Gulburg riots: Zakia in tears recounting husband`s killing

Zakia, wife of former Congress MP Ehsan Jaffery, who was killed during the 2002 Gulburg riots, on Friday broke down in the court while describing how brutally her husband was killed by a mob.

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2010, 21:47 PM IST

Ahmedabad: Zakia, wife of former Congress MP
Ehsan Jaffery, who was killed during the 2002 Gulburg riots,
on Friday broke down in the court while describing how brutally
her husband was killed by a mob.

Unable to hold back her tears, Zakia told the special
court of Judge B U Joshi, conducting trial in the case, that
her husband Ehsan was dragged and stripped by the mob, which
also chopped off his limbs before burning him.
She also described the horror that she and other members
of the Gulburg Society had to face on February 28, 2002, when
they were attacked by a mob of over 3000 people with weapons
and sticks, on the very next day of the Godhra train burning
incident. Sixty-nine people had died in the riots.

Zakia said on the day of the gruesome incident, many of
the Gulburg Society members took shelter in their house as her
husband was a former MP.

She recalled that an angry mob broke the gate and wall of
the society and started attacking people with swords and other
weapons killing many people, whose bodies were scattered all
over her house compound.

Zakia told the court that after the police came in the
evening, she came down from the first floor of her house and
saw in the verandah, mutilated bodies of her neighbour
Kasambhai`s wife and his pregnant daughter-in-law, who was
stabbed in the abdomen.
Zakia further said that she also saw 5-6 bodies lying in
the backyard of her house.

When asked by the special public prosecutor in the case R
C Kodekar if she knew how many people had died in the entire
incident, Zakia said she was not aware about how many died
near her house even today.

To another query from Kodekar, as to how people did
police save on that day, Zakia said, "there was no question of
saving anybody. Most of them were killed before the police
arrived around five in the evening."

During cross examination, defence lawyer Mitesh Amin
asked Zakia if she could name one of the persons whose
mutilated body she had seen in her compound.

"Why don`t you ask about those who beheaded my husband,"
Zakia asked Amin.

She said she had seen people brutally killing her husband
from the window on the first floor of her house.

Amin also questioned Zakia about Teesta Setalvad who runs
an NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace, which has been providing
legal help to some of the riot victims.

Zakia, however, denied of taking any legal help from
Setalvad or her former associate Rais Khan. She said all her
affidavits and other documents were prepared by her son
Tanveer Jaffery, with whom she has been staying since 2002.

She further said she had heard that the then city police
commissioner P C Pande had come to the society in the morning
and talked to her husband.

PTI