Doc’s testimony nails lie in Naroda Patia fetus story

via published on March 20, 2010

AHMEDABAD: One of the most gory stories of the Naroda Patia massacre, of how a pregnant woman’s womb was ripped open and the fetus dangled on the tip of a sword by the mob, before she was killed, has been busted by a testimony given by a government doctor.

After 95 persons were killed on February 28, 2002 at Naroda Patia, stories were doing rounds that the killers had cut open eight-month pregnant Kausar Bano Shaikh’s womb, pulled out the fetus and killed her.

Dr J S Kanoria, who conducted post-mortem on the woman’s body on March 2, told the special court on Wednesday, supported by documents, that he found the fetus intact. He said he was posted at Nadiad but called to the Civil Hospital following the emergency when he conducted the autopsy on an unidentified body, which was later identified as Kausar Bano.

Kanoria showed his post-mortem report to the court saying he found the fetus intact in the woman’s womb itself. The fetus weighed 2,500 g and was 45 cm long. He mentioned about burn injuries in his post-mortem note, but was quiet on whether there was any other injury on the body.

In April last year, the Gujarat government argued before the SC on this case after SIT submitted a report in a sealed cover. The government’s claim was that SIT had refuted charges that Kausar Bano’s fetus was pulled out of her womb and killed by sword before her eyes by violent mob. Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi contended that such allegations levelled by an NGO were proved false by SIT report. Nearly a year later, the doctor, considered a neutral witness, has deposed the same before the trial court.


Also Read ‘An Unconscionable’ Act by Pratap Bhanu Mehta in Indian Express , Published on Apr 15, 2009

New Delhi :  The news reports of the Supreme Court appointed SIT’s charges against a leading activist, Teesta Setalvad are truly disturbing. She is charged with adding morbidity to the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat by “cooking up macabre tales of killings”. One has to see the full SIT report to come to terms with how grievous the charges are. On the face of it the SIT is credible. But by all news accounts Teesta Setalvad has done the cause of justice irreparable harm. And her actions, as described, will undermine the capability of civil society to have any imprimatur of impartiality in investigating riot cases.

If true, she has not only done deep disservice to the victims of the Gujarat riots; she has also undermined the credibility of so-called secular interlocutors.

( COMMENT: WHEN DID THE ‘SECULARISTS’ HAVE ANY CREDIBILITY? ) It confirms the suspicion many have, that often those speaking in the name of secularism do not subscribe to the very values they claim to be fighting for: truth, justice, impartiality and the rule of law. Their secularism is in the service of beating down opponents rather than discovering the truth. “Tutoring witnesses”, concocting horror stories in a politically charged situation is a serious crime; of a piece with what the supposedly “bad” guys do. After all, their politics depends upon falsely whipped-up paranoia, tampering with the system of justice, engaging in a pornography of violence and having scant regard for the truth. The fact that this is done in the name of victims, for a supposedly just cause, does not excuse it. It makes it worse.

This story should have been a big front page story. ( COMMENT: How can the “SECULAR HOOT & SCOOT” MEDIA PUT IT ON THE FRONT PAGE?!!) It deserves much more coverage and discussion. Of course, this is not the first time Teesta Setalvad’s role has come under the scanner. Her role in the Zahira Sheikh case was a matter of some concern, and there has been a widespread perception in legal struggles that her advocacy sometimes makes the cause of justice more, not less difficult. One cannot speculate about the circumstances under which she engaged in this self undermining rhetorical overkill. On the face of it, it was all so needless. The events in Gujarat were horrific enough — there was no need to spoil the case with appalling falsehoods.

The good news is that in the case of Gujarat, at least some wheels of justice are turning. But the SIT’s findings against Teesta Setalvad are a salutary reminder, that the rule of law and the cause of truth should not be allowed to be subordinated to any ideology: communal or secular.

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