The anti-Sikh riots in 1984 and violence in Gujarat, after killing of 59 Ram Bhaktas in Godhra Railway Station, in 2002, and subsequent subversion of Criminal Justice System in Gujarat State, had inflicted infamy on the image of Indian State and its commitment to the Rule of Law. Unlike terrorist attacks and explosions, no communal riots can prolong unless the authorities avoid implementation of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), to control and contain mass violence and normalize public order. High Voltage mass violence was reported from 11 of 30 police administrative units of Gujarat. Significantly, volume of crime was directly proportionate to the commitment of law enforcers in police and Executive Magistracy, to implement SOP, ignoring extra-legal pressures from unauthorized quarters.
The book uncovers the author’s experience as a senior police officer and citizen about background, course and aftermath of 2002 communal holocaust.
The author provides substantial sound evidence on planners and perpetrators of violence. Basing on his situation assessment reports, the Central Election Commission, in August 2002, had refused to accept the State Assembly Election Schedule proposed by the State Government, after premature dissolution of the Assembly. Instances of complacency of the Judicial Commission by not probing deeply into inputs on the omissions and commissions of government officials and political bureaucracy are delineated. The Special Investigation Team (SIT), constituted by the Supreme Court, had practically transformed into a team of defence lawyers of the planners, organizers and enablers of violence, by booking only foot soldiers of communal crimes, the author lamented.
He throws light on the soul-less secularism of the Indian National Congress, betraying opportunistic communalism, by appeasement of minority and majority communalism simultaneously. How the government failed to practice ‘Raj Dharma’, both as per the ideals of Indian heritage and provisions of the Constitution of India is explained. The imperativeness of providing statutory frame-work to the concepts of command responsibility and accountability of supervisory cadre in the government, is projected as the vital lesson to be learnt for forestalling repetition of mass crimes in future.