My father called Narendra Modi for help, justice is too little too late


Nishrin Jafri Hussain, the daughter of former Congress MP, Ehsan Jafri, who was murdered by Hindutva zealots in 2002 anti-Muslim pogroms in Gujarat has said that her father had called Narendra Modi for help.

In an interview to BBC, soon after an Ahmedabad court convicted 24 people for the massacre in Gulberg Society, Nishrin said that the massacre was well planned as the attackers, who came from outside were well prepared.

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On being reminded that how her father’s last moments were deeply traumatic and he tried to call quite a few high profile people including Narendra Modi, who was then the chief minister of Gujarat, Nishrin said, “He was in this city (Ahmedabad) with his family since he was 18 years old. This happened in the broad daylight. As the mob was gathering, he had informed everybody. Everybody in the control room, in the central and state governments knew that he was requesting for help. The records say that he did (call Narendra Modi). The people who were around him, with him asking him to call everybody, he did call. It’s a known fact. ”

The presenter asked her if anybody could have done anything given that he was surrounded by a huge mob.

Jafri replied, “You are talking about the city of Ahmedabad, where two miles away from my house is the military campus. Two miles away from my house is the biggest hospital of Asia, the civil hospital. He was not in a village. He was in the city, in the middle of the city. He made everyone aware of the situation since 10 AM. The mob is gathering, the mob has swords, the mob has fire powers. They are raping women, they are killings children outside. They are burning them (breaks down). What more do you want.”

On being asked if the scar will live on for the people who were affected by the massacre, Nishrin said, “Well there was a hope that justice will be delivered. There are mothers (sobs) who have lost young children. There’s entire colony of widows who are waiting for the justice. There are fathers, there are brothers, there are orphans, who are waiting for the justice.”

She, however, said that the conviction was too little late adding that her mother and the colony full of widows and the activists had gone through a lot to get here.

She said, “It’s a mixed feeling. It’s not enough. It’s too little too late. But what gives me satisfaction that a part of the country is with us. A lot of people have done a lot of hard work to get here. The NGOs, who fought the case, they had to go through a lot of hurdles. The political parties, the people in power even judiciary in some cases caused so much problems. It was not an easy road. It was a very lonely road. It was not easy for my brother, who refused to leave the country(breaks down). It was not easy on my mother, it was not easy on her children.

“Let me make the correction. The majority of the mob came from outside. They came in truck. They came with firepower, they came with gas tanks. They came with mobile phones, they came with swords. They had voters list, whose house were where. They came prepared.”

A special designated court on Thursday had convicted 24 of the 66 people accused in the Gulberg Society massacre case involving the killing of 69 people, including a former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri.

The verdict comes 14 years after a mob led by Hindutva forces consisting of nearly 20000 armed militants attacked Gulbarg society – a cluster of 29 bungalows and 10 apartment buildings housing mostly Muslims – killing 69 people on 28 February 2002.

Jafri’s wife, Zakiya Jafri, now 77, has been fighting to get her deceased husband the justice despite her failing health. She has asked for the death penalty for the killers of her husband.

Zakiya has always alleged that Narendra Modi, who was the chief minister in 2002, was complicit in the anti-Muslim carnage that killed more than 2000 people unofficially and little over 1000, according to official figure.