India

Report on Modi’s Role in Gujarat Riots Handed Over to SC

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

New Delhi: A report on the role of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots in the state has been evaluated in a report presented to the Supreme Court today. The detailed report will stay confidential for now, the apex court said.

The report is based on the case filed against Modi by Zakia Jafri, whose husband, Ehsan Jafri, was burnt alive in the communal riots that left more than 1,200 people dead.

Mrs Jafri has said that Modi and several of his ministers were among 62 people who colluded to ensure that those being attacked during the riots did not receive help.

In May, the Supreme Court asked Senior Advocate Raju Ramachandran to conduct extensive analysis and review of the evidence gathered on the riots by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) that had also been appointed by the court. This team questioned Modi for several hours about the riots. The SIT report was handed over to the court in May 2010.

Among those who Ramachandran has reportedly met during his inquiry is senior police officer Sanjiv Bhatt who claims that he attended a meeting called by Modi just as the riots were erupting. Bhatt says that Modi asked police officers to ignore the riots. He also claims that Modi said that minorities were going to be taught a lesson.

Bhatt claims that at the meeting with a group of about eight police officers on February 27, 2002, Modi “further impressed upon the gathering that for too long the Gujarat police had been following the principle of balancing the actions against Hindus and Muslims while dealing with communal riots in Gujarat. This time the situation warranted that ‘the Muslims be taught a lesson to ensure that such incidents do not recur ever again.’ The chief minister expressed the view that the emotions were running very high among the Hindus, and it was imperative that they be allowed to ‘vent out their anger’.”

Other police officers who were at that meeting have said Bhatt was not present.

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