On 3rd February 2017, a trial court in Gandhinagar district of Gujarat, acquitted 28 persons accused of arson and rioting during the genocide of Muslims in the state. 15 years have passed, and there have been convictions in the Gulbarg Society, Godhra train burning, Bilkis Bano and Best Bakery cases; however, the verdict is still pending in some of the prominent incidents of killing, rape and loot, as in Naroda Patiya and Sadarpura. Where convictions have taken place, it is not the organisers but some anti-social elements and lowly officials who have been found guilty; only one former Minister was convicted. Notably, the senior leaders of the BJP, police officers who were in command and the Chief Minister and his close associates have not been tried or punished despite repeated efforts by several individuals and organisations.
On the one hand, just like in numerous cases of genocide – 1983,1984, 1993, 2013, etc. those actually guilty of organizing such massacres of innocents on the basis of the community or nationality they belong to, have not been tried and punished. On the other, those organisations and individuals who have been fighting for justice for the victims have been systematically persecuted. Such organisations have been falsely implicated of blackmailing and buying off witnesses, or of violation of statutory provisions applicable to them. Criminal cases have been filed in the case of violations of civil laws just to harass the organisations and individuals. Likewise, witnesses who have come forward to identify individuals who have led the attacks have been terrorized into silence.
The Indian State has violated all principles of justice on every score. Those responsible for the communal crimes have not been put on trial, while those fighting for justice continue to face persecution and threats.