FACT: Before getting into the details, let us post one important thing here. Is Narendra Modi a fool to openly give such orders to so many officials in such a meeting where any of the officers could have secretly recorded such orders or which could have gone totally against Narendra Modi? If he did want such orders to be issued, he would have done it through middlemen and other communicators being careful not to come into the picture directly! It is astonishing to see that no one with an iota of common sense has till now raised this point. Is Modi a fool to directly give such orders to officers in a crucial meeting? Even if he did want to issue such instructions, there is no way in the world that he would have given them directly in an official meeting. Now let us see this issue in detail- that 27 Feb late night meeting.
On 27 February 2002 occured the Godhra massacre, at around 8 am. The Chief Minister Narendra Modi was informed about the carnage at 8:30 to 9 am. He immediately issued shoot-at-sight orders and curfew in Godhra at 9:45 am, within 2 hours of the Godhra massacre. He visited Godhra on 27 Feb and returned to Ahmedabad the same day. 827 preventive arrests were made on his orders on his return to Ahmedabad. All these are well-documented facts which cannot be contested by anyone. India Today weekly in its issue dated 18 March 2002 mentions that pre-emptive arrests were made without specifying the number. In an article titled “Chronology of a crisis” India Today says,
FEB 27, 2002
8.03 AM: Incident at Godhra claims lives of 57 kar sevaks
8.30 AM: Modi is informed of the carnage.
4.30PM: Gujarat Assembly adjourned and Modi visits Godhra where he holds a meeting, giving shoot-at-sight orders to the police.
10.30PM:CM holds meeting with senior government officials at Gandhinagar; orders curfew in sensitive places and pre-emptive arrests.
Now this information from the weekly India Today dated 18 March 2002, which covered events till 7 March 2002 gives us a crucial piece of information. And that is, that this meeting had indeed taken place on 27 Feb 2002 late night (not midnight, as claimed by several opponents of Narendra Modi, like Outlook). Secondly, this meeting was not at all kept secret (and denied having taken place) by the Government. It is indeed very clear and very obvious that this meeting did take place in Gandhinagar on 27 Feb 2002 at 10:30 pm. But that was to discuss steps to CONTROL THE VIOLENCE which could possibly break out the next day.
Firstly, let us see the background of that crucial 27 February meeting. In the chapter “Role of the Government in Controlling Violence”we have already seen the steps taken by the Government to control the violence. We will just take a brief re-look at them.
The Godhra massacre occurred on February 27 at 8 AM. At 8:30 AM Chief Minister Narendra Modi- then in Ahmedabad- was informed about the carnage. Modi gave ‘shoot-at-sight’ orders in Godhra at 9:45 am, within 2 hours. ‘Shoot-at-sight’ orders in Godhra were primarily aimed at Hindus who could have retaliated in Godhra. The leading English daily from South India- The Hindu in its issue dated 28 February 2002 reported that- “The Chief Minister Narendra Modi gave shoot-at-sight orders in Godhra”.
The same day- The Times of India reported in a report titled “Shoot-at-sight orders, curfew in Godhra” –
“The Gujarat government imposed an indefinite curfew and issued shoot-at-sight orders in Godhra after 57 people were killed and several injured when a mob set the Sabarmati express on fire. Four bogies of the train were set on fire by miscreants at Godhra station…”
This report was posted at 1:37 PM. This shows that Modi’s claim of imposing curfew at 9:45 AM was absolutely true (considering the time it must have taken for The Times of India to get this news, make an article, proof-read it, edit it and post it on its website).
The same day- The Tribune (published from Chandigarh) – gave a report titled-“Sabarmati Express set ablaze– 57 dead -‘Ram sevaks’ among victims, shoot-at-sight orders in Godhra” and the report said–
“Indefinite curfew was clamped and the shoot-at-sight order issued in Godhra town immediately after the incident…”(Notice the words IMMEDIATELY AFTER)
It wasn’t merely them. All English dailies the next reported this- and websites like rediff.com also reported this- and so did many foreign newspapers. The Daily Breeze– a US newspaper- reported on 28 February-
“Fearing the attack would ignite sectarian riots, Indian officials immediately stepped up security across this vast, religiously divided nation. The prime minister urged Hindus not to retaliate.”
Even Xinhua news agency also reported this online on 27 February 2002- that Vajpayee appeals for peace.
The same day- the website rediff.com also reported that the state government had taken all precautions and tightened security to prevent riots. These reports of rediff.com are given in Chapter 7, Myth 15 “Narendra Modi gave free hand 3 days”.
Narendra Modi talked to TV channels in Godhra on 27 Feb evening and urged people to maintain peace and not retaliate. NARENDRA MODI HIMSELF MADE AN APPEAL TO THE PEOPLE TO MAINTAIN PEACE IN AN APPEAL BROADCAST ON NATIONAL TV (DOORDARSHAN) ON 28 FEBRUARY AFTERNOON.
The same day-on February 27- the Gujarat government deployed the entire police force of 70,000 in Gujarat- as per the report of The Hindustan Times dated 28 February 2002- in view of the apprehension that riots may break out in retaliation of burning down of Hindu pilgrims at Godhra. The Telegraph of UK in its issue of 28th February also reported that more than 70,000 security men had been deployed in Gujarat on 27 February. These foreign dailies also reported that security had not only been tightened in Gujarat- but also in all places with sizable Muslim population in India- on 27 February.
The same day-on February 27- the Gujarat government deployed the Rapid Action Force in Ahmedabad and other sensitive areas and the Centre sent in the CRPF personnel. This was reported by The Indian Express in its report dated 28 February 2002. The English daily Mid-Day also reported both these things in its issue of 28 Feb.
These reports- of The Hindustan Times and The Indian Express were published even before a single large-scale retaliatory riot had taken place.
The Hindu– also reported on Feb 28 that- “(On Feb 27) The state government has appealed to the people to maintain peace…The Home Minister said the Government was taking necessary steps to ensure that the disturbances did not spread during the bandh tomorrow (i.e. Feb 28).” This was reported by many newspapers on 28 February.
The VHP also appealed for peace. The Times of India reported on 28 February 2002 even before a single major riot had taken place:
“VHP international Vice-President Acharya Giriraj Kishore told reporters here at Sola Civil Hospital, where 54 out of the 58 bodies of the train attack victims were brought, that “Hindus should maintain calm and keep patience. I appeal to Muslim brethren to condemn the attack and ask them not to put Hindus’ patience to test. Hindus are keeping a restraint but if such incidents do not stop, there can be a counter reaction which may be uncontrollable”.”
The Indian Express dated 28 February 2002 also reported that the Centre had announced a nationwide alert in the evening of 27th February.
Thus, in brief, the steps taken on 27 February (Wednesday) were:
1) The Gujarat Chief Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, rushed from Ahmedabad to Godhra and gave shoot-at-sight orders at 9:45 AM- within 2 hours of the carnage.
2) The entire police force of 70,000 was deployed in Gujarat.
3) All companies of Rapid Action Force in the state were deployed in Ahmedabad, Godhra and other sensitive areas by the state government.
4) The Central Government rushed CRPF personnel to Gujarat.
5) The state government imposed curfew in Godhra and other sensitive areas.
6) 827 preventive arrests were made.
7) The Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the Gujarat Government urged Hindus not to retaliate and maintain peace.
8) The RSS and VHP also appealed to Hindus to maintain peace and not retaliate.
9) CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) units were also deployed.
10) The Centre sounded a nationwide alert in the evening.
On Feb 27 itself- www.rediff.com reported- “The situation became tense as news of the incident spread to other parts of the state prompting the state government to initiate precautionary security measures. Security has been tightened in Godhra and other parts of Gujarat.”
The Link for this report is:
Rediff.com also reported quoting PTI on Feb 28 evening that-“The army has been asked to stand by and the Rapid Action Force and the Central Industrial Security Force have been deployed in Ahmedabad and other places.”
The link for this report is-
Rediff.com reported on Feb 27 itself- after Godhra that- “Two companies of the Rapid Action Force and one company of the State Reserve Police were deployed at Godhra to guard against further outbreak of violence.”
The link for the report: http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/feb/27train4.htm
On Feb 28- curfew was imposed in Baroda at 8 Am in the morning itself- as reported by rediff.com the same day. The report says-
“Indefinite curfew was imposed in the city from 0800 hours following the stabbing incidents, a senior police official said.
Curfew had been imposed in the six police station areas of the walled city (i.e. Ahmedabad) and RAF and CISF companies have been deployed in sensitive areas, Police Commissioner Deen Dayal Tuteja said.
Indefinite curfew has also been imposed in Lunawada town of Panchmahal district after 0200 hours on Wednesday night following incidents of arson and looting, he said.
Meanwhile, indefinite curfew, imposed in Godhra town after the attack on the train on Wednesday, continued on Thursday without any relaxation.
No untoward incident was reported during the curfew so far, police said.
The situation had remained peaceful and under control in other parts of the state during the night, police said.”
The link is- http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/feb/28train1.htm
The remains of the slain karsevaks were brought from Godhra to Ahmedabad on February 27 after the carnage at Godhra railway station . The bodies were brought to Ahmedabbad after midnight of February 27 in a very sombre atmosphere and not in a ceremonial procession. Plus, the bodies were brought to the then isolated Sola Civil Hospital on the western outskirts of Ahmedabad as a precautionary measure and not to the Ahmedabad’s main civil hospital which is located in eastern Ahmedabad from where most of the killed Ramsevaks came. Sola Civil Hospital was in 2002 located in the far outksirts of Ahmedabad and had very little population around it. This shows the Government’s efforts to control the situation. Had the Government planned to instigate the Hindus then it would have brought the bodies to the Ahmedabad’s main civil hospital in Eastern Ahmedabad where most of the Ramsevaks resided and from where it would have been ideal to orchestrate violence against Muslims. This shows that it tried to take preventive measures to preempt Hindu reaction following Godhra carnage. Also bodies were brought at 3:30 am of 28 Feb (as reported by India Today 18 March 2002) which is a very inconvenient time to instigate riots, and also for relatives!
Considering all these facts, it would actually be sufficient to conclude that far from asking the administration to ‘allow Hindus to went their anger’, what was discussed were steps to control the violence the next day. That this indeed was the case is proved by the actual action of the police and the administration. The police and the administration, the next day DID NOT ALLOW Hindus to vent their anger and did their best to control the violence.
WHO HAS ALLEGED THAT MODI TOLD THE POLICE TO GO SLOW ON HINDUS?
Now, let us come to the point of 27 February 2002 meeting. The weekly Outlook magazine, which is extremely anti-Narendra Modi has alleged that Modi told officials to allow Hindus to take revenge the next day in that crucial 27 February night meeting. It first did this in its issue dated 3rd June 2002, following which Narendra Modi sent a defamation notice as reported by The Indian Express on 8 June 2002. Now, there was a Concerned Citizens Tribunal headed by Retd Supreme Court judge Justice Krishna Iyer which conducted its own ‘study’ and report on the Gujarat riots and as expected, held the government guilty. Sadly for it, it also made a fool of itself by trying to absolve Muslims of the crime of Godhra by suggesting that the fire was set ‘from inside’ (as if it was an inside job!) and outrightly denying that any mob torched the train. Outlook reported that a certain Gujarat Minister (At that time, it did not name him- but after his murder named him as Haren Pandya) was interviewed by this CTC and he revealed that in that 27 Feb meeting, Modi told officials to allow Hindus to vent their anger.
Outlook reported in that article “The minister told Outlook that in his deposition, he revealed that on the night of February 27, Modi summoned DGP K. Chakravarthy, commissioner of police, Ahmedabad, P.C. Pande, chief secretary G. Subarao, home secretary Ashok Narayan, secretary to the home department K. Nityanand (a serving police officer of IG rank on deputation) and DGP (IB) G.S. Raigar. Also present were officers from the CM’s office: P.K. Mishra, Anil Mukhim and A.K. Sharma. The minister also told Outlook that the meeting was held at the CM’s bungalow. (Notice that Sanjiv Bhatt comes nowhere in the picture!!!)
The minister told the tribunal (CTC) that in the two-hour meeting, Modi made it clear there would be justice for Godhra the next day, during the VHP-called bandh. He ordered that the police should not come in the way of “the Hindu backlash”. At one point in this briefing, according to the minister’s statement to the tribunal, DGP Chakravarthy vehemently protested. But he was harshly told by Modi to shut up and obey. Commissioner Pande, says the minister, would later show remorse in private but at that meeting didn’t have the guts to object.
According to the deposition, it was a typical Modi meeting: more orders than discussion. By the end of it, the CM ensured that his top officials—especially the police—would stay out of the way of Sangh parivar men. The word was passed on to the mobs. (According to a top IB official, on the morning of February 28, VHP and Bajrang Dal activists first visited some parts of Ahmedabad and created minor trouble just to check if the police did in fact look the other way. Once Modi’s word was confirmed, the carnage began.)”
Now there are clear factual errors in this. The Outlook report names chief secretary G. Subarao and an officer in the CM’s office, A.K. Sharma, as among those at the meeting. Neither was present in that meeting. That day Subarao was on leave and instead it was acting chief secretary S K Varma who participated in that meeting! This single goof-up alone is enough to dismiss the claims of Outlook on that meeting, or, assuming that the late Pandya did make such allegations, his. Outlook realized its terrible goof-up and in the 19 Aug issue has acknowledged its error in its claimed interview with Pandya. Let us assume that Pandya did tell Outlook that Modi told officials to allow Hindus to vent their anger the next day in that meeting. What credibility does Pandya have when he was not even present in that meeting? And when he could not even correctly tell the people who were in the meeting, wrongly naming 2 people as being present there, how can anyone believe that he would know what happened inside the meeting? Outlook’s aim is also exposed here. Outlook wanted to crucify Narendra Modi by hook or by crook, and in its issue of 3rd June held Modi guilty without bothering to cross-check if the information provided by the Minister (Pandya) was correct or not, assuming that Pandya did speak to Outlook. Was it not Outlook’s duty to cross-check facts before making such a serious allegation against a Chief Minister? Haren Pandya was demoted in the Cabinet, from Home Minister to Revenue Minister. There were reports of his personal grudge against the Chief Minister. It is said that after he became Chief Minister in October 2001, Narendra Modi wanted to contest a bypoll from Ellisbridge (which is one of the safest seats for the BJP in Gujarat and in the country) which was represented by Pandya. It is reported that Pandya refused to vacate this seat for Modi and hence Modi had to contest from Rajkot II which Narendra Modi won.
In all this, Outlook relies only on the testimony of Haren Pandya, who it did not even name at that time. But neither the tribunal or Outlook have given any evidence that Pandya met them or told them anything of this sort. There is absolutely no evidence of this. Outlook claims that it has a taped interview of Haren Pandya of August 2002. In its issue dated 19 August 2002, Outlook reports: “Modi’s pet theory was that the man who went to the tribunal was his then revenue minister Haren Pandya. He even asked his intelligence officials to get proof to nail Pandya. But the intelligence wing, Outlook learns, gave no conclusive proof to Modi. Yet, he sent Pandya a show-cause notice through the state BJP president asking him to explain if and why and with whose permission he went to the tribunal. Pandya, in his sharp reply that unmistakably ridiculed Modi, denied he went to the tribunal.” So, neither Outlook nor the tribunal have any evidence that Pandya told them anything, and Pandya himself denied the charge! Now, in the same issue, they give an interview with a Minister (who, Outlook claims after his death was Haren Pandya, and that it has the conversation on record). In that entire interview, there is not the slightest allegation that Modi ordered officials to allow Hindus to vent their anger on 27 Feb night in that crucial meeting. He is simply talking about the meeting, and the officials present in it. In short, there is not the slightest proof that Haren Pandya ever made any allegations on Modi on that 27 Feb meeting. There is no evidence and record of Pandya ever telling Outlook anything before August 2002, or of him deposing before the CTC. In the only available interview (assuming that Outlook does have the tapes of it) of Aug 2002, there is no allegation at all, only confirmation that the meeting took place, and that was never an issue at all!
The link for Outlook’s interview with Pandya of Aug 2002: (Assuming Outlook‘s claim of having taped it is true)
In this interview of 19 August 2002 Outlook reports:
“Minister (continuing): See, whatever I told you, it was not as if some disgruntled man was saying it. I didn’t say all those things because I was unhappy. There is nobody in my position who can fight him. So it’s important I remain an insider, in power, in position. That’s why I want my identity to be protected.
You mentioned Subarao. There was trouble with that. (The Outlook report named chief secretary G. Subarao and an officer in the CM’s office, A.K. Sharma, as among those at the meeting. Neither was present.)
Minister: What happened was that there was a chief secretary-in-charge then. I got my facts mixed up. But listen, their denial was very weak, wasn’t it? If they try to make an issue of it, tell them that you want the official denial from all the people mentioned in the story on paper, with their signatures. Leave the two they say weren’t there at the meeting but ask the others to say that there was no meeting, no direct or indirect orders. Let them say that on paper with their signatures…
Minister (continuing): I made a mistake with the chief secretary’s name. But the rest is all true. The time, the place, everything was correct. If they put pressure, ask them for official denial from the officers.
Minister (continuing): Vijay Rupani (who was supposed to organise the yatra) will give information on the (Gujarat) Gaurav Rath Yatra. But be careful when you meet these people. They are such guys that they’ll try to extract my name from you. Be careful.”
And Outlook stuck to its story even after the clear goof-up. See the role of Outlook. It admitted that wrongly named two people as being present in the meeting. That should have been enough to dismiss this charge, when Outlook and an alleged Minister cannot even correctly tell the names of the people who were present in the meeting (Haren Pandya was of course not present and has never claimed to be present either). How could they know what happened in that meeting? So what Outlook said was “Though our report wrongly named 2 people as being present, though we could not even tell correctly who were present, our charge that Modi ordered the police to allow Hindus to vent their anger is 100 % true”. What rubbish! A magazine with an iota of honesty would have said “We relied on a man whose information was incorrect and who had personal grudges. We withdraw our story”.
But that’s not all! Even in its 19 August issue, there are blunders. Haren Pandya says (as claimed by Outlook) “I made a mistake with the chief secretary’s name. But the rest is all true.” But the rest is also not all true. Not only was the chief secretary not there (he was on leave and it was acting Chief Secretary S K Verma who participated), another officer A.K.Sharma was also not present. This was admitted by Outlook, not by the Minister! And sadly for Outlook, there was a THIRD BLUNDER in this allegation even in the 19 August issue, which is that DGP (IB) G.S. Raigar was also not present in this meeting! Neither Outlook nor Pandya knew this. So even in the 19 August 2002 issue when they admitted mistakes in the 3rd June issue, they stuck to their story saying ‘rest all information is correct’, but the information in the 19th August 2002 was also wrong since G S Raigar was also wrongly named as being present. Pandya said- “1 man was wrongly named- Chief Secretary G Subarao, rest all was correct”. (Actually a single mistake is enough to dismiss these ridiculous claims). Outlook said “2 people were wrongly named- Chief Secretary G Subarao and A K Sharma”. But the fact is that THREE people were wrongly named, G S Raigar also was not present! And the shameless magazine continues to hold Modi guilty in that 27 Feb meeting ignoring all its mistakes and continues to stick to its story! (Also note that Pandya says “I made a mistake with the Chief Secretary’s name”. If he is saying that he got the name of the Chief Secretary wrong, this is another error- he did not make any mistake with the Chief Secretary’s name. The Chief Secretary’s name was indeed G Subbarao, but it was Acting Chief Secretary S K Verma who participated in that meeting.)
Also, note that the names mentioned by Outlook, of the people being present at the meeting do not include Sanjiv Bhatt at all! He is nowhere in the picture, and wasn’t for 9 years after that meeting. Nobody, for 9 years after that meeting ever even mentioned that Sanjiv Bhatt was present at that meeting. This man has a terrible past and has no evidence at all of being present. Notice how even a magazine like Outlook, which forcibly tried to hold Modi guilty in that 27 Feb meeting, has never even mentioned Sanjiv Bhatt, not in its 3 June issue, not in its 19 August 2002 issue, nor in its Nov 2007 issues, when it tried to hold Modi guilty. Why would Sanjiv Bhatt have taken 9 years to claim that he was present at that meeting if he really was?
The only police officer who has made allegations against Modi apart from Sanjiv Bhatt is R Shreekumar. Former Gujarat IPS officer RB Sreekuamar told the Nanavati Commission in an affidavit and later also the SIT that the then Director General of Police VK Chakrabvarty, who participated in that crucial February 27 meeting, told him that the CM had directed officers to go slow against Hindu rioters and allow them to give vent to their feelings against the Muslims. Note that Shreekumar does not even claim that he was present in that meeting and that Modi told officers in front of him to go slow on Hindus. He alleges that the then DGP Chakravarty told him so. There is absolutely no evidence that Chakravarty told him (Shreekumar) so. If Chakravarty told Shreekumar so, then he could easily have told some others, like Outlook or anyone else, this or the media or the Nanavati Commission in private.
However what Chakravarty and many other officials involved with police department at that time told the Nanavati Commission was exactly the opposite. They said Modi had told them to control the riots. Plus, Sreekumar started making anti-Modi charges in the case only after the Government denied him promotion on strong grounds. What’more he didn’t make the same charge in his first two affidavits he filed before the Nanavati promostion which he submitted before he was denied promotion. Significantly, Sreekumar sticks to his ground when he says “ The SIT virtually functioned as B-Team of Gujarat police and ignored the evidence I produced “.
That is, Shreekumar admits that the SIT saw through his game and did not fall for his ‘evidence’ which is absolutely nothing, since he was not present at all in that meeting, and he has no proof at all that Chakravarty told him anything. And even if Chakravarty told him anything, that would be no proof, since Chakravarty has to tell it to the Nanavati Commission or the SIT. Also note that Shreekumar did not make this allegation until he was denied promotion in his first 2 affidavits.
So, in short let us the people who are supposed to have alleged that Modi told the officials to allow Hindus to vent their anger the next day. They are:
1- Sanjiv Bhatt. He has no credibility, was not present at that 27 February 2002 meting at all. No one, including Modi’s biggest enemies like Tehelka and Outlook while trying to crucify Modi ever claimed for 9 years after that meeting that he was present in that meeting. This man has a very terrible past and has cases against him. He was absent from duty for many many days without any reason and when was finally suspended tried to become a ‘martyr’.
2- R Shreekumar. He too was not present at that 27 February meeting. He claims that a man who was present told him that Modi ordered the officials to go slow on Hindus the next day. Even if this was true, this is no proof. Shreekumar has given no proof at all that that man (Chakravarty) ever told him this. Chakravarty has told the Nanavati Commission exactly the opposite. Shreekumar made these allegations only after he was denied promotion, and not in his first 2 affidavits.
3- Haren Pandya. There is in fact, no proof that he ever made any allegations that Modi ordered the officials to go slow in that 27 Feb meeting. Neither Outlook nor CTC have given any proof of his claiming so before them. Outlook claims to have a taped interview of August 2002, but in that interview there is no allegation that Modi ordered officials to allow Hindus to vent their anger. Also, note that there were differences between Narendra Modi and Haren Pandya. He was first degraded in the ministerial portfolio (and then denied a ticket in assembly polls of December 2002). Owing to these issues, Haren Pandya resigned from the Gujarat Cabinet in August 2002. This clearly shows that there were personal and other matters which could have prompted Pandya to speak against Narendra Modi (there is no proof at all that he made any allegations against him). Also, note that many self-styled secular activists had alleged Pandya himself being culpable in the 2002 riots, of being involved in an attack on a durgah in the 2002 riots. But after his murder in March 2003, for which Muslims were convicted, or ever after he started speaking against Narendra Modi in 2002 itself (on personal grudges, since he was demoted from Home Minister to Revenue Minister and ever since the issue of refusing to vacate Ellisbridge seat for Narendra Modi to contest rose) the media immediately took to him as a ‘hero’ forgetting its allegations on him! The self-styled liberals, Concerned Citizens Tribunal (which made a fool of itself by trying to say Godhra fire was set from ‘inside’ as if Muslims did not do it) was houling against Haren Pandya since March 2002, when it was alleged that Pandya was involved in demolising a dargah on 1 March 2002. He allegedly took the leadership on the next day of burning of Godhra train, to demolish a Dargah which was protruding on the main road of Bhathha (Paldi) not far away from his own house. Thereafter, he started double talking against the government for not protecting the minority. The demolition he did, brought him on the top of the hit list and therefore he was killed.
Also, there were clear mistakes in Outlook’s report of 3 June 2002 on the people present in that meeting where it quoted Haren Pandya (without naming him at that time).
That is, not even one person who was actually present at that meeting has alleged that Narendra Modi told them to allow Hindus to vent their anger. All those who were present, like the then DGP Chakravarty, have reported that Modi told them exactly the opposite, to control the riots. All those who have alleged that Modi told officials to go slow at that meeting were not even present at that meeting, neither Sanjiv Bhatt, nor R Shreekumar, nor, if he did, the late Haren Pandya. Outlook’s first attempt to crucify Narendra Modi in June 2002 failed, that that report contained glaring factual errors on the presence of officials in that meeting. This shameless magazine still tries to report: “In that crucial 27 February meeting Modi reportedly told officials to allow Hindus to vent their anger’. What reportedly? Which reports? Where’s the evidence? We have given a heap of evidence proving the opposite. No one has ever refuted our evidence.
Narendra Modi is also not a fool to openly give such orders to so many officials in such a meeting where any of the officers could have secretly recorded such orders or which could have gone totally against Narendra Modi. If he did want such orders to be issued, he would have done it through middlemen and other communicators being careful not to come into the picture directly! It is astonishing to see that no one with an iota of common sense has till now raised this point. Is Modi a fool to directly give such orders to officers in a crucial meeting? Even if he did want to issue such instructions, there is no way in the world that he would have given them directly in an official meeting.
Let us say, for argument’s sake, that Modi did tell the officials at that crucial meeting on 27 Feb night to go slow on Hindus. But did they do so the next day? Not at all. On 28 Feb 2002 (Thursday), large scale riots occured in Ahmedabad and other parts of Gujarat. On the next day, 1st March 2002, the violence was much less, and the Army units frantically called by Narendra Modi (as reported by The Hindu, 1st March 2002, Friday) were also present. According to The Times of India, neither the Army nor the shoot-at-sight orders given to police could control the violence on 1st March 2002 (Friday). When even the Army could not control the violence when it was much less, what must have been the situation on 28 February when the violence was much more and the Army was not present? We have seen weekly India Today’s report of 18 March 2002 in which the number of policemen and the rioters has been given. Ahmedabad had 6,000 policemen of whom only 1500 were armed. At one point on 28 Feb, there were at least 25,000 people targeting Muslims in Ahmedabad alone. In Naroda Patiya, the mob was around 17,000 strong while it was 10,000 at Ehsan Jafri’s house (Gulmarg Society). Even in its infamous article misquoting Modi as having quoted Newton’s Third Law of Physics, The Times of India said, “The sparse police presence looked like a drop in the ocean of violence”. As we have seen, no newspaper, except for The Indian express, accused the police of any inaction on 28 Feb in their reports the next day. If the police had really allowed Hindus to vent their anger, the media would have gone crazy on 28 Feb itself in its reports of 1st March.
Despite such a terrible situation, the police fired 1,000 rounds on 28 Feb 2002 , including 600 in Ahmedabad. 700 people were arrested for rioting. 10 Hindus were shot dead in police firing in Ahmedabad alone, 16 were injured and at least 2 more were shot dead in Godhra and Nadiad. All these details of the actual action taken by the police can be viewed in this article Role of the Government in controlling violence. In Ehsan Jafri case, police saved almost 200 Muslims from certain death, since there were 250 people inside the housing complex and the mob killed 68. The mob was livid with Jafri’s firing on the crowd in self-defense and even though the police the overwhelmingly outnumbered, they at a great risk bravely saved 200 Muslims in Jafri’s housing complex and shot dead 5 Hindus outside his house. The police also saved 900 Muslims in Naroda Patiya since 95 people were killed and there were 1,000 Muslims there with the mob aiming to kill everyone. The Times of India reported that the police escorted 400 Muslims to a safe place.