By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani
Ahmedabad: It is almost all over for Gujarat 2002 riots victims as Retired Justice GT Nanavati handed over its report to Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel. Though there is official word about then Chief Minister Narendra Modi during this infamous riots in that fateful year.But it is widely expected that Modi is spared from law of land.
According to various reports, the Nanavati Commission that submitted its final report to the Gujarat government has found ‘no evidence’ to prove allegations of the erstwhile Modi government’s complicity in the post-Godhara carnage. The report submitted by the two-member commission, headed by Justice (retd) Nanavati, categorically says the Modi government was not involved in the riots in any way.
It seems that Nanavati Commission has ignored the clinching evidence against chief minister Narendra Modi for his alleged role in orchestrating the 2002 riots. All investigating agencies were only involved in naming accused only those persons present on the spot and committed the crime and not those who aided and abetted the communal riots.
This case is not only limited to those found from the place of offence and who executed the offence. But our case is also against those who provoke, abet, aid and planned. The commission is suffering from a delusion that those who were not present were not the culprits. It goes without saying that in past Even the SIT had changed its view about the infamous speech of Modi at Becharaji in Mehsana district in 2002. First, they found it communal, but later changed its stand. It also did not entertain evidence sent by retired state director-general of police RB Sreekumar exposing laxity on part of the state government to curtail the riots.
It doesn’t stop just at giving Modi a clean chit. It also pats his government on the back for taking prompt action against some VHP and Bajrang Dal workers who were present at some venues where riots took place. The commission, according to some reports, says the Modi government took prompt action and summoned the army to control rioters. The Commission has also justified its decision of not summoning Modi for a cross-examination, saying there was no credible evidence to support the charges.
The Commission took 12 years to submit its report. During this period it got 24 extensions. But the report, ultimately, concludes what most enquiries into such riots do: the government did its best but the administration failed to act quickly because of lack of resources and staff.The only additional finding, according to reports, is that the situation became worse because of media coverage of the riots and the Godhra carnage. But then shooting the messenger has become a standard practice these days.
Fr. Cedric Prakash sj , Director of Prashant, the Ahmedabad-based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace, issued a statement saying that several concerned citizens like the late Mukul Sinha of Jan Sangharsh Manch, Sanjiv Bhatt and others have tried their level best to bring the Commission – any thinking citizen will know – on track and ensure that truth prevails and that the victim-survivors are given justice. The Commission, has been full of inconsistencies, lapses and loopholes. Sinha who cross-examined several witnesses, has consistently demanded that Modi who was the Chief Minister of Gujarat at that time, had to be interrogated too. Why the Commission took the pains to deny this request from Sinha and several others does not leave much room for doubt!
Even though the Commission has submitted its report, many for the victim-survivors (and several others who have accompanied them) are the Gujarat Carnage of 2002 is not a closed chapter.
The relentless pursuit for truth and justice will continue until those who presided over this carnage are brought to book. Only then, will they truly be able to sing our motto emblazoned on our national emblem “satyameva jayate” (truth alone triumphs!), he further said.
Vadodara based social activist and former retired professor of M.S. University.J.S.Bandukwala said, “Nanavati Commission is a dark chapter in the judicial history of India. A retired Supreme Court Justice,Nanavati did everything possible to see that the taint of 2002 Gujarat riots does not touch Modi. In return his two sons benefited hugely through the Gujarat Government. The other Justice Mehta, was appointed to this Commission after he granted bail to the notorious Babu Bajrangi in the Naroda Patia case where over 100 people were killed. These details come from the Teheka expose of Ashish Khaitan. It just shows the rot in the highest levels of our judiciary.This Commission got 34 extensions, yet it never once summoned Modi who was the principal architect of the Gujarat genocide. Yet it could confidently pronounce that Modi is clean. Hundreds of crores of public finance was spent on this Commission, for what purpose? I hope no judicial Commissions are ever appointed in India. The Nanavati Commission was a slap on the memory of Ahsan Jafari and the about 2000 who died, and the hundreds of thousands who suffered at that time.”
[Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior Journalist based at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He is associated with India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper “IndianMuslimObserver.com” as Associate Editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on his cell 09228746770]