Following is the transcript of Babu Bajrangi’s Interview with Tehelka
in Sept 2007.
.Today,nearly 5 years later he has been CONVICTED .
Conspirators & Rioters
‘After Killing Them, I Felt Like Maharana Pratap’
Transcript: BABU BAJRANGI
Neither loot nor rape, this Bajrang Dal leader had only murder on his mind
SEPTEMBER 1, 2007
Bajrangi: My role was as follows: I was the first to start the
[Naroda] Patiya operation… We and the local residents were all
together. Patiya is just half a kilometre away from my home… I had
gone to Godhra when it happened… I could not bear what I saw… The next
day, we gave them a fitting reply…
TEHELKA: What were you unable to tolerate in Godhra?
Bajrangi: Any person who saw the Godhra kaand [massacre] would have
felt like just killing them at once, hacking them apart… that’s how it
TEHELKA: You were there?
Bajrangi: Yes, yes, I was with them… So the Godhra kaand happened and
after what I saw, I just came back to Naroda and we took revenge.
TEHELKA: How could you organize it all in such short time?
Bajrangi: Little time… We organized everything that night itself… We
mobilised a team of 29 or 30 people… Those who had guns, we went to
them that night itself and told them to give us their guns… If anyone
refused, I told them I would shoot them the next day, even if they
were Hindu… So people agreed to part with whatever cartridges and guns
they had… In this way, we collected 23 guns. But nobody died of
gunshots… What happened was this: we chased them and were able to
scare them into a huge khadda [pit]. There we surrounded them and
finished everything off… Then, at 7 o’clock, we announced…
TEHELKA: This was in Patiya? That’s what it’s called, isn’t it?
Bajrangi: Yes, yes, Patiya.
TEHELKA: Please describe the area.
Bajrangi: In Patiya, there is an ST [State Transport] workshop with a
huge wall beside it; next to this wall, Patiya begins… Opposite
Patiya, there is a masjid and beside it is a sprawling khadda… That’s
where we killed them all… At 7 o’clock, I called the home minister and
also Jaideepbhai [Jaideep Patel, VHP general secretary] and told them
how many people had been killed and said that things were now in their
hands… I don’t know if they did anything, though… At 2.30 in the
morning, an FIR was lodged against me… The FIR said I was there… the
police commissioner even issued orders to shoot me at sight…
TEHELKA: Who, Narendrabhai?
Bajrangi: The commissioner ordered…
• • •
Bajrangi: We and the Chharas carried out the Patiya massacre… After
that, we all went to jail… People gave us a lot of money after we were
jailed… I am rich, so I have no worries, but the Vishwa Hindu Parishad
leaders didn’t care for those who were poor and had no money. Even
from jail I was telling them [the VHP] to look after their families,
do something for the accused. They provided for them for some four to
six months, after that all help was stopped… They had promised to
fight our cases in court… but till today, nobody has done a thing…
Pravinbhai [Togadia, VHP international general secretary] had promised
this openly… and he had also said that if there were any problems at
their home or any loss [he would take care of them]… but no one knows
where they put all the money they collected… Nobody was given any
money… for five to seven months, they gave rations, but nothing apart
TEHELKA: You were in touch only with Jaideepbhai?
Bajrangi: Only Jaideep was talking to me from the VHP.
TEHELKA: The day the Muslims were killed…
Bajrangi: I spoke to Jaideepbhai 11 or 12 times… aur humne tabiyat se
kaata… Haldighati bana di thi [and we killed at will, turned the place
into Haldighati]… And I am proud of it, if I get another chance, I
will kill even more…
TEHELKA: Where was Jaideepbhai camping then?
Bajrangi: Jaideepbhai was sitting at Dhanwantri, which is Pravinbhai’s
dispensary, he was there… in Bapunagar… There he was and I didn’t even
tell him that we were going to do this… In Naroda and Naroda Patiya,
we didn’t spare a single Muslim shop, we set everything on fire, we
set them on fire and killed them… That’s what we did… Up till then,
they didn’t know what was happening; when they got to hear of how many
had been killed, they got scared…
• • •
Photo: Paras Shah
Bajrangi: There is a distance of about half a kilometre between Naroda
[Patiya] and Naroda Gaon… We did a lot at both places… must have
butchered not less than… Then we dumped the corpses into a well… At
first, I didn’t talk [This was TEHELKA’s fourth meeting with him.] I
thought… Many journalists and all kinds of people and come ask me if I
was in the Patiya incident… I tell them I was not involved, I was
quite far away admitted in a hospital…
• • •
TEHELKA: Do you know Gordhan Zadaphia has revolted?… During the Patiya
massacre, what did he say when you spoke to him?
Bajrangi: I spoke to Gordhan Zadaphia… I told him everything that had
happened… He told me to leave Gujarat and go into hiding… I asked what
he meant, but he told me to run away and to not ever say anywhere that
we had talked…
• • •
TEHELKA: Tell us how it was all done… revolvers… cylinders…
Bajrangi: The cylinders were theirs [the Muslims’]… Whichever house we
entered, we just grabbed the cylinder and fired at it, and, dhadak,
they exploded… We had guns in any case… I can’t tell you what a good
time it was… But four of our activists died in it… No hearing took
place even in that…
TEHELKA: Did you climb to the top of a masjid and tie a pig there?
Bajrangi:We rammed an entire tanker into it… the tanker was fully
laden… We rammed that tanker inside…
TEHELKA: It was a petrol tanker, no?
Bajrangi: It was diesel… We drove a whole diesel tanker in and then
set [the mosque] on fire…
TEHELKA: Meaning, it was the tanker explosion which set Patiya on fire?
Bajrangi: In the masjid…
TEHELKA: In the masjid…
Bajrangi: As for the rest of it, I was in charge at the time… Whatever
I wanted to do, I did…
TEHELKA: At the pit, was oil… Those people had gathered there…
Bajrangi: It was a huge pit… You could enter it from one side but you
couldn’t climb out at the other end… They were all there together…
They started clinging to each other… Even while they were dying, they
told each other, you die too, what are you going to be saved for, you
die too… so the number of deaths increased.
TEHELKA: Then people poured oil in…
Bajrangi: Oil and burning tyres…
TEHELKA: Where did the oil come from?
Bajrangi: Oh that… We had lots of material with us… we filled lots of
jerrycans in advance… From the petrol pump, the night before… Petrol
pump owners gave us petrol and diesel for free…
• • •
TEHELKA: Muslims were hacked to pieces…
Bajrangi: Hacked, burnt, set on fire, many things were done… many… We
believe in setting them on fire because these bastards say they don’t
want to be cremated, they’re afraid of it, they say this and that will
happen to them… I have just one wish… one last wish…. Let me be
sentenced to death… I don’t want to be incarcerated… I don’t care if
I’m hanged… Give me two days before my hanging and I will go and have
a field day in Juhapura [a Muslim dominated are], where seven or eight
lakh of these people stay… I will finish them off … Let a few more of
them die… At least 25-50,000 should die…
TEHELKA: How many witnesses have testified against you?
Bajrangi: Fourteen Muslims and 16 policemen… Out of the 14 Muslims,
some have moved to Juhapura… They’ve left Patiya, they don’t have the
guts to stay there, defying us… The rest have gone to Karnataka… They
got money after all, Rs 7 lakh each… Narendrabhai never said how much
they would be given… He announced [the compensation package] then gave
out cheques of Rs 20,000 each and that’s where things got stuck…
Afterwards, he gave nothing to anyone… But then the Central government
• • •
TEHELKA: In other words, the way [you] have killed will go down in history.
Bajrangi: Arrey hamari FIR me likha gaya hai… ek woh pregnant thi,
usko to humne chir diya thha b*******d sala… Unko dikhaya ki kya hota
hai… ki hum log ko tumne maara to hum tumko kya pratikaar de sakte
hain… hum khichdi kadhi wale nahin hai [It has been written in my FIR…
there was this pregnant woman, I slit her open, sisterf****r… Showed
them what’s what… what kind of revenge we can take if our people are
killed… I am no feeble rice-eater]… didn’t spare anyone… they
shouldn’t even be allowed to breed… I say that even today… Whoever
they are, women, children, whoever… Nothing to be done with them but
cut them down. Thrash them, slash them, burn the bastards… Hindus can
be bad… Hindus can be bad, and I’m saying that because, as I see it,
Hindus are as wicked as those people are… Many of them wasted time
looting… Arrey, [the idea is] don’t keep them alive at all, after that
everything is ours…
TEHELKA: And some people also raped…
Bajrangi: No, there were no rapes…
TEHELKA: One or two Chharas may have…
Bajrangi: If some Chharas took some women, that’s a different matter…
We were marching in groups… There was no place to rape anyone there…
Everyone was on a killing spree… we were killing, hacking… There were
lanes where we had to face Muslims… there would be a confrontation,
they’d fight back with all their strength…The moment we’d killed a
few, we’d move on… In this melée, if some girl was trying to run away
and if a Chhara caught her, then that’s another matter… That day, it
was like what happened between Pakistan and India… There were bodies
everywhere… it was a sight to be seen, but it wasn’t something to be
filmed, in case it got into someone’s hands… There was a video-wala
there, some mediawala, we set him on fire too… Lots of those miyas
[Muslims] deceived us… They’d chant Jai Mata Di and get away… that
happened too… they’d put tilaks on their foreheads and shout Jai Shri
Ram, Jai Mata Di….
TEHELKA: Tell me how that SRPF [State Reserve Police Force] man saved people?
Bajrangi: There was just one Muslim… some big SRP man… Sayeed…
TEHELKA: He was an officer…
Bajrangi: Yes, he was… All this cutting and killing happened behind
the SRP camp… The ones who weren’t in the pit, they ran and got into
the SRP compound… The SRP jawans there were driving them away… when
the officer came in his vehicle and said take everyone inside… He was
in command… an officer… So, lots of people were saved this way… at
least 500 were rescued… Otherwise would they have all gone too… The
officer was also fired at… He is also a witness against me…
TEHELKA: But then Narendrabhai promoted him and…
Bajrangi: Silenced him… So, there was good work done in Patiya. Today
too I am fighting against Muslims and will continue to do so… I have
nothing to do with politics… What I say is this: the VHP is an
organisation… a Hindu organisation… Our politics should be limited to
killing Muslims, beating them up…
TEHELKA: How do you feel after you have killed Muslims…
Bajrangi: Maza aata hai na, saheb [I enjoy it]… I came back after I
killed them them, called up the home minister and went to sleep… I
felt like Rana Pratap, that I had done something like Maharana Pratap…
I’d heard stories about him, but that day I did what he did myself.
Nov 3, 2007
see the video here