Thoughts on economics and liberty

Haren Pandya, Modi’s murdered minister, was no saint. Burnt shops, demolished tombs and 400 year old masjids.

Extracts from the Iyer-Sawant report:

Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gaon have a long history of VHP provocation. Police sources revealed to expert witnesses who deposed before the Tribunal, that in 1999 a dargah was broken down and an idol installed in its place. At the time, the local police repaired the dargah and arrested 10-15 persons, including Dr. Jaideep Patel, Maya Kotdani and Amrish Pandey. Pressure was mounted on the police by the then home minister, Haren Pandya, but the police stood their ground and the law-breakers were forced to back down.

The sounds and trumpeting that followed caused terror in the entire locality. During the last election, former minister Haren Pandya, who won from the Paldi area, had openly proclaimed during his campaign, “Baandyo nabin bachwo joyiye” (“Not a single baandyo, abusive term for a Muslim/circumcised person must be spared.”)

Three eyewitnesses, who deposed before the Tribunal, saw former revenue minister Haren Pandya opposite the VS Hospital, setting fire to the Apna Bazaar Medical. “Aa Miyaone aag lagadiye” (“Let us burn these Muslims”), he was shouting, after he had burnt it down himself. The Ellis Bridge police station is close by but they did nothing. The fire brigade was called and they tried desperately to put out the fire. But Pandya, leading the mob, prevented them. An FIR has been launched against him and BJP MLA Ashok Bhatt.

There were attacks on 6 housing societies in Paldi, where about 1,000 Muslims live. In all, there are about 5-6,000 Hindus living in this area. Kazmi Apartments, Elite, Delite, Corner 2, Tarana Apartments and Bungalows No. 16 and 24 in Paldi, occupied by the owners of Motimahal, were completely burnt. Eyewitnesses testified to seeing the then Gujarat revenue minister, Haren Pandya, leading mobs who then committed arson.

Pandya was elected from this constituency (Ellis Bridge). During his campaign for the last elections, he openly said, “Paldi se musalman ka naam aur nisban mita denge” (“We’ll wipe out any trace of Muslim presence from the Paldi area”).

Ever since the BJP came to power, state cabinet ministers used pressure on the police to prevent the observance of the rule of law. Former revenue minister Haren Pandya, home minister Gordhan Zadaphiya, ministers Naran Laloo Patel, Niteen Patel, had been indicted for crimes.

that it is not just the ordinary worker of the Sangh Parivar, even ministers and other Hindutva leaders are involved in instigating the economic boycott of Muslims from behind the scenes. Home minister Shri Gordhan Zadaphiya and revenue minister Shri Haren Pandya, ministers Shri Narayan Laloo Patel, Shri Niteen Patel, forest minister Shri Prabhatsinh Chauhan, minister of state for cottage industries, Shri Ranjitsinh Chawda, BJP MLAs Sushri Amita Patel and Sushri Maya Kotdani and Dr. Jaideep Patel (Gujarat VHP’s vice-president), among many others, have been named by the eyewitnesses, in this context.

On March 1, his tomb, located not more than 10 metres from the office of Ahmedabad’s commissioner of police (also the police headquarters) was demolished and a saffron flag hoisted on the site. It is believed that the shrine was torn down by marauding mobs under the directions of Gujarat’s revenue minister, Shri Haren Pandya. This flag was removed on the night of March 2.

On the night of March 3, a 400-year-old mosque owned by the Wakf Board, and located near Anjali Cinema in Ahmedabad, was broken down in the presence of state ministers Shri Haren Pandya and Shri Amit Shah. As in many other cases, a ‘Hulladiya Hanuman’ idol was installed there, followed by darshans and artis.

The Tribunal observes that in Gujarat, many cabinet ministers are simultaneously prominent leaders of the VHP. The home minister, Shri Gordhan Zadaphiya, is one of them. So, too, is the former revenue minister Shri Haren Pandya, a senior VHP functionary. He has been named by many witnesses who appeared before us, as trying to influence police not to take action against the accused.

 Some of the senior BJP leaders and ministers in Shri Modi’s cabinet were also alleged to have participated in the destruction of minority places of worship. Minister for revenue, Shri Haren Pandya and health minister, Shri Ashok Bhatt led the mobs enthusiastically in Ahmedabad. Shri Bharat Barot, a sitting MLA, was also at the forefront. Residents of Paldi, from where Shri Pandya was elected, actually saw him lead arson attacks. Shri Pandya’s election promise the last time was “to wipe any trace of Muslims out of Paldi.”

So much for the kind of company Modi has been keeping. Can one trust him as PM? Don’t know.


Sanjeev Sabhlok

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