Incidents of Post-Godhra Violence: Ahmedabad
Gulberg Society, Chamanpura
List of accused
This is probably the first carnage to have been unleashed after the Godhra tragedy,
after the corpses of the burnt bodies had been taken from Godhra to the Sola Civil
Hospital in Ahmedabad. The attack on Gulberg society, which was home to Ahsan
Jafri, former trade unionist and MP of the Congress party, was launched with military
precision from 7.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. on Thursday, February 28. A 20-25,000 strong
mob surrounded the Chamanpura area in the heart of Ahmedabad city. The FIR lodged
by KG Erda of the Meghani Nagar police station itself gives a detailed account of
the utter failure of the police to put off the assailants or protect the trapped residents.
The FIR admits that the arson and destruction began from that morning itself. The
Tribunal recorded detailed testimonies of all the eye-witnesses to the Gulberg society
carnage, including a Parsi, who was with Ahsan Jafri until the end, when, at around
2.30 p.m., he surrendered himself to the mob in a desperate attempt to save the
persons who had sought shelter in his home from nearby chawls. One of the most
shocking aspects of the Gulberg society carnage, to which two eyewitnesses and two
others testified, is the fact that the commissioner of police, Ahmedabad, PC Pandey,
visited Ahsan Jafri at 10.30 a.m. that day, and assured him of police reinforcements.
The CP stands directly indicted because he did not keep his promise of sending police
help. The few men who were deputed from the Meghani Nagar chowki, merely watched
as 70 persons were butchered and burnt in a macabre dance of death. The 10-12
women among the victims were brutally gang raped.
The centre of an Indian commercial city saw a medieval and macabre dance of
death, humiliation and revenge heaped on women, children and men. Ten to twelve
gas cylinders were exploded that day and used as arsenal in the attack. Members of
the Tribunal visited the site on May 3, 2002. We found hundreds of little glass bottles
containing a whitish powder scattered all round. This was used to heighten the impact
and intensity of the fire and ensured that the bodies were burnt to ashes.
According to eyewitness accounts as well as the full list of dead and missing per-
sons attached to the FIR, about 70 persons have died — 49 from the society, and 18-
20 from outside, who had come to seek shelter at Jafri's home. This is not the figure
mentioned officially. (The official figure released is 59.) Evidence of one Manoj
Kumar, a Hindu neighbour, has also been placed before the Tribunal. He testified to
the fact that the attackers pulled the babies out with the men, then poured petrol over
them and burnt them. The police merely stood back and watched. When questioned
about this gross dereliction of duty, commissioner PC Pandey shrugged and said: “We
were outnumbered.”(The Times of India, March 2, 2002.)
At about 10.30 a.m., police commissioner Pandey, with Ambalal Nadia, the Con-
gress mahamantri, Ward No. 19, and Kannulal Solanki from Ward No. 20, visited Jafri
and gave him a personal assurance that they would send reinforcements and that he
would be fully protected. Within five minutes of the CP's departure, at 10.35 a.m.,
the Zahir Bakery and an autorickshaw just outside Gulberg society were burnt. The
stoning of Gulberg society began around 11.15-11.30 a.m. Forty-five minutes later,
at about 12.15-12.30 p.m., stones, acid bulbs, bottles and petrol bombs were thrown
at Gulberg society from the rear side of the complex of buildings and bungalows.
From the terrace of an adjacent bungalow belonging to a non-Muslim, between 12.30
and 12.45 p.m., there was heavy stone throwing, including big boulders. This caused
the biggest damage, because, without this frontal attack using premises from within
the residential colony itself, the residents might have been able to protect themselves.
The volley of huge stones, along with acid bulbs and burning cloth balls, continued
until 1-1.15 p.m. Around 1 p.m., one Yusuf, a resident of the society, was caught, cut
up and torched. Fear amongst the residents had mounted. By this time there were
nearly 80 persons in Jafri's house. Amid shouts of “Ghusijao” (“Get in!”), between
2.30-2.45 p.m., suddenly the gate at the rear end of the Society, near the railway
tracks, was broken down. Between 2.30-2.45 p.m., Ahsan Jafri, who was clearly a
specific target, allowed himself to be dragged out of his own house. There, just out-
side the home that he had so painfully created, for 45 minutes, he was brutally dis-
membered and then finally decapitated. He was stripped, paraded naked, and asked
to say, “Vande Mataram!” and “Jai Shri Ram!” He refused. His fingers were chopped
off and he was paraded around in the locality, badly injured. Next, his hands and feet
were chopped off. He was then dragged, a fork-like instrument clutching his neck,
down the road, before being thrown into the fire. A man who had devoted his life to
public service, had met a brutal end. In this attack, Jafri was killed along with his
three brothers and two nephews.
At this time, 2.45 p.m., Anwar, another resident, was also killed. The main accused
(whose names appear later) brought in logs from the nearby Sansar Bakery and began,
ominously, to prepare four funeral pyres. Anwar was killed and then cut up into pieces
and burnt. There was a relentless barrage of stoning, throwing of fireballs and frontal
attacks on Jafri's house in particular. This was confirmed by many eyewitnesses to the
tragic carnage, all of whom deposed before the Tribunal.
After this, Shafi Mohammed Munawar Sheikh was also cut into three pieces, and
burnt alive. It was between 3.30-4.30 p.m. that 10-12 women were first raped, then
cut into pieces with guptis, and then thrown into the fire. The police finally arrived
between 4.30-5.00 p.m. At 5.20 p.m., the police party which was trying to rescue the
people, was stoned. Finally, at around 7 p.m., the survivors were taken out of the area
under police escort.
One of the eyewitnesses who was with Jafri until the end, a Parsi woman whose
12-year-old son is one of those who has been missing since that day, gave the Tribu-
nal an elaborate testimony. This witness contacted an influential relative, a legal lumi-
nary, for help and the latter rushed to meet the police commissioner in person. The
CP the telephoned the witness. He asked her, “How many from your family are trapped
there?” “Three, Sir,” she replied, implying that there were only three Parsis trapped
there – she, her daughter and son -since her husband was at the Meghani Nagar police
station. She then saw the other victims around her, quickly recovered herself and
said, “No there are 40 persons here.” He then took the address but the help, when it
came, was too late.
This witness was in her verandah, in the same building as Jafri, when about 6-7
persons came to the neighbourhood to close down everything because of the bandh. A
boy who was standing opposite had closed his shop, but they ran to beat him up. He
was shouting for help, and there were 6-7 policemen also standing there, who were
watching, but did not help. When his brother came to help him, they started beating
him up as well. Then the first boy ran inside, to be followed by a boy with a knife. She
could see them because they were in the society, but she could not see what happened
to the other boy.
This witness saw Jafri go out to meet CP Pandey at 10.30 a.m. Jafri returned after a
few minutes, apparently reassured that forces would be sent soon. He told others that
he had told the CP that if they could not send forces they should escort the Gulberg
society residents out. Children from the different homes in Gulberg society were tak-
ing their morning tuition classes when, in panic, parents had to summon them back
home. The attackers first torched all the vehicles outside.
The mobs were shouting “Jai Sri Ram!” and “Kill! Slaughter! This is what they did
to us in Godhra. We will do the same to them here!” Eyewitnesses who deposed
before the Tribunal saw that they used gas cylinders from the abandoned homes as
ammunition for the attacks. Chemicals were sprayed into the room, then gas cylinders
thrown in after removing the seals. With fireballs providing the spark, the gas cylin-
ders exploded like bombs. The blast was so powerful that it made the plaster peel off
walls, so much so that the structural steel rods were exposed. The attackers were
pulling out the girls and killing anyone who came out of Jafri's home, either with
swords or by pouring kerosene over them and torching them.
By 11 a.m., women had collected in Jafri's flat, bringing their valuables, fearing the
worst. Witnesses also saw the mob throwing something that would fall near their
houses and then burst into flames.
Despite the CP's visit to Gulberg society, the police did not come. Jafri kept look-
ing outside with apprehension while he made calls to all the influential people listed
in his diary. He made numerous calls including calls to Congressman Amarsingh
Chaudhry, the commissioner, and the local police station.
By then, the mob had started breaking windows. They threw burning tyres inside
and the women inside would catch them and throw them out. In fact the witness'
hands were singed. There was no water in the house because it had all been consumed
and the water from the tanks below had been leaked out by the mob. Inside, the
people did all they could to save themselves in those terrible two hours. They ripped
off carpets so that they did not catch fire.
At about 2-2.30 p.m., the phone was disconnected. By then Jafri had begun plead-
ing with the mob for forgiveness—he was speaking in Gujarati—and telling them to
let them go. He said that all the residents of Gulberg would leave without any belong-
ings, only their lives. They said, “You burnt our parents, our sisters, so we will not
spare you.” The Parsi lady even said, “I am a Parsi – we are neither Hindus nor Mus-
lims,” to which they replied, “We know no Parsis or anything else.” They were in such
a murderous mood at the time. They had been burning the kitchens in all the houses
first. At about 3 p.m., they even poured petrol over this witness and her 11-year-old
daughter. They had brought petrol in plastic bags and they threw the bags at them so
they were soaked with petrol. By this time only one room of Jafri's home was not on
fire but the rest were full of smoke. Many persons collapsed due to asphyxiation.
There were bodies of women and children everywhere. Many died choking from the
smoke. Only the strong and the lucky could survive. The police arrived at about 4.30
p.m. When the victim-survivors were escorted out by the police, the mob stoned the
van. That is when PI Pathan gave orders to shoot into the crowd rather than in the air.
If he had not fired, and dispersed the crowd somewhat, even the rest would have
died. Even when they got into the van, the victim-survivors had only the driver with
them; there were no other policemen.
There are 21 eyewitnesses to the entire case who have been consistent in their
depositions before other human rights and fact-finding teams. Each of these have lost
from 1-7 family members in the brutal violence. The Tribunal benefited from the
detailed records of this incident, the FIRs etc., published in Communalism Combat's
'Genocide – Gujarat 2002' issue. The accused, who have been identified by eyewit-
nesses to have launched the first attack, are: Girish Prabhudaas Sharma, Bharat Rajput,
Kapilkumar Munna. Bharat Rajput stabbed Ayyub.
Several eyewitnesses saw the CP arriving and talking to Jafri. “He said to Jafri, 'We
are making all arrangements for you and sending additional police force – you don't
worry.” Jafri sa'ab told Pandey sa'ab, 'If you cannot make arrangements for us and if you
don't have enough men, then arrange for us to go away from here – just let us know.”'
Within minutes of the commissioner's car leaving from one side, a mob appeared
from the other and started throwing stones. From the Asarwa side, the ex-corporator
and BJP worker, Chunilal Prajapati, was leading the mob, swearing at Muslims and
shouting, “Kill! Slaughter! See what they did in Godhra. They killed our Hindus so
now kill them all, destroy their society.” From the Om Nagar side, ex-Congress mu-
nicipal councillor, Meghsingh Dubsingh, was leading the mob, which also started throw-
ing stones. Jafri had opposed Dubsingh's receiving a ticket in the last elections.
Muslims from the surrounding chawls also came into the society for protection. There
is a railway line behind Gulberg society, and from that side, where there are servants'
quarters, a mob of about 5-6,000 came. They were led by Jagrup Singh Rajput, who
was deputy mayor of Ahmedabad when the BJP held a majority in the municipality.
Stone throwing started from the back as well. Thus, from all four sides of Gulberg
society, stone throwing was going on.
In his desperation, Jafri made over 200 calls that day. He called PC Pandey, Amarsingh
Chaudhry in Gandhinagar, Naresh Rawal, and even the chief minister and the home
minister. According to a witness, “At about 2:30 p.m., Jafri sa'ab, who was standing at
his door with folded hands, was pulled out by four men. The four who pulled him out
were: Narayan Kabra, a cable operator in Chamanpura, Ramesh Choti, a 'Bhaiyaji',
Manish Jain, son of the owner of Rajasthan grocery store, and Krishna, son of
Champaben. (Eyewitnesses have also recorded these names in the statements made
during police investigations.) As they were pulling him out, they were slashing him
with a sword and they cut him up into three pieces. After burning Jafri sa'ab, the
people who had come in started burning tyres, etc. They broke all the doors of Jafri
sa'ab's house and torched it from all sides. There were 35 children and everyone was
begging with folded hands but they could not go out. By about 3.15 p.m., Jafri's house
had filled with smoke and all persons trapped inside for their safety were finding it
difficult to breathe.”
Some women from inside were lured out on the pretext that they would be kept
safe. Eyewitnesses who testified before the Tribunal saw Dinesh Prabhudas Sharma,
who was carrying a sword, killing Yusuf. It was Lathia who tore the clothes off the
niece of one eyewitness, raped her and then killed her. Lala Mohansingh Darbar, who
was also involved in the incidents of torching earlier, killed another woman.
At around 4:45 p.m., an eyewitness who had hidden himself in a cabin at the back
of the small garden, heard shouts of “Run, run!” and guessed that the police had
come. This eyewitness asked ACP Tandon to rescue some of the persons suffering
from asphyxiation who were trapped inside Jafri's home, but he was reluctant to do
anything. The attack had been planned with such meticulousness that even the water
from the tanks in Jafri's house and garden as well as those in neighbouring houses had
been emptied so that the fires could not be put out. Despite the fact that the fire was
spreading, the ACP did not intervene to save lives. It was half an hour after the police
arrived, at about 5:15 p.m., when the gas cylinders inside Jafri's house burst. Those
who remained trapped and could not escape, died. There were 30-35 women and
children who were thus burnt to ashes. The blatant complicity of the Gujarat state
and its police in the Gulberg society carnage cannot be understated. The CM, the
home minister, the CP, were all called by Jafri himself. The attack lasted for seven
hours before Jafri gave himself up to the killers. For five hours it was brutal and
intense. Gulberg society, Chamanpura, is in the heart of Ahmedabad city, not in a far-
flung area of the state. The extent of the macabre delight that perpetrators took in the
crimes committed was evident in what some residents saw on the evening of Febru-
ary 28. When some witnesses returned to the area later that evening, they saw
neighbourhood goons 'playing cricket' with the skulls of the dead. That such a massa-
cre could take place in broad daylight, and lasting several hours, after innumerable
attempts and pleas, desperate pleas, for help had been made, is a pathetic and chilling
reflection on the quality of governance in Gujarat under CM Modi. A strong case of
personal vendetta by Modi, against Jafri was made out by these witnesses, while CP
Pandey stands individually indicted because he failed to send in reinforcements, ei-
ther of his own choice or on orders from above, although he knew how bad the
situation was when he visited Gulberg society at 10.30 a.m. that day.
The first house in Gulberg society compound belongs to Dayaram Mochi . Two of
his sons are in the police force and one is a teacher. He used to have a single-storey
house, but over the past 7 years, after his sons joined the police, he added two more
floors. From his terrace, one has a view of the entire society. When the stones were
being thrown, he informed the mob that there were only a few people in the society,
so they shouldn't be afraid and just rush in. It was from his house that people were
pelting stones. The victim-survivors felt that it was because access to this house was
allowed that the attack became easy and possible.
The Tribunal met Dayaram Mochi and his wife, who claimed that their house was
also looted – and that all the looting was done by people whose only work is looting,
and who know no religion. This witness and his wife said that they had good relations
with other residents of Gulberg society over the last 12 years. The mob came around 9
a.m. and surrounded the whole society. Since they were also scared they went to the
nearby school and sat down quietly. They said that after that they didn't know what
happened. These witnesses said that the mob knew that the Mochis were Hindus and
so, although their house was looted, they were not physically assaulted. Mochi said that
once the huge mob had breached the wall, that there was no way that they could have
stopped the mob from going up to their terrace. They saw that the building was deserted
so they rushed in. He said that if he had tried to stop them, he too would have been
beaten up. The Mochis did not recognise anyone. Two of the Mochi sons who are in the
police were both on duty at the time, one in Daryapur and the other in Shahibag. One is
a driver and the other a constable. The third one had gone out to give tuitions.
Mochi's wife said that only the couple and their three daughters-in-law were at
home. Their grandchildren were taking tuitions at the home of a Gulberg resident
(who also deposed before the Tribunal), and they ran to get the children back when
the mob arrived since they were among the first to see them. The police took chairs
from the Mochis' house. There were only 4-5 policemen although the mob was huge.
The police mobile vans came much later. The whole thing started around 9:30 a.m.,
but it became really bad after 12 o'clock. The Mochis fled to the school across the
road at 9.30 a.m. Thereafter, they saw only smoke and nothing else. It seems clear
that they were allowed to escape with their lives because they were not Muslim.
Another eyewitness who is a close associate of Jafri denied the story widely-circu-
lated by the CM and the police: that Jafri had fired at the crowd. This witness was
clear that in this attack, Gulberg society was the singular target. He said that in earlier
riots (1969), too, Gulberg society had been attacked but then there was trouble else-
where in Chamanpura, neighbouring Asarva and Chakla. This time they came di-
rectly to Gulberg and zeroed in on this society. It appears clear that Gulberg was the
focus of a pre-meditated plan and attack. Some eyewitnesses also spoke of a clear per-
sonal vendetta that CM Modi had against Jafri, which is why Jafri was specifically targeted
and his death, the manner of killing, etc., was carefully planned and carried out. The
witness had accompanied Jafri to Rajkot, where the CM was contesting a by-election, only
a few days before the Godhra tragedy. This witness clearly felt that the CM's personal
revenge and vendetta against Jafri found expression in the gruesome carnage that devas-
tated all of Gulberg society. Jafri campaigned against Modi. In a public meeting in Rajkot,
he had urged people not to vote for him because he was an RSS man, and to vote for the
Congress instead. The election took place on February 23, 2002.
On February 28, just five days after the election, when the premeditated attack was
launched, Jafri made as many as 200 calls to various people, desperately seeking help. Among
others, he also called the CM Modi, home minister Gordhan Zadaphiya and union home
minister LK Advani, the witness said. Jafri had even sent a fax to Sonia Gandhi in Delhi. In
Ahmedabad, he called the mayor Himmatsinh Patel, and Badruddin Shaikh (chairman, stand-
ing committee of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation). When Jafri called CM Modi, he
received a callous response. It was after the chilling nonchalance of Modi's response to his
plea for help that Jafri lost all hope and gave himself up to be killed, the witness added.
The Tribunal also recorded testimonies of victim-survivors from Dhoopsinh ni
Chali, Janakbehn ni Chali, Chandulal Chali and Santookbehn ni Chali. These are lower
middle class tenements, from where 70 residents had fled to Gulberg society, to Jafri's
home for support, thinking that they would be safe there as they had been in the past.
During earlier bouts of violence in Ahmedabad, Jafri was able to protect them. But
not this time. When the Tribunal recorded their testimonies, these persons were living
in various camps in Ahmedabad. It is shocking that months after the tragedy there are
still so many persons missing, and that there has been no proper computation of the
dead by the state. It reflects the attitude of the Gujarat government to the tremen-
dous loss of life, faith and dignity that was the Gujarat carnage.
On the day of the Tribunal's site visit to Gulberg society, May 3, the entire society was
still in a terrible condition. Homes had been completely destroyed, the beams and iron
rods and fans in houses were twisted, bent out of shape. Though there are Hindus who
live in the Bhagwatinagar society opposite, these persons were not involved in the attack.
In the same attack, shops and showrooms on one side of the society, opening onto
the road, were also looted and destroyed. A printing press and a small factory nearby,
belonging to Muslims, met the same fate.
The first FIR filed by KG Erda, senior inspector of the Meghani Nagar police
station, names 10 persons and a mob of 20-25,000 as the accused. On February 28,
the violence continued from 10.30 a.m.-6 p.m. A complaint was filed at 8.45 p.m. on
the same day. The sections applied in the FIR are: sections 143, 141, 148, 149, 302,
332, 323, 336, 337, 435, 436, 427, 186, 188, 120(b) of the IPC, section 1 of the
Bombay Police Act and sections 25(1) (a) and (b) of the Arms Act. All relevant
sections have been applied, except section 376 (rape). Eighteen persons from the
vilolent mob were injured in police firing. However, this has not been recorded by the
police. On March 2, a new section was added. In the first FIR (number 61/2002) that
was filed, crimes under sections 395, 396, 397 (loot) of the IPC were also added.
Then, on March 12, some more sections were added: 398, 295(a), 153(a)(1),
153(a)(2)(b), and 188 of the IPC and section 37(1) of the Bombay Police Act.
The first FIR filed by KG Erda, senior inspector, police station no. 4/5/200 reads,
“On the day VHP had organised a Gujarat bandh eyewitnesses saw Girish, Ramesh
Dhulchand (fake jewellery), Mangalal Dhulchand Jain (Adinath Kirana Store), Asish
Chunawala's son, Ramesh (Sadhna Store), Mukesh Mochi, Gabbar, Alpesh, a man
with ghungroowala (curly) hair who has a daroo dhanda, Deepak alias Pradeep (BJP
worker)... Accused of unlawful armed assembly, the maal-milkat (property and earn-
ings) of Muslims was burnt with kerosene, 18 Muslims were cut up in pieces and
burnt, 24 were burnt alive. Both the police and Muslims were attacked with stones,
petrol bombs, acid bombs and vehicles were burnt by the mob. ”
In his second FIR the officer says: “Under Meghani Nagar, there is an inspector in
charge, two police inspectors, two sub-inspectors, 42 head constables and 80 police
constables and 3 women police constables. On that day, there were two police inspec-
tors, six sub-inspectors, 55 head constables, 62 police constables; as for women po-
lice, there was one police inspector, one sub-inspector, six head constables, six and
three police constables were on duty. On the patrol there was one police inspector, 5
head constables, 34 police constables and one woman constable.
“On February 27, when VHP kar sevaks were martyred, the whole state was
tense and since then special bandobast was undertaken at different points in the
city. At 7 a.m. on February 28, the Meghani police station got an order from the
CP for all of us “to stand to”. We organised bandobast in the Meghani area:
Chamanpura, Chakla, Gulberg society, Dhupsingh Chali, Ratnanagar Char Rasta,
Ramannagar New Crossing, Meghani Nagar bus stand, New Menta Bari, Meena
Bazaar and Rashmi Nagar society.
“On duty were mobile police sub-inspector, BC Dabhi, Ramesh Bhai, head con-
stable, Nathabhai, police constable Sureshbhai and Narjibhai, head constables
Bhupendra and Shailesh Singh. The police contingent was as needed and armed with
tear gas shells. There was enough bandobast at Meghani Nagar. “At 7 a.m. on Febru-
ary 28, the mob started attacking the mattress shop, the bakery and the cycle shop.
They were breaking all the shops and destroying things and burning them. At this
stage, police dispersed the crowd.
“The patrolling was carrying on when at 13.30 p.m. a huge crowd came from all directions – Om Nagar,
Chakla Road and Meghani Nagar. I called the police on the
mobile. The mob had talwars, lakdis, pipes and kerosene and they were shouting, 'Jai Shri Ram!' The mob
was 20-25,000 strong. We policemen were shouting, trying to
disperse the mob. We were using the public announcement system and saying that 'you are an unlawful
assembly.' The mob paid no attention to the warnings. They
turned more violent by this time. The bakeries, the cycle shop, the electric shops, the mattress shops, the
furniture shops and vehicles were completely destroyed. The mobs
had put obstruction on the roads and were looting the shops. We let off tear gas and issued warnings, we even
lathi-charged but the crowd was “possessed” and shouting, 'Jai Shri
Ram!' At this stage, four tear gas shells were let off. The mob turned even more violent and started
throwing stones on the police. The police took all lawful steps. I fired one round
with my revolver. I tried to take effective steps.
“But the crowd did not disperse. It became violent. Around this time, the Gulberg
society, which has mainly Muslims living there, was attacked by a mob from behind where the railway station
was. There was stone throwing and burning and the huge
mob even uprooted the railway tracks. I could hear shouts of “Ghusijao”. And from the direction of Om
Nagar and Chakla road, the mob tore down the gates, started
burning property and people and throwing stones.
“At this stage there was private firing by Muslims. The DCP Zone 4 and addi-
tional CP sector two were there. One person, Dinesh, died as a result of police firing. By this time women and
men from the Gulberg society were lying dead.
Gulberg society contains 19 blocks and 8 buildings. Women and children were hiding themselves on the loftsto
save their lives. From all four sides they were
attacked by mobs: 'Finish off all Muslims; our people were not spared by them, don't have mercy'. These
were the shouts. We kept issuing warnings to disperse
the mob, we even opened fire. Shravanji Lathoji Vanjara and one more was in-jured in private firing.”
In one of its most controversial decisions, the Modi government handed over in-vestigation to PN Barot,
assistant police commissioner, a man with connections to
the VHP. It later transferred the case to someone else. In the chargesheet filed, the names of the main
accused have not been mentioned.
List of accused:
* Reproduced from Communalism Combat Genocide Gujarat 2002, March-April 2002.
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
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You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT