The Commission wishes to
make a first set of Recommendations for the immediate consideration
of the Central and State Governments. As indicated earlier, once a response
has been received from these Governments on the report of the visit
of the Commission's team to Gujarat, and a full analysis made of the
numerous representations received by the Commission, additional Proceedings
will be recorded by the Commission on the situation in Gujarat, offering
further Comments and Recommendations.
I. Law & Order
(i) In view of the widespread
allegations that FIRs have been poorly or wrongly recorded and that
investigations are being `influenced' by extraneous considerations or
players, the Commission is of the view that the integrity of the process
has to be restored. It therefore recommends the entrusting of certain
critical cases to the CBI. These include the cases relating to the Godhra
incident, which is at present being investigated by the GRP;·
Chamanpura (Gulbarga Society) incident; Naroda Patiya incident; ·
Best Bakery case in Vadodara; and the Sadarpura case in Mehsana district.
(ii) The Commission recommends
that Special Courts should try these cases on a day-to-day basis, the
Judges being handpicked by the Chief Justice of the High Court of Gujarat.
Special Prosecutors should be appointed as needed. Procedures should
be adopted for the conduct of the proceedings in such a manner that
the traumatized condition of many of the victims, particularly women
and children, is not aggravated and they are protected from further
trauma or threat. A particular effort should be made to depute sensitive
officers, particularly officers who are women, to assist in the handling
of such cases.
(iii) Special Cells should
be constituted under the concerned District Magistrates to follow the
progress of the investigation of cases not entrusted to the CBI; these
should be monitored by the Additional Director-General (Crime).
(iv) Specific time-frames
should be fixed for the thorough and expeditious completion of investigations.
(v) Police desks should be
set-up in the relief camps to receive complaints, record FIRs and forward
them to Police Stations having jurisdiction.
(vi) Material collected by
NGOs such as Citizen's Initiative, PUCL and others should also be used.
(vii) Provocative statements
made by persons to the electronic or print media should be examined
and acted upon, and the burden of proof shifted to such persons to explain
or contradict their statements.
(viii) Given the wide variation
in the performance of public servants in the discharge of their statutory
responsibilities, action should be initiated to identify and proceed
against those who have failed to act appropriately to control the violence
in its incipient stages, or to prevent its escalation thereafter. By
the same token, officers who have performed their duties well, should
(i) Visits to camps by senior
political leaders and officers should be organized in a systematic way
in order to restore confidence among those who have been victimized.
NGOs should be involved in the process and the management and running
of the camps should be marked by transparency and accountability
(ii) Senior officers of the
rank of Secretary and above should be given specific responsibility
in respect of groups of camps.
(iii) Special facilities/camps
should be set-up for the processing of insurance and compensation claims.
The Chief Minister of the State had requested the Commission to issue
an appropriate request to insurance companies for the expeditious settlement
of claims of those who had suffered in the riots. The Commission will
readily do so and recommends that the State Government send to it the
necessary details at an early date in order to facilitate such supportive
(iv) Inmates should not be
asked to leave the camps until appropriate relief and rehabilitation
measures are in place for them and they feel assured, on security grounds,
that they can indeed leave the camps.
(i) The Commission recommends
that places of worship that have been destroyed be repaired expeditiously.
Assistance should be provided, as appropriate, inter alia by the State.
(ii) Adequate compensation
should be provided to those who have suffered. This will require an
augmentation of the funds allocated thus far, through cooperative arrangements
involving both the State and Central Governments. Efforts should be
made to involve HUDCO, HFDC and international financial and other agencies
and programmes in this process.
(iii) The private sector,
including the pharmaceutical industry, should also be requested to participate
in the relief and rehabilitation process and proper coordinating arrangements
(iv) The role of NGOs should
be encouraged and be an intrinsic part of the overall effort to restore
normalcy, as was the case in the coordinated effort after the earthquake.
The Gujarat Disaster Management Authority, which was also deeply engaged
in the post-earthquake measures, should be requested to assist in the
present circumstances as well.
(v) Special efforts will
need to be made to identify and assist destitute women and orphans,
and those subjected to rape. The Women and Child Development Department,
Government of India and concerned international agencies/programmes
should be requested to help. Particular care will need to be taken to
mobilize psychiatric and counselling services to help the traumatized
victims. Special efforts will need to be made to identify and depute
competent personnel for this purpose.
(vi) The media should be
requested to cooperate fully in this endeavour, including radio, which
is often under-utilized in such circumstances.
IV. Police Reform
(i) The Commission would
like to draw attention to the deeper question of Police Reform, on which
recommendations of the National Police Commission and of the National
Human Rights Commission have been pending despite repeated efforts to
have them acted upon. The Commission is of the view that recent events
in Gujarat and, indeed, in other States of the country, underline the
need to proceed without delay to implement the reforms that have already
been recommended in order to preserve the integrity of the investigating
process and to insulate it from extraneous influences.
Justice J.S. Verma,Chairperson
Justice Sujata V. Manohar,
Virendra Dayal, Member
( These recommendations were
made on April 1st. and until April 30 Gujarat government did not submit
its final report. On May 1st NHRC gave Gujarat government two more weeks
to submit its final report)