Clean chit to then CM Narendra Modi in Nanavati Mehta Commission report part – 2 tabled in Gujarat Assembly

Gandhinagar: Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, got the clean chit in the 2002 riots in the final report of the Nanavati and Maheta Commission today.

The part B of the Commission’s report, which was tabled in the Gujarat state Assembly, said that the “riots were not organised”.

The report said that the facts presented by senior police officers namely RB Shrikumar, Rahul Sharma and Sanjiv Bhatt were also investigated.

The report said that then Chief Minister Modi visited Godhara while his administration had no information about it. The report said that it was alleged Modi inspected the S6 coach to ‘destroy the evidence.’ However, the report concluded that the allegations were baseless.

The report also rejected the allegations that meetings were held at the Chief Minister’s residence where top brass of state police were told that they ‘will not do anything for few days.’ The final report of Justice Nanavati-Mehta Commission on the 2002 Gujarat riots, and action taken on it, was tabled in the state Legislative Assembly on Wednesday. Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja tabled the report in the House, five years after it was submitted to the then state government. The first part of the report of the commission, formed to inquire into the cause of the Godhra train burning incident and subsequent communal riots, was tabled in the Assembly on September 25, 2009. The commission submitted its final report (containing part two) on November 18, 2014, to then chief minister Anandiben Patel, but it was withheld by the state government since then.

The state government had, in September this year, told the Gujarat High Court it will table the report in the next Assembly session. The state government’s assurance was in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by former IPS officer RB Sreekumar, seeking a direction from HC to the government to make the report public.

The commission was appointed in 2002 by the then state chief minister Narendra Modi to probe the riots, that took place after the burning of two coaches of the Sabarmati Express train near Godhra railway station, in which 59 ‘karsevaks’ were killed.

As for the number of deaths in post-Godhra riots, the government told the Rajya Sabha in 2005 that 1044 people – 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus – lost their lives in Gujarat. Another 223 people were reported missing. Twenty-four Muslims and 13 Hindus were killed in police firings.

Portion of report:

 

MoS Pradipsinh Jadeja’s briefing

– 58 karsevaks died and over 40 were injured on 27 February 2002 in Sabarmati express train coach S-6 carnage. Later riots had broke out in the State. This was not a pre-planned conspiracy.

– The Commission received 44,445 affidavits, of which 18,000 were for claims of relief and rehabilitation while 488 were received from the government officials, employees and police department. The commission had taken statements.

– The report has been made in 9 parts in length of more than 2500 pages.

– Part one of report was presented in year 2008 in which the commission had mentioned that the incident was pre-planned. Later the opposition and some NGOs had made allegation in attempt to tarnish the image of the government. Then Chief Minister Narendra Modi had decided to form a commission for probe of the incident.

– The commission of justice GT Nanavati and Justice Akshay H Mehta has now given clean chit and made it clear that it was not a conspiracy.

– No involvement of political leaders and police officials has been found in probe. Then Chief Minister and present Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s involvement has not been found. The commission took statement of Shri Narendra Modi before coming to conclusion.

– The commission has concluded that three police officials played negative roles. They are then IPS officer RB Shrikumar, Rahul Shamar and Sanjiv Bhatt.

– The commission has also given clean chit to former MoS Home Haren Pandya and former minister Bharat Barot.

– The commission has concluded that former Congress MP Ehsan Jahfi and the residents of his society were given protection by Gujarat police and the government and no action of the government was prejudiced.

– The commission had two issued in hand to probe. One was the incident of burning of coach S6 at Godhra while the other was the role played by then Chief Minister, the member of ministry, police officers, organizations and others in Godhra and post Godhra incidents. The role played in protection of riot-affected people, relief and assistance and implementation of human right commission directives were also part of the probe.

– Allegations were made against late Haren Pandya that he provoked a mob to attack the houses of Muslims. The allegation was made two months after FIR/statement was given. As the allegation had no authentic details, the commission has not accepted it.

– The commission has not found it proper to conclude anything against Vishwa Hindu Parishad and BJP leaders in Naroda Patiya incident as trial court has given its verdict and the High Court has give verdict for legal proceeding against the culprits. The accused have gone for appeal in the Supreme Court in this case. Naroda village case is also under scrutiny of courts and therefore the commission has not found it proper to give opinion on involvement of those who face allegations.

– One of allegations made by NGO and Congress party was that then Chief Minister on 27 February 2002 left Gandhinagar mysteriously for Godhra. However the commission has found this allegation baseless. Chief Minister doesn’t need to inform all senior officers about his planned visit. In this case, the officials attached to arrangement of the visit were in know of CM’s visit and it was not a secret matter.

– Another allegation was against then health minister Ashok Bhatt that postmortem of 58 persons killed in Godhra incident was done against the law by inexperienced doctor by order of Ashok Bhatt in consultation with then CM’s office. However the probe has concluded that the decision was taken by a local officer and not Ashok Bhatt and postmortem was done by qualified doctors. The allegations have been found baseless.

– An allegation that then CM’s entry to S-6 coach was unauthorized and it was intended to destroy the evidences has found wrong by the commission. The commission has concluded that the motive of visit to coach was different and not about destroying evidences.

– One serious allegation was made against then CM that on 27 February 2002 evening, a meeting of administration and police was held at Chief Minister’s residence and they were directed not to take action against majority community when they react against minority community people. Such allegation was made by RB Shrikumar and Sanjiv Bhatt. However Bhatt has not been able to prove his presence in this meeting at CM residence. Bhatt has made bogus allegations against the CM and the government for his personal issues. A fax date 27 February that Sanjiv Bhatt produced before the commission was found to be a fake one.

– The commission has concluded that bandh call on 28 February was not supported by the state government, then Chief Minister or ministers. Government buses were in operation on 28 February and they were attacked by mobs gathered on the roads. It indicates that the government had not extended support to bandh. The steps taken by the government make it clear that the allegations were far from truth.

– The allegation that some officers were intentionally transferred to give boost to riots have been found wrong. The commission after probe found the transfers were as part of regular procedure and also commented that DSPs of Kutch and Bhavnagar appointed through transfer were able to control the law and order situation.

– The commission has found that the allegations against former minister Bharat Barot was baseless.

– Former CM Amarsinh Chaudhary’s allegations regarding Gulberg society incident have been found wrong. Late Mr. Chaudhary didn’t produce any evidence or statement before the commission. Then Police Commissioner had at 13.00 hour sent two police superintendent, one police inspector and 1 section of CISF to Gulberg society. There’s an evidence that at 14.00 hour police force had reached Gulberg society.

– Shri Narendra Modi had in his statement before the commission had told:

“ 1) In my capacity of the then Chief Minister and the Home Minister of the State of Gujarat, I was personally reviewing the situation continuously by
holding appraisal/review meetings of the senior government and police officials responsible for the maintenance of law and order more than once daily to ensure that normalcy is restored immediately. I was being kept informed about the incident started happening on 27.2.2002 and from 28.2.2002 by the senior officers heading their respective departments. The senior officers heading their respective departments were also keeping me posted with the steps taken by them to control the sudden violent situation erupted in the aftermath of Godhra train burning incident with the effective aid and assistance of all forces including para-military forces and military which the State agencies had deployed immediately.

2) I did not receive any telephone call from Shri EhsanJaffri, Ex-Member of Parliament either on 28.2.2002 at 1.00 p.m. or any other point of time.

3) I do not recollect the exact date and time on which Shri Amarsinhbhai Chaudhary met me in connection with the riots. I recollect he having met me once but never mentioned about any particular incident of violence at any particular place.

4) Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, who was SP level officer at the relevant point of time, never met me either just before Shri Amarsinhbhai Chaudhary met me or at any other time.”

Copy of report

Nanavati Commission report part 2 DeshGujarat copy by DeshGujarat on Scribd

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