page order granted Nath's motion to dismiss the claim, and the judge also
noted that 'Sikhs for Justice' failed to serve the summons and its complaints
to Nath in an appropriate and desired manner.
On September 3, 2013 a
Federal Court in New York issued summons to Sonia Gandhi for her alleged
role in protecting the culprits of the 1984 Anti Sikh Riots.

Alleged Role of Amitabh Bachchan[edit]
Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan was accused by certain members of
the Sikh community of instigating attacks
He is alleged to have made
polemic remarks saying "Khoon ka Badla Khoon se lenge" (Blood for
Responding to the allegations, Mr Bachchan is said to
pleading his innocence to the Akal Takht.

Impact and legacy[edit]
It seemed easy for [former Prime Minister] Rajiv Gandhi to say, When a
giant tree falls, the earth below shakes. Our trees fell and we can still feel
the tremors. -Victim whose husband was burned alive during the riots

The attack on the Sikh community in India is remembered annually in the
United Kingdom with a remembrance march through London bringing
together thousands of Sikhs from all over the UK.
[citation needed]
The Sikh riots
are cited as a reason to support creation of a Sikh homeland in India, often
called Khalistan.

Many ordinary Indians of different religious dispositions made significant
efforts to hide and help Sikh families during the rioting.
Recently on 15 July
2010 the Sikh high clergy (Jathedar) declared the events following the death
of Indira Gandhi to be a Sikh "Genocide" replacing the widely used term
"Anti-Sikh riots" used by the Indian government, media and other
The decision came soon after a similar motion was raised in the
Canadian Parliament by a Sikh MP.

Operation Blue Star
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article needs additional citations for verification. Please
help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2013)
Operation Blue Star

Akal Takht being repaired by the Indian
Government after the attack
Date 38 June 1984
Location Harmandir Sahib
Complex in Amritsar, India
Jarnail Singh
Bhindranwale killed.
Akal Takht and various other
buildings heavily damaged.
Militants cleared out of
Harmandir Sahib complex.
Assassination of Prime
Minister Indira Gandhi in
* Indian Army
Central Reserve
Police Force
Border Security
Punjab Police
Supported by:
Special Air

Sikh militants

Nihung guards

Commanders and leaders
General Kuldip Singh
Lt Gen Ranjit Singh

Lt Gen Krishnaswamy
Peter de la Billire
Sant Jarnail Singh
Bhai Amrik
Shabeg Singh
10,000 armed troops. of
9th Division, National
Security Guard
Regiment and Artillery
175 200

700 jawans of CRPF 4th
Battallion and BSF 7th
150 Jawans of Punjab
Armed Police and
officers from Harmandir
Police Station.

Casualties and losses
136 total casualties
combatants killed
civilians killed
Operation Blue Star was an Indian military operation which took place 38 June 1984,
ordered by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
in order to establish control
the Harmandir Sahib Complex in Amritsar, Punjab and remove Jarnail Singh
Bhindranwale and his armed followers from the complex buildings. Bhindranwale had
earlier taken residence in Harmandir Sahib and made it his headquarters in April 1980.
Bhindranwale was accused of amassing weapons in the gurudwara in order to start a
major armed uprising.
These reasons are contested by most Sikh scholars who claim
that the Akal Takhat is a temporal seat and keeping weapons in gurudwaras is well
within the precincts of Sikhism.
The operation had two components: Operation Metal, confined to the Harmandir Sahib
complex, and Operation Shop, which raided the Punjabi countryside to capture any
Following it, Operation Woodrose was launched to thoroughly scan the
Punjab countryside. The operation was carried out by Indian Army troops with tanks,
artillery, helicopters, armoured vehicles, and chemical weapons.
Actual casualty
figures given by Kuldip Singh Brar put the number of deaths among the Indian army at
83 and injuries at 220.
According to the official estimate, 492 civilians were
though some independent claims run as high as 5,000.

In addition, the CBI is considered responsible for seizing historical artifacts and
manuscripts in the Sikh Reference Library, before burning it down.
The military action
led to an uproar amongst Sikhs worldwide and the increased tension following the
action led to assaults on members of the Sikh community within India. Many Sikh
soldiers in the Indian army mutinied, many Sikhs resigned from armed and civil
administrative office and several returned awards and honours they had received from
the Indian government.

Four months after the operation, on 31 October 1984, Indira Gandhi was assassinated
by Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, two of her Sikh bodyguards, in what is viewed as an
act of vengeance. Subsequently, more than 3,000 Sikhs were killed in the ensuing anti-
Sikh riots.
Within the Sikh community itself, Operation Blue Star has taken on
considerable historical significance and is often compared to what Sikhs call 'the great
massacre' by the Afghan invader Ahmad Shah Durrani, the Sikh holocaust of 1762.

1 Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in Harmandir Sahib
2 The Operation
o 2.1 June 1
o 2.2 June 2
o 2.3 June 3
o 2.4 June 4
o 2.5 June 5
2.5.1 1900 hrs
2.5.2 22000730 hrs
o 2.6 June 6
o 2.7 June 7
o 2.8 June 810, 1984
3 Casualties
4 Aftermath
5 Criticisms
o 5.1 Last resort
o 5.2 Timing
o 5.3 Media Blackout
o 5.4 Human rights
o 5.5 Honours to the soldiers
6 See also
7 References
8 Further reading
9 External links
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in Harmandir Sahib[edit]

Sri Harmandir Sahib at night
Throughout his career Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale remained in contact with Indira
Bhindranwale had earlier taken residence in Harmandir Sahib and made it
his headquarters in April 1980, when he was accused of the assassination
ofNirankari Gurbachan Singh.
The Nirankari Baba, also known as Baba Gurbachan,
had been the target of an attack by followers of Bhindranwale, outside Harmandir Sahib.
On 13 April 1978, Nirankari's Baba Gurbachan is alleged to have ridiculed 10th Guru
Gobind Singh in a Nirankari Convention held in Amritsar. This promptedAkhand Kirtani
Jatha to lead a peaceful protest against the offensive actions by Baba Gurbachan.
Police responded to the Sikhs' peaceful protest by opening fire on them. Amritsar police
used guns to fire at the protesters. In the ensuing violence, several people were killed:
two of Bhindranwale's followers, eleven members of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha (total 13
Sikhs) and three Nirankaris.

In 1982, Bhindranwale and approximately 600 armed followers moved into a guest-
house called the Guru Nanak Niwas, in the precinct of Harmandir Sahib.
From here
he met and was interviewed by international television crews.

By 1983, Harmandir Sahib became a fort for a large number of separatists.
On 23
April 1983, the Punjab Police Deputy Inspector General A. S. Atwal was shot dead as
he left the Harmandir Sahib compound. The following day, after the murder, Harchand
Singh Longowal (then president of Shiromani Akali Dal) hinted at the involvement
of Bhindranwale in the murder.

Harmandir Sahib compound and some of the surrounding houses were fortified. The
Statesman reported on 4 July that light machine-guns and semi-automatic rifles were
known to have been brought into the compound.
Faced with imminent army action
and with the foremost Sikh political organisation, Shiromani Akali Dal (headed by
Harchand Singh Longowal), abandoning him, Bhindranwale declared "This bird is alone.
There are many hunters after it".

Time magazine described Amritsar in November 1983: "These days it more closely
resembles a city of death. Inside the temple compound, violent Sikh fanatics wield
submachine guns, resisting arrest by government security forces. Outside, the security
men keep a nervous vigil, all too aware that the bodies of murdered comrades often turn
up in the warren of tiny streets around the shrine."

On 15 December 1983, Bhindranwale was forced to move out of Guru Nanak Niwas
house by members of the Babbar Khalsa who acted with Harcharan Singh Longowal's
support. Longowal by now feared for his own safety.

The Operation[edit]

The Indian Army used seven Vijayanta Tanks during the operation

According to the Indian government, Operation Blue Star was launched to eliminate
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his followers who had sought cover in the Amritsar
Harmandir Sahib Complex. The armed Sikhs within the Harmandir Sahib were led
by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and former Maj. Gen.Shabeg Singh. Lt. Gen. Kuldip
Singh Brar had command of the action, operating under Gen. Sundarji.
Indira Gandhi first asked Lt. Gen. S. K. Sinha, then Vice-Chief of Indian Army and
selected to become the next Army chief, to prepare a position paper for assault on the
Golden Temple.
Lt. Gen. Sinha advised against any such move, given its sacrilegious
nature according to Sikh tradition. He suggested the government adopt an alternative
solution. A controversial decision was made to replace him with General Arun Shridhar
Vaidya as the Chief of the Indian army. General Vaidya, assisted by Lt. Gen. K
Sundarji as Vice-Chief, planned and coordinated Operation Blue Star.

On 3 June, a 36-hour curfew was imposed on the state of Punjab with all methods of
communication and public travel suspended.
Electricity supplies were also
interrupted, creating a total blackout and cutting off the state from the rest of India and
the world.
Complete censorship was enforced on the news media.

The Indian Army stormed Harmandir Sahib on the night of 5 June under the command
of Kuldip Singh Brar. The forces had full control of Harmandir Sahib by the morning of 7
June. There were casualties among the army, civilians, and militants. Sikh leaders
Bhindranwale and Shabeg Singh were killed in the operation.

June 1
At 1240 hrs the CRPF started firing at "Guru Ram Das Langar" building. The Border
Security Force and the Central Reserve Police Force, under orders of the Army, started
firing upon the Complex, in which at least 8 people died.

June 2
The Indian army had already sealed the international border from Kashmir to Ganga
Nagar, Rajasthan. At least seven divisions of army were deployed in villages of Punjab.
By the nightfall media and the press were gagged; the rail, road and air services in
Punjab were suspended. Foreigners' and NRIs' entry was also banned . General Gauri
Shankar was appointed as the Security Advisor to the Governor of Punjab. The water
and electricity supply was cut off.

June 3
A complete curfew was observed with the army and para-military patrolling the whole
Punjab. The army sealed off all routes of ingress and exit around the temple complex.
June 4
The army started bombarding the historic Ramgarhia Bungas, the water tank, and other
fortified positions. The army used Ordnance QF 25 pounder and destroyed the outer
defences laid by General Shabeg Singh. The army then placed tanks and APCs on the
road separating the Guru Nanak niwas building. About 100 died in pitched battles.

Nearly fifty thousand Sikhs gathered in the Golewal village about 25 km from Amritsar to
fight the army, thirty thousand converged from the side of Batala in Gurdaspur district
and about twenty thousand Sikhs gathered at Chauk Mehta, the headquarters
of Damdami Taksal. Another formation of about twenty thousand were marching from
the side of Harik Patan at confluence of the riversSutlej and Beas.
[citation needed]

The army helicopters spotted the massive movements, and General K. Sunderji sent
tanks and APCs to meet them. Hundreds or thousands of Sikhs were killed at the

The artillery and small arms firing stopped for a while, and Gurcharan Singh Tohra,
former head of SGPC was sent to negotiate with Bindrawale, however, he was
unsuccessful. The firing resumed again.
June 5
In the morning, shelling started on the building inside the Harmandir Sahib
The 9th division launched a frontal attack on the Akal Takht, although it was
unable to secure the building.
1900 hrs[edit]
The BSF and CRPF attacked Hotel Temple View and Brahm Boota Akhara respectively
on the southwest fringes of the complex. By 2200 hours both the structures were under
their control.
The Army simultaneously attacked various other gurdwaras. Sources
mention either 42 or 74 locations.

22000730 hrs[edit]

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help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2013)
Late in the evening, the generals decided to launch a simultaneous attack from three
sides. 10 Guards, 1 Para Commandos and Special Frontier Force (SFF) would attack
from the main entrance of the complex, and 26 Madras and 9 Kumaon battalions from
the hostel complex side entrance from the south. The objective of the 10 Guards was to
secure the northern wing of the Temple complex and draw attention away from SFF
who were to secure the western wing of the complex and 1 Para Commandos who were
to gain a foothold in Akal Takht and in Harmandir Sahab, with the help of divers. 26
Madras was tasked with securing the southern and the eastern complexes, and the 9
Kumaon regiment with SGPC building and Guru Ramdas Serai. 12 Bihar was charged
with providing a cordon and fire support to the other regiments by neutralising enemy
positions under their observance.

As the troops entered the temple from the Northern entrance, they were gunned down
by light machine-gun fire from both sides of the steps. The few commandos who did get
down the steps were driven back by a barrage of fire from the building on the south side
of the sacred pool, and thus they failed to reach the pavement around the Sacred Pool.
The commandos and SFF inched pillar by pillar to reach the western wing where they
came under fire from Harmandir Sahib itself. They were under strict instructions not to
fire at Harmandir Sahib, the sanctum sanctorum, and instead told to focus on Akal
An initial attempt by the commandos to gain a foothold at Darshani Deori failed as they
came under devastating fire, after which several further attempts were made with
varying degrees of success. Eventually, other teams managed to reach Darshani Deori,
a building north of the Nishant Sahib, and started to fire at the Akal Takth and a red
building towards its left, so that the SFF troops could get closer to the Darshani Deori
and fire gas canisters at Akal Takth. The canisters bounced off the building and affected
the troops instead.
Meanwhile, 26 Madras and 9 Garhwal Rifles (reserve troops) had come under heavy
fire from the Langar rooftop, Guru Ramdas Serai and the buildings in the vicinity.
Moreover, they took a lot of time in forcing open the heavy Southern Gate, which had to
be shot open with tank fire. This delay caused a lot a of casualties among the Indian
troops fighting inside the complex. Three tanks and an APC had entered the complex.
Crawling was impossible as Shabeg Singh had placed light machine guns nine or ten
inches above the ground. The attempt caused many casualties among the Indian
troops. A third attempt to gain the Pool was made by a squad of 200 troops from both
the commandos and the Guards. On the southern side, the Madras and Garhwal
battalions were not able to make it to the pavement around the pool because they were
engaged by positions on the southern side.
Despite the mounting casualties, General Sunderji ordered a fourth assault by the
commandos. This time, the Madras battalion was reinforced with two more companies
of the 7th Garhwal Rifles under the command of General K S Brar. However, the
Madras and Garhwal troops under Brigadier A K Diwan once again failed to move
towards the parikarma (the pavement around the pool).
Brigadier Diwan reported heavy casualties and requested more reinforcements. General
Brar sent two companies of 15 Kumaon Regiment. This resulted in yet more heavy
casualties, forcing Brigadier Diwan to request tank support. As the APC inched closer to
the Akal Takth it was hit with an anti tank RPG, which immediately immobilized it. Brar
also requested tank support. The tanks received the clearance to fire their main guns
(105 mm high explosive Squash Head shells) only at around 7.30 am.

June 6
Vijayanta tanks shelled and destroyed the Akal Takhat. A group trying to escape was
mowed down by machine gun fire.
[citation needed]
The resistance continued from the
neighbouring structures of the Akal Takhat.
[citation needed]

June 7
The army gained effective control of the Harmandir Sahib complex.
[citation needed]

June 810, 1984[edit]
The Army fought about four militant Sikhs holed up in basement of a tower. A colonel of
the commandos was shot dead by an LMG burst while trying to force his way into the
basement. By the afternoon of 10 June, the entire operation was completed.
[citation needed]

The Army placed total casualties at:

Civilians: 492 dead
Military: 136 killed and 220 wounded.
Unofficial casualty figures were much higher.
Some suggest that civilian casualties
numbered 20,000.

Mark Tully and Satish Jacob mention of use of tanks by the army at Sultanwind area
over the civilian Sikhs marching towards Amritsar.

According to the independent sources, the number of military personnel was at least
In one of his speeches, Rajiv Gandhi, the former prime minister of India,
admitted to have lost more than 700 soldiers in this operation.
CNN-IBN on the 25
death anniversary of Indira Gandhi, i.e. 31 Oct 2009, reported to have lost 365
Apart from this, an unspecified number of soldiers were been reported
killed during the fighting at 38 other gurdwaras in Punjab. Strong resistance was
reported at Muktsar and Moga.
On top of this, more Indian army personnel would
have perished during mutinies by Sikh soldiers at different military locations across

Main articles: Assassination of Indira Gandhi and 1984 anti-Sikh riots
At least 4000
Sikh soldiers mutinied at different locations in India in protest, with
some reports of large-scale pitched battles being fought to bring mutineers under

The operation also led to the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 31
October 1984 by two of her Sikh bodyguards,
triggering the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
The widespread killing of Sikhs, principally in the national capital Delhi but also in other
major cities in North India, led to major divisions between the Sikh community and
the Indian Government. The army withdrew from Harmandir Sahib later in 1984 under
pressure from Sikh demands.

General Arun Shridhar Vaidya, the Chief of Army Staff at the time of Operation Blue
Star, was assassinated in 1986 in Pune by two Sikhs, Harjinder Singh
Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha. Both were sentenced to death, and hanged on 7
October 1992.
Sikh separatists continued to use and occupy the temple compound and on 1 May
1986, Indian paramilitary police entered the temple and arrested 200 separatists that
had occupied Harmandir Sahib for more than three months.
On 2 May 1986 the
paramilitary police undertook a 12-hour operation to take control of Harmandir Sahib at
Amritsar from several hundred separatists, but almost all the major radical leaders
managed to escape.
In June 1990, the Indian government ordered the area
surrounding the temple to be vacated by local residents in order to prevent separatists
activity around the temple.

The use of artillery in the congested inner city of Amritsar proved deadly to many civilian
bystanders living near Harmandir Sahib. The media blackout throughout the Punjab
resulted in widespread doubt regarding the official stories and aided the promotion of
hearsay and rumour.
The operation is criticised on four main grounds: the choice of
time of attack by Government, the heavy casualties, the loss of property, and
allegations of human rights violations by Army personnel.
In addition, Indira Gandhi has been accused of using the attack for political ends. Dr.
Harjinder Singh Dilgeer stated that Indira Gandhi attacked the Harmandir
Sahib complex to present herself as a great hero in order to win forthcoming

Last resort[edit]
S. K. Sinha, the GOC of the Indian Army who was sacked just before the attack, had
advised the government against the operation.
He later criticized the Government's
claim that the attack represented a "last resort".
He also stated that the operation
would have been conducted in an entirely different manner if he had planned it.

He also pointed out that a few days before the operation, the Home Minister had
announced that the troops would not be sent to Harmandir Sahib.
, but the operation
seems to have been in plans much earlier. The General has alleged that the army had
been rehearsing the operation in a replica of Harmandir Sahib at a secret location
near Chakrata Cantonment in the Doon Valley.

The timing of Operation Blue Star coincided with a Sikh religious day, the martyrdom
of Guru Arjan Dev, the founder of the Harmandir Sahib. Sikhs from all over the world
visit the temple on this day. Many Sikhs view the timing and attack by the Indian Army
as an attempt to inflict maximum casualties on Sikhs and demoralise them,
and the
government is in turn blamed for the inflated number of civilian dead for choosing to
attack on this day. The justification given by the Centre was the announcement made by
Longowal that a State-wide civil disobedience movement would be launched on 3 June
1984, by refusing to pay land revenue, water and electricity bills, and blocking the flow
of grain out of Punjab.

The Sikh community's anger and suffering was further increased by comments from
leading newspaper editors, such as Ramnath Goenka, terming the operation as "A
greater victory than the win over Bangladesh, this is the greatest victory of Mrs.

Media Blackout[edit]

Brahma Chellaney was the only reporter for a foreign news service in Amritsar during
the media blackout.
Before the attack by army a media blackout was imposed in Punjab.
Times reporter Michael Hamlyn reported that journalists were picked up from their
hotels at 5 am in a military bus, taken to the adjoining border of the state
of Haryana and "were abandoned there".
The main towns in Punjab were put under
curfew, transportation was banned, a news blackout was imposed, and Punjab was "cut
off from the outside world".
A group of journalists who later tried to drive into Punjab
were stopped at the road block at Punjab border and were threatened with shooting if
they proceeded.
Indian nationals who worked with the foreign media also were
banned from the area.
The press criticized these actions by government as an
"obvious attempt to attack the temple without the eyes of the foreign press on
Associated Press reporter Brahma Chellaney managed to report on the
Human rights[edit]
Brahma Chellaney, who was then the South Asia correspondent of the Associated
Press, was the only foreign reporter who managed to stay on in Amritsar despite the
media blackout.
His dispatches, filed by telex, provided the first non-governmental
news reports on the bloody operation in Amritsar. His first dispatch, front-paged by
the New York Times, The Times of London and The Guardian, reported a death toll
about twice of what authorities had admitted. According to the dispatch, about 780
militants and civilians and 400 troops had perished in fierce gunbattles. The high
casualty rates among security forces were attributed to "the presence of such
sophisticated weapons as medium machine guns and rockets" in the militants

Mr. Chellaney also reported that several suspected Sikh militants had been shot with
their hands tied.
The dispatch, after its first paragraph reference to several such
deaths, specified later that eight to 10 men had been shot in that fashion.
In that
dispatch, Mr. Chellaney interviewed a doctor who said he was picked up by the army
and forced to conduct postmortems despite the fact he had never done any postmortem
examination before.
The number of casualties reported by Mr. Chellaney were far
more than government reports,
and the Indian government, which disputed his
casualty figures
, accused him of inflammatory reporting.
The Associated Press
stood by the reports and figures, the accuracy of which was also "supported
by Indian and other press accounts" and by reports in The Times and The New York

Similar accusations of highhandedness by the Indian Army and allegations of human
rights violations by security forces in Operation Blue Star and subsequent military
operations in Punjab have been levelled by Justice V. M. Tarkunde,
Mary Anne
human rights lawyer Ram Narayan Kumar,
and anthropologists Cynthia
Mahmood and Joyce Pettigrew.

The Indian Army responded to this criticism by stating that they "answered the call of
duty as disciplined, loyal and dedicated members of the Armed Forces of India...our
loyalties are to the nation, the armed forces to which we belong, the uniforms we wear
and to the troops we command".

It was later pointed out that as the blockade approach taken by Rajiv Gandhi five years
later in Operation Black Thunder, when Sikh militants had again taken over the temple
complex, was highly successful as they managed to resolve the stand-off peacefully
and in hindsight, Operation Blue Star could have been averted by using similar
blockade tactics. The army responded by stating that "no comparison is possible
between the two situations", as "there was no cult figure like Bhindranwale to idolise,
and no professional military general like Shahbeg Singh to provide military leadership"
and "the confidence of militants having been shattered by Operation Blue
Furthermore, it is pointed out that the separatists in the temple were armed
with machine guns, anti tank missiles and rocket launchers, and that they strongly
resisted the army's attempts to dislodge them from the shrine, appearing to have
planned for a long stand-off, having arranged for water to be supplied from wells within
the temple compound and had stocked food provisions that could have lasted

The Hindustan Times correspondent Chand Joshi alleged that the army units "acted in
total anger" and shot down all the suspects rounded up from the temple
Mark Tully and Satish Jacob, in Amritsar; Mrs. Gandhi's Last Battle,
criticized the Army for burning down the Sikh Reference Library, stating that it did this to
destroy the culture of the Sikhs. In The Sikhs of Punjab, Joyce Pettigrew alleges that
the army conducted the operation to "suppress the culture, and political will, of a

Honours to the soldiers[edit]
The soldiers and generals involved in the Operation were presented with gallantry
awards, honours, decoration strips and promotions by the Sikh president Zail Singh in a
ceremony conducted on 10 July 1985. The act was criticized by authors and activists
such as Harjinder Singh Dilgeer, who accused the troops of human rights violations
during the Operation.

2013 Muzaffarnagar riots
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2013 Muzaffarnagar riots
Date 27 August 2013
17 September 2013
Muzaffarnagar district, Uttar
Pradesh, India
29.472332N 77.708874E
Causes Brawl between Hindu and
Muslim youth at Kawal village on
27 August

Violence and action
Death(s) 49

Injuries 93

Arrested 1,000 booked

Detained 10,000

Location of riots in Uttar Pradesh, India
The clashes between the Hindu and Muslim communities in Muzaffarnagar district, Uttar
Pradesh, India in August - September 2013, resulted in at least 49 deaths and injured
By 17 September, the curfew was lifted from all riot affected areas and the
army was also withdrawn.

The riot has been described as "the worst violence in Uttar Pradesh in recent history,"
with the army, as a result, being deployed in the state for the first time in last 20

1 Initial clashes
2 Gathering of masses
3 Jauli Canal Incident
4 Sexual violence
5 Aftermath
o 5.1 Mahapanchayat in Sardhana
o 5.2 Repercussions
6 Action
7 Investigation
o 7.1 Misuse of social media
o 7.2 Sting operation
8 Response
9 Reactions
10 Relief camps
o 10.1 Deaths in camps
11 See also
12 References
13 External links
Initial clashes[edit]
Clashes between two communities, Jat and muslims, in Shamli and Muzaffarnagar,
India began on 27 August 2013. The original cause of the rioting is disputed according
to bipartisan claims largely concerning the affected communities.
In this case, the
cause of this rioting alternates between a traffic accident and an eve-teasing incident.
According to the first version, the cause was a minor traffic accident involving some
youths which then spiralled out of control when it eventually took on religious
In the second version, a girl from the Hindu Jat community was allegedly
harassed in an Eve-teasing incident by one Muslim youth in Kawal village.
retaliation, Hindu relatives of the girl in question, Sachin Singh and Gaurav
killed the youth named Shahnawaz Qureshi.
The two brothers were
lynched by a Muslim mob when they tried to escape.
The police arrested eleven
members of the girl's family for the killing of the Muslim youth.
According to some
locals, the police did not act against the killers of the Hindu brothers.
According to
police records, Gaurav and Sachin picked a fight with Shahnawaz over a motorcycle
accident. While it has been widely reported that the fight was sparked off when
Shahnawaz harassed Gaurav and Sachins cousin sister, the FIR in the murder makes
no mention of sexual harassment or molestation.

NDTV carried a contradictory report on the Kawal village incident. The girl who was
allegedly harassed by Shahnawaz commented that she had not gone to Kawal or
known anybody by name of Shahnawaz,
but she said that harassment by Muslim
youth were common in Kawwal. There were no mention of harassment in police records
on that particular day.
Shahnawaz's father claims that the problem started when their
vehicles collided .
In the FIR registered for Shahnawaz's death, five people along with
Sachin and Gaurav were named to be responsible for his death. The reports mentions
that the seven men entered Shahnawaz's home, took him out and killed him with
swords and knives. Shahnawaz had later died on the way to hospital.
In the FIR
registers for Sachin and Gaurav's death, 7 other men were reported to be responsible,
with the root cause to be an altercation between a person named as Mujassim and
Gaurav after a bike accident.
Police are yet to arrest anyone named in the FIR.

After news of the killings spread, the members of both communities attacked each
other. The police took possession of the three dead bodies, and temporarily brought the
situation under control. The authorities also deployed Provincial Armed
Constabulary personnel in the village.

Gathering of masses[edit]
The killing of the three youths in Kawal village started echoing across the district. On 30
August, two days after the incident, local Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
and Congress leaders had hijacked a Muslim meeting demanding justice for the Kawal
Also, local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders are alleged to have given
an incendiary speech instigating the Hindu farmers on the same day. A First Information
Report (FIR) has been lodged against all the leaders. After the two meetings, the
farmers were attacked and killed.

Jauli Canal Incident[edit]
Clashes between the two communities occurred at low frequencies for the next two
weeks. Around 2000 Jats returning from the Mahapanchayat held at Kawwal were
ambushed by a Muslim
mob armed with assault rifles and other sophisticated
weapons near Jolly Canal on 7 September.
The mobs had set fire on 18 tractor
trollies and 3 motorbikes. According to the eyewitness accounts, the bodies were
dumped into the canal.
Although six bodies have been recovered, hundreds are still
District Magistrate agreed that many bodies were still missing, but doubted
whether the missing people were killed or had migrated earlier from the
Survivors of the Jolly Canal incident added that the policemen who were
watching the assault did not help the victims, as they had said that 'they do not have
orders to act'.
This Jolly canal incident aroused Jats to go on a rampage against
Muslims with the claim that the latter were responsible for the killings.
This led to the
riots, which killed around 43 people(including a news reporter and a
The casualties occurred before the Army was deployed and a curfew
was imposed in Muzaffarnagar and its surrounding Shamli district.
Even with the curfew and use of army the clashes continued for the next three days,
with casualties increasing to 43 by 12 September 2013. A state home department
official said that 38 people have died in Muzaffarnagar, 3 in Baghpat and one each in
Saharanpur and Meerut.
Sexual violence[edit]
The first case of gang-rape was registered in the aftermath of the riots from the village
of Fugana in Jogiya Kheda.
Later two more cases of rape were registered in
It was reported on 15 November 2013 that a total of 13 rape and sexual
harassment cases were registered over the past two months of rioting and the report
named 111 people in the incidents but no arrests had been made till then.

Mahapanchayat in Sardhana[edit]
A Mahapanchayat (great council) of 40 villages was held in Sardhana on 29 September
2013 to protest against the Uttar Pradesh government charging the
local BJP MLA Sangeet Singh Somunder the National Security Act. The crowd became
violent when the police began to brandish sticks. The situation turned tense when a
rumour spread that a youth injured in police action had died. Crowd set fire police jeeps
and other vehicles.

On 30 October, 3 people were killed and 1 injured after a clash between two
communities in Mohammadpur Raisingh village of Muzaffarnagar district. Police Forces
were deployed and an alert was sounded in the entire district. The incident is widely
seen as repercussion of the violence in September.

Approximately 1,000 army troops were deployed and curfew was imposed in the
violence-hit areas. 10,000 Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel,
1,300 Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF) troopers and 1,200 Rapid Action
Force (RAF) personnel were deployed to control the situation.

Around ten to twelve thousand preventive arrests were made by Police as of 11
September 2013. They cancelled 2,300 arms licenses, seized 2,000 arms, and filed
seven cases under the National Security Act.

Approximately 50,000 people have been displaced.
Some of them took shelter at ten
state-run relief camps.

Seventeen FIRs have been lodged against leaders including one for
the Mahapanchayat (great council) which organised by the Bharatiya Kisan Union
The Uttar Pradesh Government announced a one-member judicial
commission composed of Justice Vishnu Sahay, a retired Allahabad High Court judge
on 9 September 2013. The commission has been asked to submit a report about the
violence within two months.
The UP government also removed five senior officials of
the police and the administration from Muzaffarnagar for their poor handling of the

Misuse of social media[edit]
BJP MLA Sangeet Som was arrested for alleged involvement in fake video uploading
case depicting Hindu youth brutally murdered by Muslim mob and making provocative

Sting operation[edit]
A sting operation done by Headlines Today revealed that UP Minister Azam
Khan ordered Police Officers to release Muslims and not take action against
However, Azam Khan has denied the charges.

Political parties such as Bahujan Samaj Party,
Bharatiya Janata Party,
Lok Dal
and Muslim organizations including Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind
demanded the
dismissal of rulingSamajwadi Party government and imposition of President's rule in the
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde informed the press that he had already warned the
Uttar Pradesh government about the escalating communal tensions there, for which
Akhilesh Yadav had promised preventive measures.

Senior Samajwadi Party leader and Minority Welfare Minister Azam Khan was absent
from Partys national executive meeting which was held at Agra. He is reportedly
unhappy with the manner in which the district administration handled the situation in

Sompal Shastri, who was a candidate of Samajwadi Party from Baghpat, refused to
contest 2014 Loksabha polls.
Bhopal disaster
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be
found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until
thedispute is resolved. (December 2012)
Bhopal disaster

Bhopal memorial for those killed and disabled by the
1984 toxic gas release
Date 2 December 19843 December 1984
Location Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
231651N 772438ECoordinates:
231651N 772438E
Also known
Bhopal gas tragedy
Cause Gas leak from Union CarbideIndia
Limited storage tank
Deaths At least 3,787; over 16,000 claimed
Injuries At least 558,125
The Bhopal disaster, also referred to as the Bhopal gas tragedy, was a gas
leak incident in India, considered the world's worst industrial disaster.
It occurred on
the night of 23 December 1984 at the Union Carbide India
Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Over 500,000 people were
exposed to methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals. The toxic substance made its
way in and around the shanty towns located near the plant.
Estimates vary on the
death toll. The official immediate death toll was 2,259. The government of Madhya
Pradesh confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release.
Others estimate
8,000 died within two weeks and another 8,000 or more have since died from gas-
related diseases.
A government affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused 558,125
injuries including 38,478 temporary partial injuries and approximately 3,900 severely
and permanently disabling injuries.

UCIL was the Indian subsidiary of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), with Indian
Government-controlled banks and the Indian public holding a 49.1 percent stake. In
1994, the Supreme Court of India allowed UCC to sell its 50.9 percent interest in UCIL
to Eveready Industries India Limited (EIIL), which subsequently merged with McLeod
Russel (India) Ltd. Eveready Industries India, Limited, ended clean-up on the site in
1998, when it terminated its 99-year lease and turned over control of the site to the state
government of Madhya Pradesh. Dow Chemical Company purchased UCC in 2001,
seventeen years after the disaster.
Civil and criminal cases are pending in the District Court of Bhopal, India, involving UCC
and Warren Anderson, UCC CEO at the time of the disaster.
In June 2010, seven
ex-employees, including the former UCIL chairman, were convicted in Bhopal of
causing death by negligence and sentenced to two years imprisonment and a fine of
about $2,000 each, the maximum punishment allowed by Indian law. An eighth former
employee was also convicted, but died before the judgement was passed.

1 The pre-event phase
o 1.1 Earlier leaks
o 1.2 Contributing factors
o 1.3 Work conditions
o 1.4 Equipment and safety regulations
o 1.5 Safety audits
2 The leakage and its immediate effects
o 2.1 The release
2.1.1 The gas cloud
2.1.2 Release theories
o 2.2 Acute effects
2.2.1 Hydrogen cyanide debate
3 Long-term effects
o 3.1 Long-term health effects
o 3.2 Health care
o 3.3 Environmental rehabilitation
o 3.4 Occupational and habitation rehabilitation
o 3.5 Economic rehabilitation
4 Union Carbide's defence
o 4.1 Investigation into possible sabotage
o 4.2 Safety and equipment issues
o 4.3 Response
5 Legal action against Union Carbide
o 5.1 Legal proceedings leading to the settlement
o 5.2 Charges against UCC and UCIL employees
6 Ongoing contamination
7 Activism
o 7.1 Local activism
o 7.2 International activism
o 7.3 Activist organisations
o 7.4 Settlement fund hoax
o 7.5 Monitoring of Bhopal activists
8 See also
9 Citations
10 References
o 10.1 Union Carbide Corporation
11 External links
The pre-event phase
The UCIL factory was built in 1969 to produce the pesticide Sevin (UCC's brand name
for carbaryl) using methyl isocyanate (MIC) as an intermediate.
A MIC production
plant was added in 1979.
After the Bhopal plant was built, other manufacturers
including Bayer produced carbaryl without MIC, though at a greater manufacturing cost.
However, Bayer also used the UCC process at the chemical plant once owned by UCC
at Institute, West Virginia, in the United States.

The chemical process employed in the Bhopal plant had methylamine reacting
with phosgene to form MIC, which was then reacted with 1-naphthol to form the final
product, carbaryl. This "route" differed from the MIC-free routes used elsewhere, in
which the same raw materials were combined in a different manufacturing order, with
phosgene first reacting with naphthol to form a chloroformate ester, which was then
reacted with methylamine. In the early 1980s, the demand for pesticides had fallen, but
production continued, leading to build-up of stores of unused MIC.

Earlier leaks
In 1976, two trade unions complained of pollution within the plant.
In 1981, a worker
was splashed with phosgene. In a panic, he removed his mask, inhaling a large amount
of phosgene gas which resulted in his death 72 hours later.
Local Indian authorities
had warned the company of the problem as early as 1979, but constructive actions were
not undertaken by UCIC at that time.
In January 1982, a phosgene leak exposed 24
workers, all of whom were admitted to a hospital. None of the workers had been
ordered to wear protective masks. One month later, in February 1982, a MIC leak
affected 18 workers. In August 1982, a chemical engineer came into contact with liquid
MIC, resulting in burns over 30 percent of his body. Later that same year, in October
1982, there was another MIC leak. In attempting to stop the leak, the MIC supervisor
suffered intensive chemical burns and two other workers were severely exposed to the
gases. During 1983 and 1984, there were leaks of MIC, chlorine, monomethylamine,
phosgene, and carbon tetrachloride, sometimes in combination.

Contributing factors
Factors leading to the magnitude of the gas leak mainly included problems such as
storing MIC in large tanks and filling beyond recommended levels, poor maintenance
after the plant ceased MIC production at the end of 1984, failure of several safety
systems due to poor maintenance, and safety systems being switched off to save
money including the MIC tank refrigeration system which could have mitigated the
disaster severity. The situation was worsened by the mushrooming of slums in the
vicinity of the plant, non-existent catastrophe plans, and shortcomings in health care
and socioeconomic rehabilitation.

Other factors identified by the inquiry included: use of a more dangerous pesticide
manufacturing method, large-scale MIC storage, plant location close to a densely
populated area, undersized safety devices, and the dependence on manual
Plant management deficiencies were also identified lack of skilled
operators, reduction of safety management, insufficient maintenance, and inadequate
emergency action plans.

Work conditions
Attempts to reduce expenses affected the factory's employees and their conditions.
Kurzman argues that "cuts...meant less stringent quality control and thus looser safety
rules. A pipe leaked? Don't replace it, employees said they were told...MIC workers
needed more training? They could do with less. Promotions were halted, seriously
affecting employee morale and driving some of the most
Workers were forced to use English manuals, even though only
a few had a grasp of the language.

By 1984, only six of the original twelve operators were still working with MIC and the
number of supervisory personnel was also halved. No maintenance supervisor was
placed on the night shift and instrument readings were taken every two hours, rather
than the previous and required one-hour readings.
Workers made complaints
about the cuts through their union but were ignored. One employee was fired after going
on a 15-day hunger strike. 70% of the plant's employees were fined before the disaster
for refusing to deviate from the proper safety regulations under pressure from the

In addition, some observers, such as those writing in the Trade Environmental
Database (TED) Case Studies as part of the Mandala Project from American University,
have pointed to "serious communication problems and management gaps between
Union Carbide and its Indian operation", characterised by "the parent companies [sic]
hands-off approach to its overseas operation" and "cross-cultural barriers".

Equipment and safety regulations
The MIC tank alarms had not been working for four years and there was only one
manual back-up system, compared to a four-stage system used in the United
The flare tower and several vent gas scrubbers had been out of service
for five months before the disaster. Only one gas scrubber was operating: it could not
treat such a large amount of MIC with sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), which would
have brought the concentration down to a safe level.
The flare tower could only
handle a quarter of the gas that leaked in 1984, and moreover it was out of order at the
time of the incident.
To reduce energy costs, the refrigeration system was idle.
The MIC was kept at 20 degrees Celsius, not the 4.5 degrees advised by the
Even the steam boiler, intended to clean the pipes, was non-
operational for unknown reasons.
Slip-blind plates that would have prevented
water from pipes being cleaned from leaking into the MIC tanks, had the valves been
faulty, were not installed and their installation had been omitted from the cleaning
AS MIC is water soluble, deluge guns were in place to contain escaping
gases from the stack. However, the water pressure was too weak for the guns to spray
high enough to reach the gas which would have reduced the concentration of escaping
gas significantly.
In addition to it, carbon steel valves were used at the factory,
even though they were known to corrode when exposed to acid.

According to the operators, the MIC tank pressure gauge had been malfunctioning for
roughly a week. Other tanks were used, rather than repairing the gauge. The build-up in
temperature and pressure is believed to have affected the magnitude of the gas
UCC admitted in their own investigation report that most of the safety
systems were not functioning on the night of 3 December 1984.
The design of the
MIC plant, following government guidelines, was "Indianized" by UCIL engineers to
maximise the use of indigenous materials and products. Mumbai-based Humphreys and
Glasgow Consultants Pvt. Ltd., were the main consultants, Larsen & Toubro fabricated
the MIC storage tanks, and Taylor of India Ltd. provided the instrumentation.
In 1998,
during civil action suits in India, it emerged that the plant was not prepared for problems.
No action plans had been established to cope with incidents of this magnitude. This
included not informing local authorities of the quantities or dangers of chemicals used
and manufactured at Bhopal.

Safety audits
Safety audits were done every year in the US and European UCC plants, but only every
two years in other parts of the world.
Before a "Business Confidential" safety audit
by UCC in May 1982, the senior officials of the corporation were well aware of "a total of
61 hazards, 30 of them major and 11 minor in the dangerous phosgene/methyl
isocyanate units" in Bhopal.
In the audit 1982, it was indicated that worker
performance was below standards.
Ten major concerns were listed.
prepared an action plan, but UCC never sent a follow-up team to Bhopal. Many of the
items in the 1982 report were temporarily fixed, but by 1984, conditions had again
In September 1984, an internal UCC report on the Virginia plant in the
USA revealed a number of defects and malfunctions. It warned that "a runaway raction
could occur in the MIC unit storage tanks, and that the planned response would not be
timely or effective enough to prevent catastrophic failure of the tanks". This report was
never forwarded to the Bhopal plant, although the main design was the same.

The leakage and its immediate effects
The release

Methylamine (1) reacts with phosgene (2) producing methyl isocyanate (3) which reacts
with 1-naphthol (4) to yieldcarbaryl (5)
The 1985 reports give a picture of what led to the disaster and how it developed,
although they differ in details.

In November 1984, most of the safety systems were not functioning and many valves
and lines were in poor condition. In addition, several vent gas scrubbers had been out of
service as well as the steam boiler, intended to clean the pipes. Other issue was that
Tank 610 contained 42 tons of MIC which was much more than what safety rules
During the night of 23 December 1984, water was being used to flush a
blocked pipe, the water entered a side pipe that was missing its slip-blind plate and
entered Tank E610 which contained 42 tons of MIC. A runaway reaction started, which
was accelerated by contaminants, high temperatures and other factors. The reaction
was sped up by the presence of iron from corroding non-stainless steel pipelines.
resulting exothermic reaction increased the temperature inside the tank to over 200 C
(392 F) and raised the pressure. This forced the emergency venting of pressure from
the MIC holding tank, releasing a large volume of toxic gases. About 30 metric tons of
methyl isocyanate (MIC) escaped from the tank into the atmosphere in 45 to 60

The gas cloud
The gases were blown in southeastern direction over Bhopal.

As of 2008, UCC had not released information about the possible composition of the
cloud. Apart from MIC, the gas cloud may have contained phosgene, hydrogen
cyanide, carbon monoxide,hydrogen chloride, oxides of nitrogen, monomethyl
amine (MMA) and carbon dioxide, either produced in the storage tank or in the
atmosphere. The gas cloud was composed mainly of materials denser than the
surrounding air, stayed close to the ground and spread outwards through the
surrounding community.

The nature of the cloud is still discussed. The chemical reactions would have produced
a liquid or solid aerosol with high density. The concentrations at ground level would
have been much higher than earlier published.

Release theories
Much speculation arose in the aftermath. The closing of the plant to outsiders (including
UCC) by the Indian government and the failure to make data public contributed to the
confusion. The initial investigation was conducted entirely by the Council of Scientific
and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Theories differ as to how the water entered the tank. At the time, workers were cleaning
out a clogged pipe with water about 400 feet from the tank. They claimed that they were
not told to isolate the tank with a pipe slip-blind plate. The operators assumed that
owing to bad maintenance and leaking valves, it was possible for the water to leak into
the tank.

However, this water entry route could not be reproduced.
UCC maintains that this
route was not possible, but instead alleges water was introduced directly into the tank
as an act of sabotage by a disgruntled worker via a connection to a missing pressure
gauge on the top of the tank.
Early the next morning, a UCIL manager asked the instrument engineer to replace the
gauge. UCIL's investigation team found no evidence of the necessary connection;
however, the investigation was totally controlled by the government, denying UCC
investigators access to the tank or interviews with the operators.

UCC claimed that a "disgruntled worker" deliberately connecting a hose to a pressure
gauge connection was the real cause.

Acute effects

Reversible reaction of glutathione (top) with methyl isocyanate (MIC, middle) allows the
MIC to be transported into the body
The initial effects of exposure were coughing, vomiting, severe eye irritation and a
feeling of suffocation. People awakened by these symptoms fled away from the plant.
Those who ran inhaled more than those who had a vehicle to ride. Owing to their height,
children and other people of shorter stature inhaled higher concentrations. Many people
were trampled trying to escape.
Thousands of people had succumbed by the morning hours. There were mass funerals
and mass cremations. Bodies were dumped into the Narmada River, less than 100 km
from Bhopal. 170,000 people were treated at hospitals and temporary dispensaries.
2,000 buffalo, goats, and other animals were collected and buried. Within a few days,
leaves on trees yellowed and fell off. Supplies, including food, became scarce owing to
suppliers' safety fears. Fishing was prohibited causing further supply shortages.

Within a few days, trees in the vicinity became barren, and 2,000 bloated animal
carcasses had to be disposed of. Lacking any safe alternative, on 16 December, tanks
611 and 619 were emptied of the remaining MIC by reactivating the plant and
continuing the manufacture of pesticide. Despite safety precautions such as covering
the plant in wet hessian and having water carrying helicopters continually overflying the
plant, this led to a second mass evacuation from Bhopal. The Government of India
passed the "Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster Act" that gave the government rights to
represent all victims, whether or not in India. Complaints of lack of information or
misinformation were widespread. An Indian government spokesman said, "Carbide is
more interested in getting information from us than in helping our relief work".

Formal statements were issued that air, water, vegetation and foodstuffs were safe
within the city. At the same time, people were informed that poultry was unaffected, but
were warned not to consume fish. No one under the age of 18 was registered at the
time of the accident. The number of children exposed to the gases was at least

The acute symptoms were burning in the respiratory tract and eyes, blepharospasm,
breathlessness, stomach pains and vomiting. The causes of deaths were choking,
reflexogenic circulatory collapse and pulmonary oedema. Findings
during autopsies revealed changes not only in the lungs but also cerebral
oedema, tubular necrosis of the kidneys, fatty degeneration of the liver and
necrotising enteritis.
The stillbirth rate increased by up to 300% and neonatal
mortality rate by around 200%.

Hydrogen cyanide debate
Whether hydrogen cyanide (HCN) was present in the gas mixture is still a

Cyanide concentrations of 300 ppm can lead to immediate collapse. The non-toxic
antidote sodium thiosulfate (Na
) in intravenous injections increases the rate of
conversion from cyanide to non-toxic thiocyanate.
Initial reports based on the autopsies of victims' bodies suggested cyanide poisoning
based on which UCC's Dr. Bipan Avashia advised amyl nitrate and sodium
Treatment was tentatively used on some people, with mixed

Critics argue that both the Indian government and Union Carbide tried to avoid
mentioning the emotionally provocative word "cyanide".

Exposed to high temperatures, MIC breaks down to hydrogen cyanide (HCN).
According to Kulling and Lorin, at +200 C, 3% of the gas is HCN.
according to another scientific publication,
MIC when heated in the gas-phase starts
to break down to hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and other products above 400 C.
Chemically, HCN is known to be very reactive with MIC.
HCN is also known to react
with hydrochloric acid, ammonia, and methylamine (also produced in tank 610 during
the vigorous reaction with water and chloroform) and also with itself under acidic
conditions to form trimers of HCN called triazenes.
Laboratory replication studies by CSIR and UCC scientists failed to detect any HCN or
HCN-derived side products. None of the HCN-derived side products were detected in
the tank residue.

Long-term effects
Long-term health effects
All data about the health effects are still not available. The Indian Council of Medical
Research (ICMR) was forbidden to publish health effect data until 1994.

A total of 36 wards were marked by the authorities as being "gas affected", affecting a
population of 520,000. Of these, 200,000 were below 15 years of age, and 3,000 were
pregnant women. The official immediate death toll was 2,259, and in 1991, 3,928
deaths had been officially certified. Others estimate 8,000 died within two weeks.

The government of Madhya Pradesh confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the
gas release.

Later, the affected area was expanded to include 700,000 citizens. A government
affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary
partial injuries and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries.

A cohort of 80 021 exposed people was registered, along wirth a control group, a cohort
of 15 931 people from areas not exposed to MIC. Nearly every year since 1986, they
have answered the same questionnaire. It shows overmortality and overmorbidity in the
exposed group. However, bias and confounding factors cannot be excluded from the
study. Because of migration and other factors, 75 % of the cohort is lost, as the ones
who moved out are not followed.

A number of clinical studies are performed. The quality varies, but the different reports
support each others.

Health care
In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the health care system became overloaded.
Within weeks, the State Government established a number of hospitals, clinics and
mobile units in the gas-affected area to treat the victims. Since the leak, large number of
private practitioners were opened in Bhopal. In the severely affected areas, nearly 70
percent were underqualified doctors. Medical staff was unprepared for the thousands of
casualties. Doctors and hospitals were not aware about proper treatment methods for
MIC gas inhalation and they were directed to give cough medicine and eye drops to the

The Government of India had focused primarily on increasing the hospital-based
services for gas victims thus hospitals had been built after the disaster. When UCC
wanted to sell its shares in UCIL, it was directed by the Supreme Court to finance a
500-bed hospital for the medical care of the survivors. Thus, Bhopal Memorial Hospital
and Research Centre (BMHRC) was inaugurated in 1998 and was obliged to give free
care for survivors for eight years. BMHRC was a 350-bedded super speciality hospital
where heart surgery and hemodialysis were done. However, there was a dearth of
gynaecology, obstetrics and paediatrics. Eight mini-units (outreach health centres) were
started and free health care for gas victims were to be offered till 2006.
management had also faced problems with strikes, and the quality of the health care
being disputed.
Sambhavna Trust is a charitable trust, registered in 1995, that
gives modern as well as ayurvedictreatments to gas victims, free of charge.

Environmental rehabilitation
When the factory was closed in 1986, pipes, drums and tanks were sold. The MIC and
the Sevin plants are still there, as are storages of different residues. Isolation material is
falling down and spreading.
The area around the plant was used as a dumping area
for hazardous chemicals. In 1982 tubewells in the vicinity of the UCIL factory had to be
abandoned and tests in 1989 performed by UCC's laboratory revealed that soil and
water samples collected from near the factory and inside the plant were toxic to
Several other studies had also shown polluted soil and groundwater in the area.
Reported polluting compounds include 1-naphthol, naphthalene, Sevin, tarry
residue, mercury, toxic organochlorines, volatile organochlorine compounds, chromium,
copper, nickel, lead, hexachloroethane, hexachlorobutadiene, and the pesticide HCH.

In order to provide safe drinking water to the population around the UCIL factory,
Government of Madhya Pradesh presented a scheme for improvement of water
In December 2008, the Madhya Pradesh High Court decided that the toxic
waste should be incinerated at Ankleshwar in Gujarat, which was met by protests from
activists all over India.
On 8 June 2012, the Centre for incineration of toxic Bhopal
waste agreed to pay 250 million (US$4.1 million) to dispose of UCIL chemical plants
waste in Germany.
On 9 August 2012, Supreme court directed the Union and
Madhya Pradesh Governments to, take immediate steps for disposal of toxic waste
lying around and inside the factory within six months.

A U.S. court rejected the lawsuit blaming UCC for causing soil and water pollution
around the site of the plant and ruled that responsibility for remedial measures or
related claims rested with the State Government and not with UCC.
In 2005, the state
government invited various Indian architects to enter their "concept for development of a
memorial complex for Bhopal gas tragedy victims at the site of Union Carbide". In 2011,
a conference was held on the site, with participants from European universities which
was aimed for the same.

Occupational and habitation rehabilitation
33 of the 50 planned work-sheds for gas victims started. All except one was closed
down by 1992. 1986, the MP government invested in the Special Industrial Area Bhopal.
152 of the planned 200 work sheds were built and in 2000, 16 were partially functioning.
It was estimated that 50,000 persons need alternative jobs, and that less than 100 gas
victims had found regular employment under the government's scheme. The
government also planned 2,486 flats in two- and four-story buildings in what is called
the "widow's colony" outside Bhopal. The water did not reach the upper floors and it was
not possible to keep cattle which were their primary occupation. Infrastructure like
buses, schools, etc. were missing for at least a decade.

Economic rehabilitation
Immediate relieves were decided two days after the tragedy. Relief measures
commenced in 1985 when food was distributed for a short period along with ration
Madhya Pradeshgovernment's finance department allocated 874
million (US$14 million) for victim relief in July 1985.
Widow pension of
200 (US$3.30)/per month (later 750 (US$12)) were provided. The government also
decided to pay 1500 (US$24) to families with monthly income 500 (US$8.20) or less.
As a result of the interim relief, more children were able to attend school, more money
was spent on treatment and food, and housing also eventually improved. From 1990
interim relief of 200 (US$3.30) was paid to everyone in the family who was born before
the disaster.

The final compensation, including interim relief for personal injury was for the majority
25,000 (US$410). For death claim, the average sum paid out was 62,000 (US$1,000).
Each claimant were to be categorised by a doctor. In court, the claimants were
expected to prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that death or injury in each case was
attributable to exposure. In 1992, 44 percent of the claimants still had to be medically

By the end of October 2003, according to the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and
Rehabilitation Department, compensation had been awarded to 554,895 people for
injuries received and 15,310 survivors of those killed. The average amount to families of
the dead was $2,200.

In 2007, 1,029,517 cases were registered and decided. Number of awarded cases were
574,304 and number of rejected cases 455,213. Total compensation awarded was
15465 million(US$250 million).
On 24 June 2010, the Union Cabinet of
the Government of India approved a 12650 million (US$210 million) aid package which
would be funded by Indian taxpayers through the government.

Union Carbide's defence
Now owned by Dow Chemical Company, Union Carbide denied the allegations against
it on its website dedicated to the tragedy. The corporation claimed that the incident was
the result of sabotage, stating that safety systems were in place and operative. It also
stressed that it did all it could to alleviate human suffering following the disaster.

Investigation into possible sabotage
Theories differ as to how the water entered the tank. At the time, workers were cleaning
out pipes with water. The workers maintain that entry of water through the plant's piping
system during the washing of lines was possible because a slip-blind was not used, the
downstream bleeder lines were partially clogged, many valves were leaking, and the
tank was not pressurised. The water, which was not draining properly through the
bleeder valves, may have built up in the pipe, rising high enough to pour back down
through another series of lines into the MIC storage tank. Once water had accumulated
to a height of 6 metres (20 feet), it could drain by gravity flow back into the system.
Alternatively, the water may have been routed through another standby "jumper line"
that had only recently been connected to the system. Indian scientists suggested that
additional water might have been introduced as a "back-flow" from the defectively
designed vent-gas scrubber. However, none of these postulated routes of entry could
be duplicated when tested by the Central Bureau of Investigators (CBI) and UCIL

Union Carbide cited an investigation conducted by the engineering consulting
firm Arthur D. Little, which concluded that a single employee secretly and deliberately
introduced a large amount of water into the MIC tank by removing a meter and
connecting a water hose directly to the tank through the metering port.
claimed that such a large amount of water could not have found its way into the tank by
accident, and safety systems were not designed to deal with intentional sabotage.
Documents cited in the Arthur D. Little report stated that the Central Bureau of
Investigation (CBI) along with UCIL engineers tried to simulate the water-washing
hypothesis as a route of the entry of water into the tank. This test failed to support this
as a route of the water entry. UCC claims the plant staff falsified numerous records to
distance themselves from the incident, and that the Indian Government impeded its
investigation and declined to prosecute the employee responsible, presumably because
that would weaken its allegations of negligence by Union Carbide.

Safety and equipment issues
The corporation denied the claim that the valves on the tank were malfunctioning, and
claimed that the documented evidence gathered after the incident showed that the valve
close to the plant's water-washing operation was closed and was leak-tight.
Furthermore, process safety systems had prevented water from entering the tank by
accident. Carbide states that the safety concerns identified in 1982 were all allayed
before 1984 and had nothing to do with the incident.

The company admitted that the safety systems in place would not have been able to
prevent a chemical reaction of that magnitude from causing a leak. According to
Carbide, "in designing the plant's safety systems, a chemical reaction of this magnitude
was not factored in" because "the tank's gas storage system was designed to
automatically prevent such a large amount of water from being inadvertently introduced
into the system" and "process safety systemsin place and operationalwould have
prevented water from entering the tank by accident". Instead, they claim that "employee
sabotagenot faulty design or operationwas the cause of the tragedy".

The company stressed the "immediate action" taken after the disaster and their
continued commitment to helping the victims. On 4 December, the day following the
leak, Union Carbide sent material aid and several international medical experts to assist
the medical facilities in Bhopal.
Union Carbide states on its website that it put $2
million into the Indian prime minister's immediate disaster relief fund on 11 December
The corporation established the Employees' Bhopal Relief Fund in February
1985, which raised more than $5 million for immediate relief.
According to Union
Carbide, in August 1987, they made an additional $4.6 million in humanitarian interim
relief available.

Union Carbide stated that it also undertook several steps to provide continuing aid to
the victims of the Bhopal disaster. The sale of its 50.9 percent interest in UCIL in April
1992 and establishment of a charitable trust to contribute to the building of a local
hospital. The sale was finalised in November 1994. The hospital was begun in October
1995 and was opened in 2001. The company provided a fund with around $90
million from sale of its UCIL stock. In 1991, the trust had amounted approximately $100
million. The hospital catered for the treatment of heart, lung and eye problems.
also provided a $2.2 million grant to Arizona State University to establish a vocational-
technical center in Bhopal, which was opened, but was later closed by the state
They also donated $5 million to the Indian Red Cross after the
They also developed a Responsible Care system with other members of the
chemical industry as a response to the Bhopal crisis, which was designed to help
prevent such an event in the future.

Legal action against Union Carbide

Victims of Bhopal disaster asked for Warren Anderson's extradition from the USA
Legal proceedings involving UCC, the United States and Indian governments, local
Bhopal authorities, and the disaster victims started immediately after the catastrophe.
Legal action against UCC dominated the aftermath of the disaster. Other issues have
continued to develop including the problems of ongoing contamination and associated
criticism of the clean-up operation undertaken by UCIL.
Legal proceedings leading to the settlement
On 14 December 1984, UCC's Chairman and CEO Warren Anderson addressed the
U.S. Congress, stressing the company's "commitment to safety" and promising to
ensure that a similar incident "cannot happen again". The Indian Government passed
the Bhopal Gas Leak Act in March 1985, allowing the Government of India to act as the
legal representative for victims of the disaster,
leading to the beginning of legal
proceedings. In 1985, Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, called for a U.S.
government inquiry into the Bhopal disaster, which resulted in U.S. legislation regarding
the accidental release of toxic chemicals in the United States.
In March 1986 UCC
proposed a settlement figure, endorsed by plaintiffs' U.S. attorneys, of$350 million that
would, according to the company, "generate a fund for Bhopal victims of between $500
600 million over 20 years". In May, litigation was transferred from the United States to
Indian courts by U.S. District Court Judge. Following an appeal of this decision, the U.S.
Court of Appeals affirmed the transfer, judging, in January 1987, that UCIL was a
"separate entity, owned, managed and operated exclusively by Indian citizens in

The Government of India refused the offer from Union Carbide and claimed US$ 3.3
The Indian Supreme Court told both sides to come to an agreement and "start
with a clean slate" in November 1988.
Eventually, in an out-of-court settlement
reached in February 1989, Union Carbide agreed to pay US$ 470 million for damages
caused in the Bhopal disaster, 15% of the original $3 billion claimed in the lawsuit.

Throughout 1990, the Indian Supreme Court heard appeals against the settlement from
"activist petitions". In October 1991, the Supreme Court upheld the original $470 million,
dismissing any other outstanding petitions that challenged the original decision. The
Court ordered the Indian government "to purchase, out of settlement fund, a group
medical insurance policy to cover 100,000 persons who may later develop symptoms"
and cover any shortfall in the settlement fund. It also requested UCC and its subsidiary
UCIL "voluntarily" fund a hospital in Bhopal, at an estimated $17 million, to specifically
treat victims of the Bhopal disaster. The company agreed to this.

Charges against UCC and UCIL employees
UCC chairman and CEO Warren Anderson was arrested and released on bail by the
Madhya Pradesh Police in Bhopal on 7 December 1984. Anderson was taken to UCC's
house after which he was released six hours later on $2,100 bail and flown out on a
government plane. These actions were allegedly taken under the direction of then chief
secretary of the state, who was possibly instructed from chief minister's office, who
himself flew out of Bhopal immediately.
Later in 1987, the Indian
government summoned Anderson, eight other executives and two company affiliates
with homicide charges to appear in Indian court.
In response, Union Carbide balked,
saying the company is not under Indian jurisdiction.

In 1991, the local Bhopal authorities charged Anderson, who had retired in 1986, with
manslaughter, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. He was
declared a fugitive from justice by the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal on 1 February
1992 for failing to appear at the court hearings in a culpable homicide case in which he
was named the chief defendant. Orders were passed to the Government of India to
press for an extradition from the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear
an appeal of the decision of the lower federal courts in October 1993, meaning that
victims of the Bhopal disaster could not seek damages in a U.S. court.

In 2004, the Indian Supreme Court ordered the Indian government to release any
remaining settlement funds to victims. And in September 2006, the Welfare Commission
for Bhopal Gas Victims announced that all original compensation claims and revised
petitions had been "cleared".
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City
upheld the dismissal of remaining claims in the case of Bano v. Union Carbide
Corporation in 2006. This move blocked plaintiffs' motions for class certification and
claims for property damages and remediation. In the view of UCC, "the ruling reaffirms
UCC's long-held positions and finally puts to restboth procedurally and
substantivelythe issues raised in the class action complaint first filed against Union
Carbide in 1999 by Haseena Bi and several organisations representing the residents of

In June 2010, seven former employees of UCIL, all Indian nationals and many in their
70s, were convicted of causing death by negligence and each sentenced to two years
imprisonment and finedRs.100,000 (US$2,124). All were released on bail shortly after
the verdict. The names of those convicted are: Keshub Mahindra, former non-executive
chairman of Union Carbide India Limited; V. P. Gokhale, managing director; Kishore
Kamdar, vice-president; J. Mukund, works manager; S. P. Chowdhury, production
manager; K. V. Shetty, plant superintendent; and S. I. Qureshi, production assistant.
Federal class action litigation, Sahu v. Union Carbide and Warren Anderson, sought
damages for personal injury, medical monitoring and injunctive relief in the form of
clean-up of the drinking water supplies for residential areas near the Bhopal plant. The
lawsuit was dismissed and subsequent appeal denied.

Ongoing contamination

Deteriorating portion of the MIC plant, decades after the gas leak. Contributor to
ongoing contamination.
Chemicals abandoned at the plant continue to leak and pollute
the groundwater.
Whether the chemicals pose a health hazard is
Contamination at the site and surrounding area was not caused by the gas
leakage. The area around the plant was used as a dumping ground for hazardous
chemicals and by 1982 water wells in the vicinity of the UCIL factory had to be
UCC states that "after the incident, UCIL began clean-up work at the site
under the direction of Indian central and state government authorities", which was
continued after 1994 by the successor to UCIL. The successor, Eveready Industries
India, Limited (EIIL), ended cleanup on the site in 1998, when it terminated its 99-year
lease and turned over control of the site to the state government of Madhya

UCC's laboratory tests in 1989 revealed that soil and water samples collected from near
the factory were toxic to fish. Twenty-one areas inside the plant were reported to be
highly polluted. In 1991 the municipal authorities declared that water from over 100
wells was hazardous for health if used for drinking.
In 1994 it was reported that 21% of
the factory premises were seriously contaminated with chemicals.
Beginning in
1999, studies made by Greenpeace and others from soil, groundwater, wellwater and
vegetables from the residential areas around UCIL and from the UCIL factory area show
contamination with a range of toxic heavy metals and chemical compounds. Substances
found, according to the reports, are naphthol, naphthalene, Sevin, tarry residues, alpha
naphthol, mercury, organochlorines, chromium, copper, nickel, lead,
hexachlorethane, hexachlorobutadiene, pesticide HCH (BHC),volatile organic
compounds and halo-organics.
Many of these contaminants were also found
in breast milk of women living near the area.
Soil tests were conducted by
Greenpeace in 1999. One sample (IT9012) from "sediment collected from drain under
former Sevin plant" showed mercury levels to be at "20,000 and 6 million times" higher
than expected levels. Organochlorine compounds at elevated levels were also present
in groundwater collected from (sample IT9040) a 4.4 meter depth "bore-hole within the
former UCIL site". This sample was obtained from a source posted with a warning sign
which read "Water unfit for consumption".
Chemicals that have been linked to various
forms of cancer were also discovered, as well as trichloroethylene, known to impair fetal
development, at 50 times above safety limits specified by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA).
In 2002, an inquiry by Fact-Finding Mission on Bhopal
found a number of toxins, including mercury, lead,
1,3,5 trichlorobenzene, dichloromethane and chloroform, in nursing women's breast
A 2004 BBC Radio 5 broadcast reported the site is contaminated with toxic chemicals
including benzene hexachloride and mercury, held in open containers or loose on the
A drinking water sample from a well near the site had levels of contamination
500 times higher than the maximum limits recommended by the World Health
In 2009, the Centre for Science and Environment, a Delhi-based
pollution monitoring lab, released test results showing pesticide groundwater
contamination up to three kilometres from the factory.
Also in 2009, the BBC took a
water sample from a frequently used hand pump, located just north of the plant. The
sample, tested in UK, was found to contain 1,000 times the World Health Organization's
recommended maximum amount of carbon tetrachloride, a carcinogenic toxin.
October 2011, the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment published
an article and video by two British environmental scientists, showing the current state of
the plant, landfill and solar evaporation ponds and calling for renewed international
efforts to provide the necessary skills to clean up the site and contaminated

Since 1984, individual activists have played a role in the aftermath of the tragedy. The
best-known is Satinath Sarangi (Sathyu), a metallurgic engineer who arrived at Bhopal
the day after the leakage. He founded several activist groups, as well as Sambhavna
Trust, the clinic for gas affected patients, where he is the manager.
Other activists
include Rashida Bee, Rachna Dhingra and Champa Devi Shukla, who received
the Goldman Prize in 2004, and Abdul Jabbar.

Local activism
Soon after the accident, representatives from different activist groups arrived. The
activists worked on organising the gas victims, which led to violent repression from the
police and the government.

Numerous actions have been performed: demonstrations, sit-ins, hunger strikes,
marches combined with pamphlets, books, and articles. Every anniversary, actions are
performed. Often these include marches around Old Bhopal, ending with burning
an effigy of Warren Anderson.
International activism
Cooperation with international NGOs including Pesticide Action Network
UK and Greenpeace started soon after the tragedy. One of the earliest reports is the
Trade Union report from ILO 1985.

In 1994, the International Medical Commission on Bhopal (IMCB) met in Bhopal. Their
work contributed to long term health effects being officially recognised.
Important international actions have been the tour to Europe and United States in
the marches to Delhi in 2006 and 2008, all including hunger strikes, and the
Bhopal Europe Bus Tour in 2009.
Activist organisations
At least 14 different NGOs were immediately engaged.
The first disaster reports were
published by activist organisations, Eklavya and the Delhi Science Forum.
Around ten local organisations, engaged on long term, have been identified. Two of the
most active organisations are the women's organisationsBhopal Gas Peedit Mahila-
Stationery Karmachari Sangh and Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangthan.

More than 15 national organisations have been engaged along with a number of
international organisations.

Some of the most important organisations are:
International Campaign For Justice in Bhopal (ICJB) Coordinating international
Bhopal Medical Appeal Collects funds for the Sambhavna Trust.
Sambhavna Trust or Bhopal People's Health and Documentation Clinic. Provides
medical care for gas affected patients and those living in water-contaminated area.
Chingari Trust Provides medical care for children being born in Bhopal with
malformations and brain damages.
Students for Bhopal Based in USA.
International Medical Commission on Bhopal Provided medical information 1994
Settlement fund hoax

Bichlbaum as Finisterra on BBC World News
On 3 December 2004, the twentieth anniversary of the disaster, a man claiming to be a
Dow representative named Jude Finisterra was interviewed onBBC World News. He
claimed that the company had agreed to clean up the site and compensate those
harmed in the incident, by liquidating Union Carbide for US$12 billion.
afterward, Dow's share price fell 4.2% in 23 minutes, for a loss of $2 billion in market
value. Dow quickly issued a statement saying that they had no employee by that
namethat he was an impostor, not affiliated with Dow, and that his claims were a
hoax. The BBC later broadcast a correction and an apology.

Jude Finisterra was actually Andy Bichlbaum, a member of the activist prankster
group The Yes Men. In 2002, The Yes Men issued a fake press release explaining why
Dow refused to take responsibility for the disaster and started up a website, at
"", designed to look like the real Dow website, but with what they felt
was a more accurate cast on the events.

Monitoring of Bhopal activists
A release of an email cache related to intelligence research organisation Stratfor was
leaked by WikiLeaks on 27 February 2012.
It revealed that Dow Chemical had
engaged Stratfor to spy on the public and personal lives of activists involved in the
Bhopal disaster, including the Yes Men. Regular, even daily emails to Dow
representatives from hired security analysts list the YouTube videos liked, Twitter and
Facebook posts made and the public appearances of these activists.
released a statement condemning the revelation by Wikileaks while neither confirming
nor denying the accuracy of the reports, and would only state that it had acted within the
bounds of the law. Dow Chemical also refrained to comment on the matter.

Ingrid Eckerman, a Swedish family physician and a member, in 1994, of
the International Medical Commission on Bhopalin, published The Bhopal Saga:
Causes and Consequences of the World's Largest Industrial Disaster in 2004.
2008 she has been denied a visa to visit India.