Gujarat riots: 'So what if words were spoken within 4 walls?'
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The Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) has concluded that even if Narendra Modi gave an illegal verbal instruction to allow Hindus to "vent their anger" after the Godhra carnage, it was not an offence.
"...The interpretations made on alleged illegal instructions given by the Chief Minister by (police officers) Shri R B Sreekumar and Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, appear to be without any basis. Further, even if such allegations are believed for sake of argument, mere statement of alleged words in the four walls of a room does not constitute any offence," the SIT has said on page 241 of its final report.
The report, signed by investigating officer Himanshu Shukla, who is a DCP at the Ahmedabad Crime Branch, was made public on Monday.
Suspended DIG Sanjiv Bhatt was the first government officer who claimed to the SIT that he was present at the meeting at Modi's residence, and had heard him give the illegal orders.
Before him, Sreekumar, a former chief of Gujarat Police, had said in his affidavit before the Nanavati Commission that the then DGP K Chakravarthi had told him on February 28, 2002, that the chief minister had said at the meeting, "In communal riots police takes action against Hindus and Muslims on one-to-one basis. This will not do now — allow Hindus to give vent to their anger". Chakravarthi denied to the SIT that he said this to Sreekumar.
The SIT says that Bhatt's version of the same meeting quotes Modi as saying "that for too long the Gujarat Police had been following the principle of balancing the actions against the Hindus and Muslims while dealing with the communal riots in Gujarat. This time the situation warranted that the Muslims be taught a lesson to ensure that such incidents do not recur again. The chief minister Shri Narendra Modi expressed the view that the emotions were running very high amongst the Hindus and it was imperative that they be allowed to vent out their anger".
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