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Criminal Case Against Modi
Launched in Gujarat

04 May, 2004

Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister for the Indian State of
Gujarat and thirteen other individuals including senior high
ranking government officials and police officers are now
facing serious charges of Genocide, Torture and Crimes
against Humanity.

The Civil Suit for damages was filed today, 30th April 2004, at
a Gujarat District Court, by the British based Dawood family on
behalf of their relatives who were violently attacked and murdered
during the Gujarat carnage two years ago. The case may lead to
further charges being filed in international courts at a future

Such legal action against senior political and government
officials is unprecedented in Indian legal history. The
charges will mean that the officials will face huge
compensation claims and the case will highlight the specific
roles played by state officials in the Gujarat Carnage.

The scale of attacks on Indian Muslims during the period has
been described as a highly organised and systematic Genocide
that claimed thousands of innocent lives. Hundreds of Muslim
women are known to have been brutally raped and over two
hundred thousand people were displaced from their homes
and businesses.

Amongst those targeted were the British nationals. In February
2002, whilst returning from the Taj Mahal, the vehicle carrying
the four British tourists, was stopped on the main highway
into Gujarat, by a well organised roadblock set up by hindu
extremists. The roadblock was in close proximity to local
police services and once the vehicle had been stopped Mohamed
Aswat, Sakil Dawood, Saeed Dawood, Imran Dawood and Yusuf
Palagar, an Indian national, were then set upon by the mob
for being Muslims. Only 18 year old, Imran Dawood,
survived the attacked.

All senior public figures listed in the claim, formed a "hierarchy
of command in Gujarat qua the Prantij Police Station and are
therefore responsible not only for their own acts as agents
of the State that caused and facilitated the violation of
rights but also for the acts of non-state players", such as
those individuals directly responsible for the murder of
the Dawood relatives. Apart from Mr Modi, other senior
officials include Mr Gordhonbhai Pragjibahi Zadaphia (the Home
Minister of the State of Gujarat); Mr Ashok Narayan ( the Home
Minister of the State of Gujarat) ; Mr K.Chakravarty (Director
General of Police of the State of Gujarat) ; Mr Amitabh
Pathak (Inspector General of Police of the State of Gujarat.);
Mr N. D. Solanki (the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Dist.
Sabarkantha, Gujara).; and Mr D. K. Vankar (the Inspector
of Police, Prantij Police Station, Dist. Sabarkantha,
Gujarat). Bracket designations indicate positions held by
individual at the material time.

The lengthy and highly detailed documentation lodged in Court
today also holds the Chief Minister responsible "for the acts
of commission and omission committed by his officers in the
command structure" for the systematic gruesome targeted
pattern of destruction of the Muslim community that clearly
"constitute actionable wrongs of genocide, torture and
crimes and against humanity and violation of the fundamental
rights of life and liberty".

The perception of India, will be under enormous scrutiny as a
result of these charges. The case has already been the focus
of an adjournment debate in the British Parliament and both
the British Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, Jack
Straw have expressed 'deep concern' at the circumstances in
which the British Citizens were murdered and a lack of
any serious investigation thereafter.

Yusuf Dawood, brother of one of the British victims stated,
"We have all been traumatised by the loss of our loved ones,
in particular; the circumstances have made it very difficult
to come to terms with the tragedy. It is hoped that by
pursuing the culprits and those that have organised the
Genocide, the deaths of our loved ones will not be in
vain. We should never forget the scale of these crimes
and no one should rest until justice has been done."

Imran Khan, an eminent British civil rights lawyer who
represents the family said, "Given the existing circumstances
in Gujarat, the family has been forced to bring this legal
action, a first step to holding those responsible for murder
and genocide to account. We now hope that the Courts in India
will allow our action to proceed without placing any
unnecessary obstacles in its way".

Suresh Grover, the Dawood Family Spokesperson, said, "We know
from experience that obtaining justice is never easy and rarely
achieved but this unprecedented legal action achieved through
joint work in India and the UK will not only galvanise
international public support for the Dawood family but also
offer hope for those victims living in fear in Gujarat