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Featured Documentary

SBS | DATELINE | Gujarat - Getting Away With Murder | (2008) 25 min.

Synopsis

Video journalist Amos Roberts investigates the extraordinary case of the bloody Gujarat riots, and why the perpetrators are still free.

A few months ago, Indian news organisation Tehelka broke what should have been one of the biggest stories in the history of Indian journalism.

A Tehelka journalist went undercover and secretly recorded mass murderers not just confessing, but also boasting of their crimes. Even more alarmingly, the recordings implicated high-level officials.

The crimes occurred during the 2002 riots in Gujarat, which pitted Hindu against Muslim. The riots began when 57 Hindus sitting on a train were burnt to death by a Muslim mob. Over the next three days, Hindus went on a killing spree, murdering Muslims as revenge.

"œThere was this pregnant woman, I slit her open, sisterf***er, showed them what's what. What kind of revenge we can take if our people are killed," is an example of one of the confessions to the Tehelka journalist.

Since the story aired in October last year, almost none of the perpetrators have faced trial.

Victims and human rights groups claim that those who have faced trial have been given favourable treatment by police, prosecutors, even judges.

In one example, an alleged perpetrator was given three judges, before he got one that allowed him to go free on bail.

"œOne would imagine that if one went on television and declared that one had murdered one's neighbour, that within two hours the police would be knocking on your door," Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal tells Roberts.

"œHere we're talking about mass murderers who are on camera on national television, probably for the first time in the history of the media, actually telling you how they killed, where they killed, why they killed and nothing happens."

Now, human rights groups are demanding that the remaining trials be moved out of Gujarat, a state that leaves its Muslim population feeling persecuted and terrified.