Babubhai Patel, known by his alias Babu Bajrangi, was a leader of the Gujarat wing of the Bajrang Dal, a Hindu nationalist organization in India. He was a central figure during the 2002 Gujarat violence.
His notoriety lies in the fact that he confessed (during a sting operation) to have actively participated in the killing of men, women, and children in Naroda Patiya – an Ahmedabad neighborhood witness to the worst rioting in February 2002, leading to the deaths of 97 people.
“We didn’t spare a single Muslim shop, we set everything on fire … we hacked, burned, set on fire … we believe in setting them on fire because these bastards don’t want to be cremated, they’re afraid of it … I have just one last wish … let me be sentenced to death … I don’t care if I’m hanged … just give me two days before my hanging and I will go and have a field day in Juhapura where seven or eight lakhs [seven or eight hundred thousand] of these people stay … I will finish them off … let a few more of them die … at least 25,000 to 50,000 should die,” he told a reporter.
Bajrangi himself had hit a pregnant Muslim woman, Kausar Banu, with a sword and boasted later in a sting operation that he had taken out her fetus on the tip of his weapon and then burnt her body. Although the court dismissed Bajrangi’s own admission of removing her fetus, it found him guilty of the cold-blooded murder of Kausar Banu.
He also said that Narendra Modi was a hero for whom he was ready to die, that the violence was carried out with Modi’s blessing, and that Modi subverted the legal process to save him.
He was sentenced to life term imprisonment by a special court for his role in masterminding the Naroda Patiya massacre. Still, the Supreme Court of India granted him bail on medical grounds in March 2019, thus marring the idea of justice.