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Conspirators & Rioters

‘The RSS Will Tell You How Chharas Killed Muslims’

Transcript: PRAKASH RATHOD & SURESH RICHARD

The Sangh succeeded in mobilising the under class during the riots. Rathod and Richard proved their worth at Naroda Patiya

 

AUGUST 12, 2007

TEHELKA: Are some of the Patiya accused still in jail?

Rathod: No, not from Patiya…

TEHELKA: Bipin Panchal [a BJP worker] is still inside, isn’t he?

Rathod: Bipin is out… Only one is in, Shashikant alias Tunia…

TEHELKA: Where does Bipin stay?

Rathod: He used to stay in Krishna Nagar, but now nobody knows…

TEHELKA: He was here that time…

Rathod: He was… All the boys were with him — he was distributing samaan [weapons]...

TEHELKA: Swords etc?… The Chharas rioted with lathis…

Rathod: No, no, some of them had talwars and trishuls… You know that guy Suresh Richard whom you met, he had every kind of weapons except revolvers…

TEHELKA: Enough to distribute?

Rathod: There was this man called Gudda… He is in jail… He had been let out on parole but he ran away, so he’s in jail for that… He killed a lot of people too… He showed great daring…

TEHELKA: Where was Bipin that day?

Rathod:We were all scattered at first… Then came Bipin Panchal… There were lots of people with him… They all entered saying Shri Ram, Shri Ram, they have killed our brothers and now we have to teach them a lesson… When the fires started, the Muslims also gathered…

TEHELKA: The Muslims…

Rathod: Then we beat them and made them run… One or two of them were thrown into [the fire]…

TEHELKA: Suresh Richard was part of the mob…

Rathod: He fought very well, so did Gudda and Naresh Chhara… They were tireless… The Muslims are scared of Richard… Even the police is scared of him… If he wasn’t handicapped, he’d have…

• • •

TEHELKA: Are all of you happy with the VHP…

Rathod: Who comes here now from the VHP… Only Babu Bajrangi still bothers to find out about us… We got out of jail before he did… Babubhai was the last released… but he used to ask about us even from jail … What sangathan... Our women fought like the Rani of Jhansi… We [the Chharas] went first… The VHP followed us… Nobody could have done what we did… We filled well after well… we burned enough [people] to fill tractors…

Richard: I swear by my children... I swear by the Mata that if we had not been there, at least 30 to 35 Hindus would have been killed…

• • •

Richard: [On the day of the massacre] we did whatever we did till quite late in the evening… at around 7.30… around 7.15, our Modibhai came… Right here, outside the house… My sisters garlanded him with roses…

TEHELKA: Narendrabhai Modi…

Richard: Narendra Modi… He came with black commandos… got down from his Ambassador car and walked up here…. All my sisters garlanded him… a big man is a big man after all…

TEHELKA: He came out on the road?

Richard: Here, near this house… Then he went this way… Looked at how things were in Naroda…

TEHELKA: The day the Patiya incident happened…

Richard: The same evening…

TEHELKA: February 28…

Richard: 28…

TEHELKA: 2002…

Richard: He went around to all the places… He said our tribe was blessed… He said our mothers were blessed [for bearing us]…

TEHELKA: He came at about 5 o’clock or at 7?

Richard: Around 7 or 7.30… At that time there was no electricity… Everything had been burnt to ashes in the riots…

• • •

 



Richard:We’d finished burning everything and had returned… That was when the police called us… They said some Muslims were hiding in this sewer… When we went there, we saw their houses had been completely burned down but seven or eight of them had hidden in the gutter… We shut the lid on it… If we’d gone in after them, we might have been in danger… We closed the lid and weighted it down with big boulders… Later, they found eight or ten corpses in there… They’d gone there to save their lives, but... they died of the gases down there… This happened in the evening… the dhamal [killing spree] went till night, till about 8.30…

TEHELKA: So you went in again….

Richard:We were inside… By evening, things had cooled down… We were tired also… After all, a man gets tired out… Hurling stones, beating with pipes, stabbing, all this… The way we came out from inside could only be done by a man of strong heart…

• • •

Richard: Mayaben was moving around all day in an open jeep…

TEHELKA: On the day of the Patiya massacre…

Richard: [She was saying] Jai Shri Ram, Jai Shri Ram… wearing a saffron headband… She kept raising slogans… She said, carry on with your work, I’m here [to protect you]… She was wearing a white sari and had on a saffron band… I had also tied on a saffron band…

• • •

Richard: Batteries were burning… gas cylinders were burning…. Some pigs were sleeping under a truck…. We killed a pig, four or five of us Chharas got together and killed the pig… Then we hung the pig up from the mosque and raised a saffron flag… Eight or 10 of us climbed on top… We tried hard but the masjid didn’t break…

• • •

Richard: One of our brothers brought a tanker… from Thakar Nagar crossroad…. He’d killed Muslims and brought the tanker. It was put in reverse and the mosque was broken… [It burst] like water out of a fire engine... Petrol was thrown and then it was burnt…

TEHELKA: who brought the tanker?

Richard: A brother brought it...

TEHELKA: From the VHP...

Richard: Not that… He was a Hindu brother… Those who were inside… they were all finished …

TEHELKA: It is being said the Chharas also committed rapes…

Richard: Now look, one thing is true… bhookhe ghuse to koi na koi to phal khayega, na [when thousands of hungry men go in, they will eat some fruit or the other, no]… Aise bhi, phal ko kuchal ke phek denge [in any case, the fruit are going to be crushed and thrown away]... Look, I’m not telling lies… Mata is before me [gesturing to an image of a deity]… Many Muslim girls were being killed and burnt to death anyway, some people must have helped themselves to the fruit…

TEHELKA: There must have been a couple of rapes…

Richard: Might even have been more… then there were the rest of our brothers, our Hindu brothers, VHP people and RSS people… Anyone could have helped themselves… who wouldn’t, when there’s fruit?… The more you harm them, the less it is… I really hate them… don’t want to spare them… Look, my wife is sitting here but let me say…the fruit was there so it had to be eaten… I also ate… I also ate… I ate once

TEHELKA: Just once?

Richard: Just once… then I had to go killing again… [turns to relative Prakash Rathod and talks about the girl he had raped and killed]… That scrap-dealer’s girl, Naseemo… Naseemo that juicy plump one… I got on top…

TEHELKA: You got on top of her…

Richard: Yes, properly…

TEHELKA: She didn’t survive, did she?

Richard: No, then I pulped her… Made her into a pickle…

• • •

Richard: Today, I will say something... If you have a child and I put him into the fire… your soul will burn, won’t it... Those who survived have called me the cripple who burnt their children… Some survived…by putting a tika on their foreheads… or by hiding in a hut…

TEHELKA: Passing off as Hindus…

Richard: A crowd came saying Jai Shri Ram… but we knew who was from which community… So then we killed them, ask the RSS and Bajrang Dal people… they will tell you that the Chharas were picking out the Muslims and killing them… marking them down one by one …

Nov 03, 2007
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