‘Congress ran away when 1992-93 riots broke out’
Sukanya Shetty: How proactive has the judiciary been in this process of justice to the riot victims?
Muchhala: Our writ petitions are still pending before Supreme Court. Justice A S Anand was proactive, others were not interested. There is no consistent judicial policy.
Mayura Janwalkar: Will the commission report be implemented? Is there hope?
Muchhala: The report is valuable as it forms a government archive. The information that flows from the government archive is not pure. Without such a commission, the future generation will not know what happened in 1992-93. Conscience is kept alive and it helps ensure such incidents do not recur.
Sukanya Shetty: Commissions are not meant to be brilliant archives. Maharahstra has seen several of them, but findings of none were implemented. The commissions became political tools. So, what is the real use?
Muchhala: I agree with you that commissions are used for political benefits. But it is not correct that Srikrishna Commission did not serve any purpose. It is an honest report.
When I decided to participate in the commission, the reaction of the Muslim youth was dangerous.
"Aise bhi marte hain, toh chaar ko maar ke marenge", was the feeling. They are not criminals. They did not participate in riots or in blasts. But the anger was there. Sense of injustice was there. That expression was very dangerous.
The moment the commission started its inquiry, people started phoning and giving information. These are intangible benefits. The manner in which Justice Srikrishna conducted the inquiry, hats off to him. He allowed people to open their hearts.
So far as the guilty are concerned, they were shivering in their trousers.
Swatee Kher: Many went missing after the riots. And as per law, if a victim is not traced for seven years s/he is declared dead. But this aspect was not considered by the government while disbursing compensation.