2002 riots: 'Ethnic cleansing, genocide are foreign terms... cannot be considered'

ZakiaZakia Jafri listens to her son Tanveer Jafri after a court ruling rejecting a petition seeking the prosecution of BJP leader Narendra Modi. (PTI)

In her petition challenging the clean chit given by a special investigation team to Narendra Modi and others in the Gulberg Society killings, Zakia Jafri had used the expressions "ethnic cleansing" and "genocide". On Thursday, Ahmedabad metropolitan magistrate B J Ganatra dismissed both "foreign terms" as not applicable while rejecting Zakia's petition.

Ganatra also rejected the "larger conspiracy" argument raised by Jafri. Excerpts from his order:

'Foreign terms'

"Based on all the witness statements and documents on record, this court has to see whether the Gulberg Society incident was because of a conspiracy by powerful people in the state government or not. And whether, as the complainant says, this can be called 'ethnic cleansing' and 'genocide'."

The court goes into the origin of the expressions and notes that "ethnic cleansing" was first used during the struggle that broke out over the division of Yugoslavia, where people were killed based on community.

And "genocide is a Greek and Latin usage which means the killing of people on the basis of race," reads the order, going on to define the term.

"For this, we have to see the definition of 'genocide' as per the dictionary which is as follows: Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be disintegration of political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups," it says.

... contd.

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