Gulberg Massacre Conspiracy: The Telltale Mobile Call Records of February 27/28, 2002

Written by Teesta Setalvad | Published on: June 18, 2016

For example, eyewitnesses and victim-survivors have spoken of the anguished calls made by Ahsan Jafri (before he was finally killed in a bestial fashion) to people at the highest levels in government. Was this mere human lapse or a pre-planned conspiracy at the very highest levels to allow people to be hounded, trapped, raped, molested, burned and killed at the Gulberg Society in an orgy of violence that started around 10 am and went on until 5.30- 6.00 pm?

Most critical of all, is the lapse in the SIT’s Investigations related to the PCT and phone call records of then commissioner of police, PC Pande.

Call records of PC Pande

Pande was in his office till about 1.00 am on the night of February 27/28. Normally, he would leave office at around 7 pm every evening. This clearly suggests that he was aware of the gravity of the situation following the Godhra train fire that day. He was back at his office by around 8.00 am. His normal schedule shows that he used to arrive at his office at about 10.30 am. His early arrival again shows that he was aware of the gravity of the situation.

Pande left his office at around 9.45 am and went towards Gota. This is likely to be his visit to the Sola Civil Hospital, where the dead bodies of the Godhra victims had been kept. He returned to his office around 10.50 am. He then remained confined to his office for the entire day and did not move out till about 7.10 pm, when he probably went to Gulberg Society, Meghaninagar.

The important point to be noted is that during the peak hours of the massacres, he did not move out of his office. It also appears that he did not issue clear and firm instructions to any of his officers and let things take their own course.

An analysis of the call records of Pande shows that on February 28 he made or received a total of 302 calls from his mobile phone. He had dialled 39 numbers from his mobile phone. Out of these 39 calls, he called the DGP, K Chakravarti, six times. He spoke to Jt CP Jha eight times and his DCPs eight times. Significantly, he called DCP, Zone IV, PB Gondia only twice: 15:16:12 hrs and 15:54:39 hrs. This despite the fact that the two worst-affected areas – Gulberg society, Meghaninagar and Naroda – were under Gondia’s jurisdiction.

Calls to/from CMO/Secretariat

There were as many as 15 calls received/and made to the bureaucrats who constantly shadowed the CM. Some secret numbers used by the chief minister himself have been revealed to us by members of Modi’s cabinet at the time that reveal calls made to a set of un-located and unknown numbers. At least about 40 per cent of the calls shown up in the phone records even today remain un-traced showing a willful refusal of both AT&T and Cellforce companies to cooperate with law enforcement agencies. If the Supreme Court were to directly order these companies to cooperate would they be able to get away with such deliberate non-compliance?

There were five incoming calls received by Pande from the PA to the chief minister, Tanmay Mehta (PA to CM) on February 28, 2002: 11:14, 13:21, 15:38, 15:57 and 19:26 hours. This was the time of the peak violence when neither Pande, nor any political heavyweight in the state moved to the affected areas.

Pande received two calls from Sanjay Bhavsar, OSD to Modi: 13:07 and 14:22 hours.

What is truly mysterious is why the high-profile SIT specially appointed by the apex court failed to carry out a professional investigation. For example, eyewitnesses and victim-survivors have spoken of the anguished calls made by Ahsan Jafri to people at the highest levels in government

Pande received/made seven calls to/from Anil Mukhim, additional principal secretary to the chief minister on that day. His call records show that he received four calls from Mukhim: 13:09, 13:12, 15:43, 15:50 and 21:14 hours. At 20: 09 hours and again at 21:03 hours he made calls to Mukhim’s number.

⇒ Pande also received one call from the mobile number of AP Patel, PA to the CM at 17:17 hours on February 28, 2002.

⇒ Pande was in touch with Ashok Narayan (then additional chief secretary, home) eight times during the day. Each time it is he who made the calls: 13:52,14:17, 14:19, 15:02, 15:25,  20:11, 23:26 and  23:42 hours.

⇒ Pande got in touch with SK Nanda, secretary, health and family welfare board, once during the day (at 15:05 hours).Note: The three men close to the chief minister, Tanmay Mehta (PA to CM), Sanjay Bhavsar (OSD to CM) and OP Sinh (PA to the CM) did not file any affidavits before the Nanavati-Shah-Mehta Commission until 2010 when these facts were first filed in the Supreme Court of India through an affidavit by Teesta Setalvad, Secretary, CJP.

Mehta filed his two page affidavit dated January 22, 2010, Bhavsar on January 22, 2010 and Sinh on February 1, 2010. Until then, for eight long years after the carnage, they found no reason, nor were they asked to, file an affidavit.

In these two page affidavits they have explained away the calls made or received from Zadaphia (MoS, home) and Jaideep Patel saying they were probably official and due to passage of time they do not recall what was spoken. There are no averments/explanations in these affidavits about the CMO being in touch with the commissioner of police Ahmedabad while violence had raged: 15 times during the day, a period that also coincided with complete and utter inaction on the part of the Ahmedabad Police.

The question, still remains, what were they talking to each other about?

Calls to/from other ministers

⇒ Pande received six calls from MoS, home, Govardhan Zadaphia on February 28, 2002: 11:31, 14:20, 14:5, 16:20, 17:16 and 19:11 hours.
⇒ Pande spoke to Narottam Patel, minister for water supplies and resources at 13:56 hours form his office landline number.
⇒ Pande spoke to Ashok Bhatt, state health minister twice: 15:09 and 18:31 hours (both were incoming calls).