Clean chit to Modi and others in post Godhra riots

Gujarat Global News Network, Ahmedabad
The Gujarat Government on Wednesday tabled in the assembly the second and final part of the inquiry report of Godhra train Carnage and subsequent state-wide riots in the year 2002. The report has given a clean chit to the then Chief

Minister Narendra Modi, the then Home Minister Late Haren Pandya and two erstwhile Miniters Bharat Barot and Late  Ashok Bhatt.

Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja said that, the incident of burning of S-6 coach of Sabarmati express on 27 th February 2002 was dreadful. It claimed 58 lives and over 40 were seriously injured. The riots throughout the state were ‘not organized’.

Jadeja added that, in all 44,445 affidavits were filled before the  Nanavati and Mehta commission, of which 488 affidavits were of Government officials and 18000 affidavits were for relief and rehabilitation claims.

The inquiry commission, in Part-I of its report, had said the burning train incident was a pre-planned act of conspiracy. Subsequently, allegations were

made by the opposition as well as some NGOs to ruin the image of State Government.

In order to ensure impartial probe into the matter, the then Chief Minister  Narendra

Modi had decided to form a commission for inquiry and included himself and his

government officials in the scope of investigation of the inquiry commission.

The panel comprising Justice G. T. Nanavati and Justice Akhsay H. Mehta gave a clean chit considering the incident as conspiracy. The report gave clean chit to political leaders and

other government officials. The inquiry commission has also taken the statement of Modi.

The role of the three police officers was negative in the findings of the inquiry which include

the then IPS Officer R. B. Shrikumar, Rahul Sharma and Sanjiv Bhatt.

Jadeja added that the commission also gave clean chit to former Home Minister late

Haren Pandya and former Minister Bharat Barot. There were two main points of inquiry

into the entire incident by the Commission which highlight the burning of the train coach

and the riots there after. Late Haren Pandya was alleged to have incited the mob to attack houses of Muslims. This allegation was made two months after the filing of the FIR. This allegation was not accepted by the Inquiry Commission without the required details.

In the Naroda Patiya area, it was alleged that Muslims were attacked by mobs of 5000 to

7000 men by leaders of the Vishva Hindu Parishad and Bharatiya Janata Party.

Jadeja added that it was alleged by NGO’s and the Congress party that the then Chief

Minister Narendra Modi and some of his ministers were responsible for the Godhra

incident. One of the allegation  was that the then Chief Minister  Modi had gone out of

Gandhinagar on 27/02/2002 without informing anyone. However,

the commission found the allegations baseless. CM does not have to report his visits to all

senior officials. But in the above case, the authorities making arrangements for CM visit

were informed, and his Godhra visit was not a suspense.

Another allegation was that the then Health Minister, Mr. Ashok Bhatt had, in consultation

with the Chief Minister Office, conducted post mortem by a doctor who had no experience.

However, it was not Ashok Bhatt’s decision to conduct a post mortem in the railway yard,

but the decision was taken by a local official and the inquiry has a clear conclusion that the

post mortem was done by qualified doctors.

Jadeja added that the then Chief Minister was alleged to have made an unauthorized

entry in Railway Coach No S-6. In which the Commission concludes that the purpose of the

entry was different, not to destroy the evidence.

He added that serious allegation was made against the then Chief Minister that the

administrative and police system had a meeting at the CM’s residence in night to step back

to take drastic actions. Such an allegation was made by Mr. R. B. Shrikumar and Sanjiv Bhatt.

But Mr. Bhatt could not prove his presence at CM residency before the commission. Mr.

Bhatt has made false allegations against the Chief Minister and the Government over the

meeting due to personal objections to the government and the higher authority. In addition,

the fact that the fax evidence presented by Mr. Bhatt on 27/2/2002 was also fake is clear in

the Commission's conclusion.

It was also alleged that the Gujarat Bandh Allan, given by the Vishva Hindu Parishad on

28/02/2002, was endorsed by the Chief Minister and Party  decided to incite violence against the minority community. This was not acceptable to the Commission.

(For news in Hindi see our Hindi daily Chaupal Chronicle)

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