Sundeep Dougal writing in the OutlookIndia posed 25 questions to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi based on the testimony given by Mr. Modi to the Supreme Court appointed SIT.
Mr. Modi’s testimony was meant to be confidential but that has not prevented media outlets from leaking stories based on it. Earlier in the week The Hindustan Times leaked the testimony in its entirety on its website. All the answers which Narendra Modi gave to SITs questions are leaked here http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/specials/modi.pdf
Here we are answering ALL Of the questions raised. (Some of the points in the answers are taken from OFFSTUMPED’s rebuttal to Outlook, because they are very genuine. Anyone can write any rejoinder to anyone, but we have taken only the points we deem are very genuine. Outlook wrote a counter-rebuttal to OFFSTUMPED too). But will Outlook dare to publish them on its website? And after answering all the questions, we will ask a lot of questions to not just Outlook, but the entire media. Will they be ready to answer those? Before that, let everyone, specially Outlook, see Our Challenge
We have opened a twitter account at last after persistent demand from readers. You can follow us on twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/Gujaratriotscom The author of these 25 questions Sundeep Dougal too is on twitter. His account is : https://twitter.com/#!/SundeepDougal Now he has been informed by us about our answers to his 25 questions on twitter in a tweet sent by us. You too can contact him on twitter about our answers. In the comments section on Outlook’s 25 questions page, one of the readers by the name of Rahul posted the link of our answers. Sundeep Dougal posted the link of his counter-rebuttal to Offstumped. The reader Rahul has informed us that Outlook has deleted 2 of his comments and banned him from posting any further comments. When Outlook and Sundeep Dougal were given our 25 answers, they shied away, banned people like Rahul from posting. Their answer is “We have replied to OFFSTUMPED”. So what? Offstumped and our answers are different. Remember that Sundeep Dougal will give every possible excuse to avoid responding to us, or even posting our answers’ link on the website of Outlook. You can ask him about this on twitter.
Question #1 – Mr Modi, in an interview on March 1, 2002, to Zee TV you said about the post-Godhra riots, “A chain of action and reaction is going on. We want that neither should there be action, nor reaction.” Don’t such statements echo the ‘earth-shaking’ rationalisations offered by Rajiv Gandhi after the 1984 riots?
OUR ANSWER: The exact words are “Kriya pratikriya chal rahi hein. Hum chahte hein kin na kriya ho na pratikriya ho”. How can such a statement be rationalizing the riots? This was just a statement in a long interview . This is nothing like the lie concocted by Times of India first on 2nd March 2002 misquoting the Chief Minister as having said “Every Action has equal and opposite reaction”. This lie was copied and further carried on by almost all the media, including weekly Outlook. Full details of this trash are given in Myth 13- on our website “Every action has equal and opposite reaction”. Far from Narendra Modi giving any provocative statement, it is media, especially papers like Times of India and Outlook who inflamed the situation by lying and misquoting a big and important Chief Minister as quoting Newton’s third law, not being able to prove it ever, and not even publishing Narendra Modi’s denials ever since.
Since today they cannot accuse Narendra Modi of having said that “Every action has equal and opposite reaction” since that lie has been conclusively rebuked, (In Myth 13)– and also been clarified by Narendra Modi in his leaked answers to SITs 60+ questions, they has now chosen some non-issue of one line in an interview to Zee News which is nowhere like saying Newton’s third law. What Narendra Modi was saying on that day was that on 27 Feb occurred Godhra and the reaction to it happened on 28 Feb- there was a minority backlash on 1st March. , it was a statement of fact if one pays attention to the situation as of 1st March 2002. Reporting on the events of 1st March 2002, The Hindu newspaper on its front page in the edition dated 2nd March 2002 had this to say:
“Despite the imposition of indefinite curfew, sporadic incidents of violence, group clashes and stoning continued throughout the night and during the day today in the walled city and labour-dominated eastern parts of Ahmedabad. But unlike Thursday (i.e. 28 Feb) when one community was entirely at the receiving end, the minority backlash (on Friday, March 1) caused further worsening of the situation …. Police presence had little impact on the two communities pelting stones at each other in Bapunagar, Gomtipur, Dariapur, Shahpur, Naroda and other areas from where incidents of firing had been reported. But there were no reports of casualty. Pitched battle was continuing between the two communities late in the evening (of Friday, 1 March).”
Thus the chain of action-reaction was happening, which SHOULD NOT HAPPEN was also what he said. There is absolutely nothing can be held against Narendra Modi here- and since the attempts of anti-Modi people, including Outlook to crucify Modi on a failed charge of saying “Every action has equal and opposite reaction” failed, it has taken this non-issue ignoring its own horrible role in inflaming the situation and defaming the Chief Minister. The Times of India was the only newspaper to report on 2nd March 2002 accusing Narendra Modi of saying “Every Action has equal and opposite reaction”- and no other paper except for The Times carried this news in its original reporting on that day. Had Modi really said that, the whole media would have gone downtown on the next day. And since there are official records available which show that no one from The Times of India met Narendra Modi on that day, it is absolutely clear that the misquote was invented by The Times of India. A true paper with an iota of honesty will show the true context in which Narendra Modi said that sentence in that Zee News interview. Outlook trying to crucify Narendra Modi on this issue is like a thief asking the victim to apologize. Since Outlook launched one of the worst campaigns against Narendra Modi and the BJP on the Gujarat riots issue- and repeated the outrageous lie defaming the Chief Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of saying “Every action has equal and opposite reaction” and inflaming the situation by needlessly infuriating the Muslims, Outlook is the one which is guilty of inflammatory and defamatory writing- instead of apologizing for it, it wants Narendra Modi to apologize! Quoting this statement made on Zee News now is a forcible attempt to desperately look at the past and dig out anything that can be found against Narendra Modi since the charge on “Every action has equal and opposite reaction” has failed. Note that no one even noticed this sentence made by Narendra Modi to Zee News in an interview for so many years. So when the false charge on “Every Action has equal and opposite reaction failed”, Outlook forcibly tried to bring out this one line in an interview to Zee News which no one even noticed for so many years.
Question #2 – A few days later, you told Outlook (Mar 18, ’02), “You have to remember that communalism runs high in Gujarat—even a small provocation can lead to violence and Godhra was a very big incident.” Did you not stoke that spark when it was decided that the bodies of Godhra victims would be taken to Ahmedabad?
OUR ANSWER: What a logic! So the spark was stoked by bringing bodies from Godhra to Ahmedabad but not by the shocking Godhra massacre! Again, absolutely not. Bringing bodies to Ahmedabad did not have the slightest impact on the riots. Bodies were brought after midnight on 27 Feb i.e. at 3:30 am of 28 Feb in Western Ahmedabad’s isolated Sola hospital (as reported by weekly India Today dated 18 March 2002 and Times of India online on 28 Feb 2002) while the riots began on 28 Feb at 11 AM and took place in far-off places like Naroda Patiya and Chamanpura (Ehsan Jafri case). And what about the riots that occurred OUTSIDE Ahmedabad- in Vadodara, Rajkot and other areas? Did they also occur because bodies were brought from Ahmedabad to Godhra at 3:30 am on 28 Feb? The context in which Modi rightly said that even a small spark can lead to violence is because Gujarat is a very sensitive state (or, was, till 2002) where trivial things like kite flying and cricket matches cause violence. Compared to that, Godhra massacre was unparalleled in human history, where Muslims locked 59 Hindus including 40 women and children and old in a train, pushed them back as they tried to come out, watched them roast to death in front of their eyes without letting a single child or old person come out of the train. Such a terrible situation was controlled in 3 days in Gujarat and in a communally ultra-sensitive place like Ahmedabad in just 2 days.
For Outlook, the spark that lead to violence was the decision to bring bodies to Ahmedabad at 3:30 am from Godhra, not the shocking massacre of 59 Hindus in Godhra! As a matter of honesty, let the media ask this question- what would have happened if 2,000 Hindus had locked 59 Muslims in a train including 40 women and children and roasted them to coal in Karachi Railway station in Pakistan? Had Hindus dared to do that, each and every Hindu in Pakistan would have been killed after horrible tortures. What would have happened had minority Blacks done so to majority Whites in a country like, say, Britain? Even such an inhuman killing did not make the media’s heart melt and instead it kept insulting the dead by blaming them for ‘provoking’ the incident.
In the first place, since most of the killed karsewaks resided in Ahmedabad, it was only natural that their bodies be brought to Ahmedabad to be handed over to their relatives. In Godhra, the situation was tense on 27 February and had the bodies been kept there, it would have inflamed the situation there with a strong chance of retaliation on Muslims in Godhra itself. So was in the best of interests to get the bodies out of Godhra as soon as possible.
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 Ahmadabad after midnight of February 27 at 3:30 am 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 outskirts 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.
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)
Also, note that if the bodies had not been brought to Ahmedabad and been kept in Godhra and retaliation taken in Godhra, OUTLOOK and all other Modi-haters would have cried that “Modi deliberately kept the bodies in a communally-charged Godhra so as to instigate Hindus to retaliate in Godhra and did not bring them to Ahmedabad though the relatives and victims were from Ahmedabad”. While bringing the bodies to Ahmedabad, care was taken to bring the bodies after midnight in a very somber atmosphere. Had Narendra Modi been irresponsible, (knowing that even a small spark can ignite violence) he would have brought the bodies in day time (which is the ideal time for relatives to take them instead of at 3:30 am, which is very inconvenient for relatives and at which time it is very difficult to instigate violence!) instead of after mid night, in a ‘ceremonial procession’ instead of a sober way. Most importantly, bodies could have been brought to Eastern Ahmedabad’s hospital from where the karsewaks resided. Outlook has deliberately ignored all these points, all these steps taken by Narendra Modi and tried to hold him guilty whereas he should in fact be applauded for :
1- Bringing the bodies to Ahmedabad instead of keeping them in Godhra so as to calm matters in Godhra
2- Bringing them to Ahmedabad after midnight at 3:30 am (as reported by weekly India Today of 18 March 02 & Times of India on 28 Feb) instead of in day time so that chances of retaliation were very low
3- Bringing them in a sober atmosphere instead of ceremonial procession
4- Bringing them to Western Ahmedbad’s hospital where the Muslim population was negligible instead of Eastern Ahmedabad where the karsewaks resided from and from where it would have been ideal to instigate violence against Muslims.
NARENDRA MODI HIMSELF MADE AN APPEAL TO THE PEOPLE TO MAINTAIN PEACE IN AN APPEAL BROADCAST ON NATIONAL TV (DOORDARSHAN) ON 28 FEBRUARY AFTERNOON.
RSS and VHP also appealed for peace and urged Hindus not to retaliate along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 27th and even later. In Gujarat where even a small spark can lead to violence, there was absolutely no need for Narendra Modi to give such a statement urging people to maintain calm and not retaliate if he wanted to inflame the situation. Outlook has of course ignored all these points and other steps taken by Narendra Modi to control and prevent violence on 27 Feb- which are given in detail in this site. Just some of them include, 827 preventive arrests on 27 Feb, deploying all companies of Rapid Action Force, deploying entire 70,000 police force including reserve police, shoot-at-sight orders and curfew in Godhra primarily aimed at Hindus who could have retaliated there, curfew in other sensitive places etc.
There was something which caused the riots even after 27 Feb Godhra. And that was the inflammatory reporting by TV channels and the secularist media-politician combine which rubbed salts on people’s wounds by insulting the dead karsewaks accusing them of provoking the incident by giving imaginary charges like kidnapping a Muslim girl, not paying for tea and snacks, etc and blaming VHP and the Sangh Parivar and insulting the Ayodhya movement. Congress leader Amarsinh Choudhary came on TV on 27 Feb night in Gujarati and blamed Ramsewaks for provoking the incident by not paying for tea and snacks at Godhra Railway station. Actually if anyone gave a spark after Godhra that led to violence, it was this statement from Amarsinh Choudhary blaming the dead karsewaks who were killed in one of the most inhuman masscares in human history- locked in a train and pushed back as they tried to come out.
We have seen Vir Sanghvi’s statement earlier- “We (secularists) are programmed to see Hindu-Muslim relations in simplistic terms, Hindus provoke, Muslims suffer. When this formula does not work- it is clear now a well-armed Muslim mob murdered unarmed Hindus- we simply do not know how to cope. We shy away from the truth- that some Muslims committed an act that is indefensible, and resort to blaming the victims…Why have we dehumanised the poor karsewaks to the extent that we don’t even see the incident as the human tragedy that it undoubtedly was…have we become such prisoners of our own rhetoric that even a horrific massacre becomes nothing more than occasion for Sangh-Parivar bashing? “The media and politicians tried everything to set free culprits of such an inhuman massacre.
Since Outlook knows that even a small spark can lead to big violence why did Outlook report inflammatorily lying that Muslims were being massacred after Godhra whereas they were equally on the offensive even after Godhra and threw out 40,000 Hindus out of their houses even after Godhra? Why did Outlook repeat the lie that Narendra Modi said “Every action has equal and opposite reaction” when he said nothing of this sort? Who is guilty -Narendra Modi or Outlook?
Question#3: You have denied the allegation that you instructed bureaucrats and senior police officers at a high-level meeting (Feb 27, ’02) that “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”—a statement attributed to you on record by then deputy commissioner, intelligence, Sanjiv Bhatt and slain minister Haren Pandya. Why do you think the charge persists?
OUR ANSWER: This claim has been refuted many times by us. Even a cursory reading of “Myth 19” will reveal the truth. The charge persists for the simple reason that the media is BIASED and wants Narendra Modi to be held guilty by hook or by crook and does not bother to report the truth. 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.
Secondly- Haren Pandya is no more. But the late Minister was NOT present in that 27 Feb meeting. Outlook forcibly tried to convict Narendra Modi in its issue of 3rd June 2002 by saying that a minister told it (Outlook) about that meeting. That minister was Haren Pandya, as claimed by Outlook. Whether Pandya really did say so or not is known, but even if he did, his statement has no credibility since he was NOT present at that meeting at all! 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!!!)
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? And when the true facts came up, Outlook should have admitted in its 19 August 2002 issue- “Since the details given by the minister were incorrect, the claim that he would know what happened inside that 27 Feb meeting is difficult to believe, because he could not even correctly tell the names of the people who were present, and he himself was not present. So our article in 3 June 2002 issue relied on a man whose testimony is worthless. ” Instead of ending it like this, Outlook acknowledged the errors but continued to hold Modi guilty! Outlook said “That June 3 report wrongly named 2 people as being present, but rest all is true”. Meaning- “We could not even correctly name the people present in the meeting, but we know what happened inside the meeting. And Modi is guilty”.
It is well known that Haren Pandya had several issues against Narendra Modi. 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. And when these errors were brought out in the open, Outlook admitted them in its issue of 19 August 2002, but continued to stick to its story that Modi told officials to give a free hand to Hindus the next day based on an alleged testimony given by a man who was not even present at the meeting of 27 Feb and who gave wrong information about people present- who could not even correctly name the people present in the meeting and who had a lot of personal issues against Narendra Modi.
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! LET SANDEEP DOUGAL OPEN HIS MOUTH ON ALL THIS, WHY OUTLOOK STICKS TO THIS CHARGE DESPITE BLUNDERS AND MISTAKES. (Also note that Pandya says “I made a mistake with the Chief Secretary’s name”. If he is saying that he got the name 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.)
If all facts are rightly seen, as given in Myth 19, it will be clear that there is no reason for this charge to persist. Sanjiv Bhat was of course not present in that meeting so what credibility does he have? And he made these charges against Narendra Modi a good 7-8 years AFTER 2002- this reveals that there is no merit in his claims. Since Outlook tried to convict Modi even after realizing the terrible goof-up in its accusations in its article of 3 June 2002, it shows why this charge persists!
Question #4: Why did you single out Bhatt and say he wasn’t present at the Feb 27 meeting when you were only asked about those present?
OUR ANSWER: Outlook is wrong again. Modi did not single out Sanjiv Bhatt and say that only he was not present. He also said “G C Raiger ADG (Intelligence) was not present. Sanjiv Bhatt DC (Intelligence) was not present. None of my cabinet colleagues were present in the meeting”. This shows that Haren Pandya or any other Minister like Gordhan Zadaphiya also were not there. Only the written question and answers of those 71 questions are out. Is it not possible that the SIT asked Narendra Modi about Sanjiv Bhatt’s presence (which Bhatt may have claimed to the SIT orally) orally which Narendra Modi denied orally also and in writing also? It is clear from Mr. Bhatt’s affidavit which is in the public domain that he had been providing information to the SIT since November 2009. It is reasonable to assume that at the time of Mr. Modi’s SIT deposition in March 2010, the content of Mr. Bhatt’s claims was known to Mr. Modi. Far too much is being made of confidentiality here when leaks from SIT to the media had been occurring a full six months before Nov 2009. As an example on 28th June 2009 right after Teesta Setalvad’s testimony to the SIT the DNA in a story filed by Roxy Gagdekar reported a leak from SIT sources to the DNA on the contents of Teesta Setalvaad’s testimony. Also on 7th December 2009 OutlookIndia carried a PTI story on specific claims by the activists against the SIT in the Supreme Court on the SIT ignoring an unnamed witness. The activists were reprimanded by the Supreme Court for those accusations. Clearly in the run up to March 2010 the SIT’s activities were hardly a state secret to the Activists. Hence there is nothing extraordinary about Mr. Modi singling out Mr. Bhatt. It is silly to make a mountain of leaks when the SIT’s reports continue to be treated with no respect for confidentiality by both the activists and the media. Even if Narendra Modi did say that Sanjiv Bhat was not present before he made the claim that he was present, what does this prove? That he was present? Whether he was present or not has to be seen in view of records and facts, not by “Why did Modi deliberately say that Sanjiv Bhat was not present?”. To this, I will like to ask Outlook, why did Outlook not mention Sanjiv Bhat as being present in its issue of 3rd June 2002 or even later, of August 2002 and much later? Here in March 2010, the SIT knew that Sanjiv Bhat had claimed to be present- so Narendra Modi clarified that he was not present. There is absolutely no doubt that Sanjiv Bhat was not present. Narendra Modi knew perhaps in March 2010 itself that Sanjiv Bhat was been bought by so-called activists and politicians to try to nail him (so that Rahul Gandhi’s way becomes clear in 2014- the only man who can come in way of Rahul Gandhi is Narendra Modi- who is being targeted in case after case, first post-Godhra riots, Zakia Jafri complaint, when this failed –that 27 Feb meeting, this will also fail, then Sohrabuddin encounter case (dragging Amit Shah), then Ishrat Jahan case –where the Lashkar e Toiba had admitted that she was its member, and then the Haren Pandya murder case where they are trying to accuse Modi of murdering Pandya- first step has been achieved in acquitting 12 Muslims who were convicted by a trail court) . Since Narendra Modi may have known about Sanjiv Bhat’s ideas, he may have clarified that he was not present. Note how Outlook says that “Modi singled out Sanjiv Bhatt and denied that he was present when he was asked only about those who were present- while Modi also said that G C Raiger too was not present nor any of his Cabinet colleagues.
Question #5 – Is it true that P.K. Mishra, your principal secretary, asked R.B. Sreekumar, then Addl DG (Intel), to confirm whether Haren Pandya was the minister who had deposed about the Feb 27 meeting to an independent citizen’s tribunal. Did he then, as the allegation goes, ask that Pandya’s mobile number, 9824030629, be tapped?
OUR ANSWER– Firstly, this question is irrelevant. How is this related to the riots? Let us say, Narendra Modi did try to get intelligence people to confirm if Pandya deposed before the CTC tribunal or not. That is an internal matter between BJP leaders. We have already seen that the late Pandya was not present in that 27 Feb meeting and that the list of officers allegedly given by him on those who were present was also wrong. Assuming that Pandya did deport before the CTC it was within Narendra Modi’s rights to take disciplinary action against a leader accused or suspected of violating party discipline. This does not include the right to tap the phone of course. But we have seen how Outlook’s claims that Pandya told it about that 27 Feb meeting in its issue of 3rd June are all trash-assuming that he did say so, the factual errors reveal that anything Pandya may have said against Modi was due to personal differences. If Narendra Modi found that a minister is wrongly giving wrong information to magazines like Outlook and tribunals like CTC (which made a fool of itself by trying to say that the Godhra fire was ‘set from inside’ as if Muslims did not set it!) because of personal differences, then he had every right to take steps to find out who this person was.
There are many other problems with this question. Whether Mr. Pandya’s Mobile was tapped or not tapped in June 2002 is irrelevant to the events of Feb 2002. A question of this sort is a fishing expedition and it is one reason why the line of questioning suggests conspiracy theory making more than a quest for Justice for the events of that day.
Mr. Pandya is dead, let us show some respect to his memory and leave him out of this conspiracy theory mongering. Let us do so noting that the said “independent citizen’s tribunal” made scathing accusations of Mr. Pandya itself accusing him having personally led mobs and provoking riots. They accused Pandya of using derogatory words for Muslims (“Bandyo” in Gujarati, often in Hindi the derogatory term “Bando” is used).
Question #6 – Given the suspicious circumstances of Haren Pandya’s assassination (Mar 26, ’03), and given that many point the needle of suspicion at your administration, what action has been taken to clear your name and find out who his real murderers are?
OUR ANSWER–Another perfect case of thief shouting “Thief Thief” and getting away! Outlook has always tried to blame Narendra Modi for Haren Pandya’s murder for the past many years without directly saying so. It has carried stories saying “A murder foretold” etc etc. The truth is that Haren Pandya was perhaps the only leader of the BJP to be accused of rioting, with an allegation having some credibility. 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 and outrightly denying that any mob torched it) was howling 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 allegedly did, brought him on the top of the hit list and therefore he was killed. The trial court in Gujarat had convicted 12 Muslims for Haren Pandya’s murder in 2007. Despite knowing this, Outlook tried to hold Narendra Modi responsible for it. Now with all 12 accused acquitted by the Gujarat High Court, the political rivals and media men will again launch a crusade against Narendra Modi- perhaps to clear way for Mission 2014. Incidentally, the judge of the High Court who acquitted all the accused is a first-cousin of a Congress leader of Rajkot, who is also the Congress’ spokesman in Rajkot.
Any wild accusation can be made by anyone. Mr. Pandya’s murder has been investigated by the CBI and prosecuted in the Courts. The acquittals in the case came after the Courts severely criticized the CBI’s botched case. Most recently the High Court has rejected a petition to re-investigate the matter. The acquittals have since been challenged in the Supreme Court. Let us leave it at that. This question again has nothing to do with Justice for 2002 Riots. It smacks of conspiracy mongering when the matter has been the hands of Central Agencies and the Court system for years now. Outlook has all along never bothered to report the one single thing, that Haren Pandya himself was also accused in the post-Godhra riots case and accused of demolishing a dargah and was on the top of hit list of terrorists.
Question #7 – You told the SIT that you came to know from newspaper reports that the BJP had ‘joined’ the call for a Gujarat bandh on Feb 28, ’02, and a Bharat bandh on Mar 1, ’02. For someone so clued into the party machinery, isn’t that a strange lapse?
OUR ANSWER– The Times News Network in a late night release (past Midnight of 27th/early hours of 28th) reports the bandh call by the VHP. It makes no reference to the BJP joining the bandh. In fact it makes no reference to the BJP at all. There are also no other news reports from that day on the BJP joining the Bandh. Sheela Bhatt of Rediff reporting on the morning of 28th Feb 2002 describes incidents associated with the Bandh. Sheela Bhatt too describes it as a VHP bandh with no reference to the BJP. In fact that full report by Sheela Bhatt is a must read for it gives a very factual picture of how events unfolded that morning even as a Cabinet meeting was on and curfew had been imposed in one town. On March 1st 2002 the Times News Network has two stories one from Delhi and another Bangalore on the impact of the Bandh. Both stories describe it as a VHP Bandh with no formal reference to BJP joining it but for stray individual involvement. Hence it is perfectly reasonable if Mr. Modi subsequently learned of some stray BJP involvement from news reports in a Bandh that was all along described as a VHP bandh. Narendra Modi himself was very busy that day taking steps to prevent and control violence which could break out the next day. The decision to support the bandh or not was taken by Gujarat BJP leaders, and not the Chief Minister. And of course, it was perfectly right to support it.
Question #8 – You claimed to the SIT that you had no personal knowledge of the presence of BJP ministers Ashok Bhatt and I.K. Jadeja in the police State Control Room and Ahmedabad City Control Room respectively (Feb 28, ‘02). Doesn’t this show some incompetence on your part?
OUR ANSWER–It would make for a disturbingly paranoid Chief Minister to keep hourly record of the exact physical location of every one of his Ministers on a day with fast moving development and general chaos. As far as the matter of reasons for their presence, the duration of their presence and the impact of their presence in those control rooms is something the Nanavati Shah Commission will definitely delve into having already examined Mr. Jadeja. Whether they were present or not is a different matter which will be seen by Commissions probing the case, and the answers given by these ministers themselves will also have to be seen. And if they were not present, then how would Narendra Modi ‘know of their presence’?
Question #9 – You denied to the SIT that you knew ex-MP Ehsan Jafri—who died in the Gulberg Society massacre—or that he contacted you by phone and requested for help even as the rioters were at his door. Eyewitnesses, though, claim that he had spoken to you. Why do critics persist in arguing that this was a case of personal revenge and vendetta?
OUR ANSWER: This once again is a bizarre question. Our question to Outlook is- “Why do YOU continue to support this lie, or at least not bring out the facts which we have quoted here?” If you report all the below-mentioned facts, then the reality will be out for everyone to see. Asking “Why critics persist in arguing …” is something that needs to be posed to the critics for it is they who persist despite the lack of any concrete evidence on the same, and heap of evidence present to prove the opposite, which they ignore. As far as what has been leaked to the media of the SIT report goes there is no telephonic evidence of such a phone contact with Mr. Modi. There is only one eye witness who has claimed this. Imtiaz Pathan who claimed that Jafri called Modi on phone and before dying Jafri told him (Pathan) that Modi abused him on phone. (This is of course, trash. Let us say, for argument’s sake that Jafri did call Modi and Modi did not want to help him. Would Modi have abused him on phone? Modi would have said “Don’t worry, we will send help asap” and not sent help in such a case. Is Modi a fool to abuse Jafri on phone even if he did not want Jafri to be saved? Such a ridiculous charge has no credibility).
Hence it is clear that Imtiaz Pathan has been tutored by someone to claim this. Imtiaz Pathan has also alleged that police did not come to Jafri’s house till 4:30- 5:00 pm. In his immediate testimony to the police in 2002 soon after the riots, Pathan had not named Modi at all, nor made this allegation (Of Jafri calling him and Modi abusing Jafri) for many years after 2002! We have already dismantled Pathan’s claims who seems to be a tutored witness by Teesta Setalvad or some other such people in Myth 11 and Myth 20. Let us first list some points:
1- The Times of India in its online edition on 28 February 2002 reported at 2:34 PM :
“Ahmedabad: At least six persons were injured when police opened fire to disperse a rampaging mob in Meghaninagar area of the city on Thursday afternoon. The injured were brought to civil hospital where the condition of at least three is stated to be serious…the incident took place at Chamanpura area under Meghaninagar police station…”
This is the Ehsan Jafri case- Chamanpura. NOTE THIS REPORT PUBLISHED AT 2:34 PM says that police came and opened fire injuring so many people. India Today weekly dated 18 March 2002 also reports : “Reinforcements did arrive but by that time the mob had swelled to 10,000”. Since this report was posted at 2:34 PM it is clear that this event of police coming and firing must have happened much earlier, say at 1:30 pm at east considering the time it takes to get information, prepare report, proof read it edit it and post it online. This completely dismantles Imtiaz Pathan’s lies that the police did not come till 4:30-5 pm when The Times’ report POSTED ONLINE at 2:34 PM says that police came and fired. The Times of India also reported in its online edition on 28 Feb in a report posted at 9:41 PM. We quote from Times of India online edition 28 Feb night at 9:41 PM “Meanwhile fire tenders which rushed to the spot (Chamanpura- Ehsan Jafri case) were turned back by the irate mob which disallowed the Ahmedabad fire brigade (AFB) personnel and the district police from rushing to rescue…Sources in Congress Party said that the former MP after waiting in vain till 12.30 pm for official help to arrive had opened fire on the mob in self-defense, injuring four..”.
Despite being overwhelmingly outnumbered by the mob which had swelled to more than 10,000 (Zakia Jafri herself told India Today weekly in its issue of 18 March 2002-“I have never seen such a huge mob, they burnt alive my husband”), and the mob going crazy by Jafri firing on them with his revolver, the police did a brave job- and at a great personal they fired on the Hindus and shot dead 5 Hindus outside his house as reported by weekly India Today dated 18 March 2002 and Times of India 28 Feb online. This also did not stop the violence because the crowd was willing to lose a few lives to, as S K Modi puts in his book “Godhra- The Missing rage” ‘teach Jafri a lesson’. Thus Imtiaz Pathan’s claims have no credibility since police arrived much before 4:30-5 pm and shot dead 5 Hindus outside his house. He wrongly claims that police did not come till 4:30-5 pm.Police saved more than 180 Muslims in this episode since there were 250 people inside Jafri’s house and the mob killed 68- after all missing were declared dead, despite being overwhelmingly outnumbered.
2- Imtiaz Pathan does not bother to mention that the then Ahmedabad Police Commissioner P C Pandey visited Jafri’s house at 10 AM (as admitted by one Muslim survivor of this incident in an interview to Human Rights Watch) and offered safety passage to Jafri which he refused. Everyone has hidden the fact that Police Commissioner PC Pandey had visited Ehsan Jafri at 10 AM on February 28, 2002 and offered them safe passage but Jafri did not accept the offer. The Human Rights Watch in its report quotes 38 year old Mehboob Mansoori, a witness who lost 18 from his family at Gulbarg Society as saying: “Early in the day at 10:30 the police commissioner came over and said don’t worry. He spoke to Jaffrey and said something would work out then left. The name of the commissioner of police that visited in the morning is P.C. Pandey, commissioner of police Ahmedabad…” Actually the testimony of this witness is a poorly constructed story. S K Modi in his book “Godhra: The Missing Rage” had quoted this story and completely dismantled it. But even he mentions that P C Pande visited the place at 10:30 AM. What he doesn’t mention is that he offered a safe passage to Jafri- which Jafri refused.
3- Ehsan Jafri fired on the crowd in self-defense. Whether he should have done so or not is a matter of debate, but this act drove the crowd mad and it resolved to kill him, and was willing to lose a few lives. We have seen reports of The Times of India and India Today to know that he did fire on the mob which drove it mad. Imtiaz Pathan does not say this. Pathan lies and says: “Jafri appealed to the crowd to spare women and children. He said,’ Take me, kill me but leave these innocent people’ and gave himself to the crowd.” This claim is absolute trash since it is an established fact that Jafri did not do anything like this and fired on the crowd in self-defense with his revolver, as reported by weekly India Today, Times of India, and yes, also Outlook. Yes, Outlook too.
4- Narendra Modi was very busy that day and there is no way he could have talked to Ehsan Jafri on phone. There has been absolutely no record of any call made to Narendra Modi. If Jafri did call Modi and was abused by him, Jafri would have told this to his widow Zakia or some other people instead of Imtiaz Pathan, who did not make this allegation for a good 7-8 years after 2002. In his immediate testimony to the police in 2002 soon after the riots, Pathan had not named Modi at all, nor made this allegation (Of Jafri calling him and Modi abusing Jafri) for many years after 2002! What prevented Pathan from making this allegation against Narendra Modi (of abusing Jafri on phone and Jafri telling this to Pathan before dying) soon after the riots or for many many years after the riots? Also, does Pathan’s claim have any credibility when it is an established fact that no call was made to Narendra Modi and there is no record of it? Even if there was a record of any such call, how can the statement of a THIRD PERSON (Pathan, who has given so many wrong claims, like police not coming till 4:30- 5 pm when it came much earlier) who was at neither end of the alleged telephone call be relied? Outlook weekly itself carried Arundhati Roy’s article on 6 May 2002 on this issue in which she said “A mob surrounded the house of former Congress MP Iqbal Ehsan Jaffri. His phone calls to the Director-General of Police, the Police Commissioner, the Chief Secretary, the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) were ignored. The mobile police vans around his house did not intervene. The mob broke into the house. They stripped his daughters and burned them alive.”
Of course, all this is factually untrue. We have already seen reports of Times of India to know that the police did their best, saved more than 180 Muslims, shot dead 5 Hindus outside his house. But notice how the allegations of CALLS MADE do not include Narendra Modi at all! Even such a trash article which alleges that Jafri’ daughters were raped (which was found to be untrue since they were in USA at that time!) and makes false allegations on his calls being ignored does not accuse him of making any call to Narendra Modi directly. All these allegations of call to Narendra Modi started coming after 2010- many many years later. Outlook has not bothered to mention any of the above facts.
India Today weekly dated 18 March 2002 clearly admits that at least 5 people were shot dead by the police outside Jafri’s house. The police also saved the lives of some 200 Muslims, since only 68 out of the 250 people inside the house died. It was impossible for the police to control the mob of around 10,000 people- and the mob had gone crazy after Jafri fired from his revolver on the crowd- which injured 7 Hindus- and allegedly killed 3 Hindus. But despite this- police saved 200 Muslims in this episode. . It was impossible for the police to control the mob of around 10,000 people- but they managed to disperse the mob by 8 PM on 28 February- according The Times of India’s online report at 9:41 PM published the same day. And nowhere did The Times of India accuse the police of not doing anything. On the contrary- it said that the furious mob, gone crazy by Jafri firing on it, did not allow fire tenders to reach the house which did its best along with the police. And this Times of India report POSTED ONLINE at 2:34 PM of 28 February also says that police fired on the crowd injuring 6, who were taken to hospital where 3 were critical at that time, and ultimately 5 died.
7 years after the riots where all missing people have been declared dead-death toll is 68. Out of the 250 people in the complex- police saved around 200, at least 180. Everyone has hidden the fact that Police Commissioner PC Pandey had visited Ehsan Jafri at 10 AM on February 28, 2002 and offered them safe passage but Jafri did not accept the offer. The Human Rights Watch in its report quotes 38 year old Mehboob Mansoori, a witness who lost 18 from his family at Gulbarg Society as saying: “Early in the day at 10:30 the police commissioner came over and said don’t worry. He spoke to Jaffrey and said something would work out then left. The name of the commissioner of police that visited in the morning is P.C. Pandey, commissioner of police Ahmedabad…”
Actually the testimony of this witness is a poorly constructed story. S K Modi in his book “Godhra: The Missing Rage” had quoted this story and completely dismantled it. But even he mentions that P C Pande visited the place at 10:30 AM. What he doesn’t mention is that he offered a safe passage to Jafri- which Jafri refused.
The Times of India in its online edition on 28 February 2002 reported at 2:34 PM :
“Ahmedabad: At least six persons were injured when police opened fire to disperse a rampaging mob in Meghaninagar area of the city on Thursday afternoon. The injured were brought to civil hospital where the condition of at least three is stated to be serious…the incident took place at Chamanpura area under Meghaninagar police station…”
That is- as early as 2:34 PM itself police had injured 6 outside Ehsan Jafri’s house and actually 5 were killed in their firing. This despite the hopeless situation- which is clear from reading The Times’ report that Fire Brigade and Police were not allowed to be reached by the mob. Though police gained control only after 8 PM- they fired much before that- before 2 PM and saved 200 Muslims.
Question #10 – Did your government slap the Official Secrets Act against whistleblower cop Rahul Sharma because he passed on explosive phone data records to the Nanavati Commission which showed that rioters were in touch with policemen and politicians?
OUR ANSWER: Let us leave the slapping of OSA to the Commission Report to settle. Only thing here we would like to say is, don’t assume Rahul Sharma as a ‘whistleblower’ -as yet, and please don’t talk vague. This is a serious issue with a serious discussion. Which rioters were in touch with with policemen (details please) and which politicians?
On the phone records – let us not forget that the said records have never been authenticated at source. CJPOnline’s website that carries PDF files of Individual Phone Records and Time-Location graphs clearly shows these are not original raw network records (GSM CDRs – Call Detail Records) but carefully constructed post-facto analyses by a 3rd party with no reference to the original data. In the absence of “source authentication” not much credibility can be attached to them. Even if we give 100% benefit of doubt to the authenticity of the records, we once again make the mistake of confusing correlation with causation. The fact that X called Y establishes nothing beyond X called Y. This smacks of classic conspiracy theory mongering.
Question #11 – The vindictiveness seems to have a pattern, considering the SC’s recent strictures against your government for initiating criminal proceedings against social activist Teesta Setalvad (allegedly for her role in the illegal exhumation of bodies of 2002 riot victims)?
OUR ANSWER: “This case is hundred per cent spurious. In other cases against the petitioner, there may be something,” said a bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Desai”
Also this is absolutely nothing. Actually far from being vindictive against Teesta Setalvad, the Gujarat Government has been far too liberal. This lady has no locus standi to do anything in this matter. I- the author of the website www.gujaratriots.com have as much locus standi as her or even more. The crimes of Teesta Setalvad and others are all far too serious. According to the Supreme-Court appointed SIT itself, “NGOs Teesta cooked up Gujarat riots incidents” And these crimes are horrible. They range to a lot of issues. There is a nice article titled “Enough evidence to prosecute Teesta, not Modi” .
Also note that in this grave digging case, it was the Supreme Court bench of 2 judges which felt that there is no merit in this case. This case was continuing in the trial courts (which did not think it was spurious). The High Court also refused to stay the case against her. Are the trial courts and the High Courts fools to allow such a case? Of course there is a difference of opinion, between the SC and the lower courts. But if this case was a cent per cent spurious one, then the Supreme Court judges of Aftab Alam and Ranjana Desai should have also blasted the trial courts for allowing such a case- and not dismissing it! We feel that a case which was deemed fit to proceed by 2 courts- trail court and High Court is not a spurious one. Also, the fact that grave digging took place is well-established. After digging the graves so-called human rights activists claimed that “Murders were done and bodies buried without telling. We are exposing murders” whereas in reality they were proper graves unnecessarily dug up for the purpose of forcibly trying to find out anything. When this case was investigated, the witnesses and former aides of Teesta Setalvad like Rias Khan said that the graves were dug at her behest. Teesta had claimed in 2005 that these graves were an expose. When the accused and the witnesses and former aides name Teesta Setalvad as the brain behind the grave digging, is this case spurious? It was found fit for trial by 2 courts, lower courts and High Court.
Far from being vindictive the Gujarat government should have long ago filed a lot of cases against Teesta Setalvad for her serious crimes of cooking up witnesses bribing them forcing them to give false evidence, harassing a democratically elected Chief Minister, lying and inflaming the situation, criminal defamation, cooking up stories like a pregnant woman’s womb being ripped open, digging up graves and wrongly claiming that ‘hidden and suppressed graves are exposed’ etc. The Gujarat Government was too soft on dangerous ladies like Teesta Setalvad who tutored witnesses, made false charges, false cases, false evidence for fear of being called vindictive by the biased media.
Question #12 – Isn’t this also why a 21-year-old custodial death case allegedly involving Sanjiv Bhatt was resurrected and suspension orders issued against him?
OUR ANSWER: This is a rhetorical question. Implying that anyone speaking against Narendra Modi has the license to break all laws, violate all rules and become a “MARTYR” with activists and Muslims saying “WE BACK YOU SANJIV BHAT”. These activists and supporters have assumed Sanjiv Bhat as a ‘whistleblower’ (why he took as many as 7-8 years to claim that he was present in that 27 Feb meeting has never been answered by anyone). Bhat was absent from work without warning for many days and ignored ALL NOTICES seeking explanations and was finally suspended. Bhat also allegedly threatened a subordinate constable K D Pant to falsely sign an affidavit saying that he (the subordinate Pant) knew that Bhat participated in that 27 Feb meeting. The subordinate was allegedly told to do as said by Gujarat Congress leader Arjun Modhvadia who allegedly assured him that ‘everything will be fine if you do so, else you will have deep trouble’. So this case of threatening doesn’t appeal to anyone. So Bhat has full license to do all this- remain absent from work, ignore repeated notices to return to work and when get suspended, BECOME A MARTYR. What is painful is that one does not get an iota of objectivity from the media in dealing Sanjiv Bhat’s suspension on merit- on his behavior. It is to the credit of the government that Bhat has been suspended for violating laws, not responding to notices- despite the fear of media criticism. Let the media answer this simple question- especially OUTLOOK- What should be done when an officer is absent from work for days and days, ignores repeated notices, done not give any explanation? Should be promoted and given Bharat Ratna?
One doesn’t need to see Mr. Bhatt’s from the 2002 prism. A simple google archive search of stories on Mr. Bhatt prior to 2002 will reveal his dubious record. As an example here is the case in Rajasthan High Court from April 2000 against Mr. Bhatt. Here is what the NHRC had to say of that case against Mr. Bhatt
“The NHRC also, in its report in September 2010 considered it a case of “serious human rights violation” in view of the fact that the provisions under which Mr. Rajpurohit was falsely implicated could have fetched him 10 years of imprisonment.
Here we would like to ask Outlook- what should be done with Sanjiv Bhat when he remains absent from work without any information for days on end and ignores repeated notices? Should he be given BHARAT RATNA for doing this just because he has made allegations Narendra Modi- after a good 7-8 years? Shouldn’t his case be judged on merits? Far from the Gujarat Government being vindictive (it actually was too soft for fear of being called vindictive by the opponents) it is Outlook which is vindictive of Narendra Modi unable to judge any situation of merit and hold Modi guilty.
Question #13 – It is alleged that compliant police officers during the 2002 riots were promoted and those who steadfastly did their duty were sidelined or persecuted. Many such cases have been widely documented and also brought to your attention. What action have you taken in this regard?
OUR ANSWER: In a democracy anyone can say anything. This is a sweeping generalization. We can’t just go on and on with every disgruntled state employee and link their grouses back to 2002. There is no end or meaning to such an exercise. Promotions are given on the basis of work and a lot of things. It is not the Chief Minister who directly promotes or transfers officers- there is a mechanism involved. Also, these transfers which were done were due anyway. The media did not bother to check the facts on the roles of the officers and whose promotions were due anyway. When liars lie, they will use every trick in the book to make allegations without cross checking facts.
Question #14 – You denied to the SIT that your ministers were involved in leading any of the violent mobs, but what action did you take when the alleged involvement of people like Bharat Barot, Mayaben Kodnani, Nitinbhai Patel and Narayan Lallu Patel was officially brought to your attention?
OUR ANSWER: It is pertinent to point out that Mayaben Kodnani was not a Minister in 2002 but a local MLA. Between 2002 and 2007 there are several news reports that describe her as a rebel BJP MLA in the anti-Modi Keshubhai faction. Nevertheless Ms. Kodnani is on trial. Let the courts settle her fate. And let me also tell you that on the day Maya Kodnani was supposed to be leading any mob in Naroda, she was actually in Ahmedabad. There was only one BJP man against whom there could have been a credible case, the late Haren Pandya accused of demolishing a dargah. While the courts will decide the merits of the case against Mayaben Kodnani, this writer is certain that she will be acquitted because on that day she was in Ahmedabad. But we will not jump to conclusions- and respect the courts decision. But it does seem unbelievable that a BJP MLA like Mayaben Kodnani will be foolish enough to actually lead a 17,000 strong mob targeting and killing Muslims in 2002 in broad daylight in Naroda Patiya on 28 Feb 2002 so that there would be 17,000 witnesses against her!
There is no case against Nitinbhai Patel, no specific accusations beyond the odd story of Muslims voting en-bloc against him in 2002 due to his “alleged” role.
The Special Courton the Sardarpura Riot case had rejected witness statements on Narayan Lalu has being inconsistent while delivering 31 Life sentences. Strangely this story was carried by OutlookIndia on Nov 10th 2011
“While holding that there was no conspiracy behind the killings, the judgement said there are discrepancies in the versions of the witnesses on this point.
One of the witnesses claimed that former Godhra MLA Haresh Bhatt and BJP MLA Narayan Lalu had held a meeting in the village 20-25 days before the incident and distributed weapons, while another claimed that this meeting took place on February 27, 2002.
The court noted that even the investigating officer had rejected the contention that any such meeting had taken place.
The version of Basirabibi Shaikh, a witness, with regard to the alleged conspiracy did not corroborate complainant’s version, the judgement says.”
Question 15: What stopped you from taking action on the basis of the media footage available on the riots? That said, why didn’t the Gujarat police document the carnage?
OUR ANSWER: This question is completely unworthy of even being responded to. How has this question asker concluded that the footage was not used to take action against rioters? For the record, the efficiency of the Gujarat Police can be seen from the fact that out of 25,486 accused the Gujarat police arrested as many as 25,204 accused- as per official Government figures. This includes 7856 Muslims out of 7997 Muslims accused. This question will only reveal the silliness of the asker- prosecuting agencies obviously use all the material available.
Question #16 – What action, if any, did you take after Tehelka’s Operation Kalank in which the likes of Haresh Bhatt, Babu Bajrangi and Rajendra Vyas, while narrating their ‘exploits’, implicated you and your administration?
OUR ANSWER: “Operation Kalank” has no meaning since Even the SIT and courts have rejected the Sting’s admissibility as evidence in a Trial. Besides, all these claims of Tehelka in its doctored and fake sting operation, which is a serious violation of law and prosecutable in the courts, are answered by us already in this article TEHELKA LIES. No one has yet refuted our arguments against Tehelka’ sting operation here. But despite this, all claims made by these people caught on camera were examined. For example, the SIT itself asked Narendra Modi if he visited Naroda Patiya on 28 Feb evening at 7-7:30 pm giving up his security to put the rioters of Naroda Patiya and whether he was ‘garlanded’ by women. Haresh Bhat, the BJP MLA from Godhra claimed that he met on 27 Feb 2002 when Modi visited Godhra- which is completely untrue because records show that no such meeting happened. Despite this, all statements by all those involved in that sting operation were examined. Most of the people in the sting have only implicated themselves, not anyone else. So whether what they said was true or empty boasts, i.e. boastful lies has to be established. despite this, all claims made were examined. Some of the claims may perhaps be true to some extent (of implicating themselves)- so these claims have been investigated. Though they will not stand as evidence in a court of law at least the matters were found fit to be investigated.
Tehelka of course will believe that Narendra Modi visited Naroda Patiya on 28 Feb evening at 7 pm and taking out his security he thanked and applauded the rioters for doing a great work, just because stray accused like Suresh Richard and Babu Bajrangi while talking casually to a Tehelka reporter (thinking that he was writing a book from the VHP point of view) say so, not aware that secret recording is going on, when official records show that he was busy elsewhere in Ahmedabad that day! Such laughable claims that Narendra Modi visited Naroda Patiya and thanked rioters, when we have Times of India’s online report that police escorted 400 Muslims to safety in Naroda Patiya (after 8 pm) and saved the lives of 900 Muslims in this episode, will only make Tehelka and Outlook look silly. It is shocking and unbelievable to see that Outlook would not know that ‘confessions’ given in full knowledge on camera to police are not admissible as evidence as per laws, only intentional confessions given to the judge are admissible as evidence. Here these individuals did not even confess before the police knowingly- they were just talking casually to a man thinking him to be a man writing a book from the VHP point of view and indulging in boastful lies. Of course, Outlook and Tehelka both know this, and despite this Tehelka claims to have ‘irrefutable evidence’ of Modi’s involvement. What trash!
Question #17 – Why was no action taken or inquiry held against officers of the executive magistracy, particularly the DMs who failed to initiate prompt action against the rioters, especially from Feb 27-Mar 4, ’02?
OUR ANSWER: The dates mentioned are completely incorrect. There were no riots on 27 Feb barring a few stray incidents of violence. Riots began on 28 Feb 2002 and lasted for just 3 days- 28 Feb, 1st March and 2nd March 2002. There were no riots, no rioters to act against on 3rd and 4th March 2002 at all! So how can the officers be held responsible for ‘not taking action’ against rioters on 3rd and 4th March? We have seen the reports of all English dailies of those days.
We have given details of ACTION TAKEN AGAINST RIOTERS. 827 preventive arrest on 27 Feb, 700 arrests on 28 Feb though the situation was out of control, curfew imposed as soon as the violence began on 28 Feb and in many places much before the violence began, police firing 1,000 rounds of 28 Feb including 600 in Ahmedabad, etc etc.
Just for the sake of argument, look at the report of The Telegraph (Kolkata) dated 1st March 2002 on the events of 28 February 2002:
Where in this report does The Telegraph accuse anyone of inaction on 28 February? No allegations of any inaction. See the report of The Tribune dated 1st March 2002 on events of 28 February. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2002/20020301/main7.htm
NO ALLEGATIONS OF ANY INACTION. These newspapers are among the worst critics of Narendra Modi and the BJP ever after the riots. But at the time of the actual riots, they said nothing like this- “Inaction”, “Police complicit” or anything. If there was any deliberate inaction, these dailies along with foreign dailies would have screamed worldwide and raised a hullabaloo in their reports THE NEXT DAY. But we see nothing against anyone. Same is the case of reports of 2nd March and 3rd March 2002 too. Let us look at the report of The Hindu dated 2nd March 2002 on riots of 1st March 2002. http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/2002/03/03/stories/2002030303020100.htm No allegation of any inaction. Also the same in its issue of 3rd March 2002 on riots of 2nd March 2002.
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/2002/03/03/stories/2002030303020100.htm No allegations of inaction . And as for proofs that the riots stopped on 2nd March itself and that there were no riots on 3rd and 4th March, see this report of The Hindu dated 4th March 2002.
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/2002/03/04/stories/2002030403090100.htm Doesn’t this show that there were no riots, i.e. no rioters on 3rd and 4th March 2002 against whom officials could take action?
How can the officials be accused of failing to take action against rioters when the best possible action was taken against rioters? This is a sweeping generalization. A perusal of all the news reports from 28th Feb 2002 will show a mixed picture of action taken yet a scale of violence that clearly overwhelmed the system. The Srikrishna Commission Report on 1993 riots had come up with specific recommendations for action against negligent officers. Let us give the Nanavati Commission report the same opportunity and wait to see what it has to say of specific instances of delinquency, negligence or willful inaction.
All accusations on Narendra Modi and demands for his resignation, dismissal started AFTER the riots. This was because, the media wanted some scapegoat to be made for the riots. It wanted Modi to sack a few police officers, drop a minister or two. But Modi did nothing of the sort. He did not blame anyone, did not make anyone a scapegoat. In an interview to NDTV’ broadcast on 20 March 2004, Narendra Modi said to Shekhar Gupta (Editor of The Indian Express), “You all wanted that someone be made scapegoat. I did not do that. I allowed you to break all pots on my head alone. You have all decided, all these riots happened under this man (Narendra Modi). Until this man is removed from the Chief Minister’s post, we will not rest in peace. My best wishes to you in your mission.” Narendra Modi did not resign, and the BJP did not dismiss him, so the media was livid. Remember that on the day of the actual riots, no allegations were made against Narendra Modi or the administration.
Question #18 – You denied recommending pro-BJP/VHP advocates for appointment as public prosecutors. Then why was no action taken or inquiry conducted against the DMs who made such biased selections?
OUR ANSWER: Let us give the Nanavati Commission report the opportunity and wait to see what it has to say of specific instances of bias. But in our opinion, wasn’t the prosecution very efficient? Till now we have had more than 130 people convicted for rioting including more than 30 Muslims and more than 92 Hindus- not including 31 Muslims convicted for Godhra. This is a world record- the highest ever convictions in Gujarat. In 1969 and 1985 far worse riots took place in which far more people were killed in riots which lasted for a much longer duration, like 5 months in 1985. There have been horrible riots in Gujarat details of which are given by us in this chapter. In those riots, the previous Congress Governments (and Janata Dal in 1990) hardly managed to get 3- 4 people convicted, yes- 3 to 4 people convicted for such horrible riots. The 1984 riots which were far far worse than the post-Godhra riots saw a mere 13 people convicted in the past 28 years. As compared to that, more than 160 people have been convicted (including those for Godhra) in Gujarat which is by far the highest ever. So how can be prosecutors be biased or unprofessional? Outlook and the media has of course not bothered to mention these facts of people convicted ever in their articles!
Question #19 – You often boast that you do not discriminate on grounds of religion. On Sept 9, ’02, as part of your gaurav yatra, you made a speech in which you equated the Muslim relief camps with child-producing centres and used crudities like “Hum paanch, hamaare pachees”. Are you proud of such remarks?
OUR ANSWER: Remarks taken out of context can sound crude and despicable. Let us not forget what followed those remarks. The Independent People’s Tribunal of Justices Suresh, Krishna Iyer et. al in its Report (Part 1, Page 266) carried an English translation of the audio recording of that speech via NDTV/Indian Express. Here is what followed:
“Who will benefit from this development? Is family planning not necessary in Gujarat? Where does religion come in its way? Where does community come in its way? .The population is rising in Gujarat, money isn’t reaching the poor? What.s the reason? They make a beeline, fix cycle punctures (Audience laughs). If Gujarat is to be developed, then an economic system has to be developed where every child born in Gujarat gets education, manners and employment.”
Where is the question of bias or discrimination when Mr. Modi speaks of an economic vision for Gujarat where every child gets education and opportunity?
This is not spin from 2008 this is his much maligned election speech of 2002 ! There is absolutely nothing that can be held against Narendra Modi here. And he has already responded to all these questions in 2002.
Question #20 – It took the Gujarat HC to finally issue a contempt notice against your government for failing to compensate those whose shops were burnt down in the riots? Where was your ‘sadbhavana’ during the last 10 years?
OUR ANSWER: As for failing to compensate those whose shops were burnt down, we would like to say that hundreds of Hindus also suffered economically. Hindu shops were also looted (by Muslims!- which will give a terrible pain to mention on paper!). The Hindus also suffered economically. Just for one example, As per the report of none other than The Times of India, as many as 50 Hindus shops were torched in Revdi Bazaar area of Ahmedabad on 23 March 2002 by Muslims. The financial loss was as much as 15 crore rupees. Many more Hindu shops were looted in the rest of Gujarat too.
To read the report of The Times of India on the burning of 50 shops in Ahmedabad- see this link- http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/4609603.cms
It is pertinent to point out the contempt notice was issued to a District Collector and not to the Chief Minister’s Office, Cabinet or Cabinet Secretary. In an era where even the Prime Minister gets to distance himself from his own Office on Court strictures, to describe contempt notice against one District Collector as a “contempt notice against an entire State Government” is frankly bizarre.
We have already seen the steps taken by the Government to quell the violence, and in saving the lives of the victims- for example in Sanjeli, Bodeli and Viramgam areas of Gujarat, 24,000 Muslims were saved. We have also seen how the police saved 900 Muslims in Naroda Patiya and 180 Muslims in Ehsan Jafri case. Hindus were also saved by violent Muslims in many places in Gujarat-like in Jamalpur in Ahmedabad on 1 March 2002, and in Modasa on 19 March 2002 when Muslims attacked. But there has also been a claim by many that the Gujarat Government was like Hitler and have called these plain riots as ‘holocaust’ and equated them with the killing of Jews in Germany. What a ridiculous comparison!
The Gujarat Government spent a lot of money for providing relief to the riot victims. None other than the UPA Government’s MoS for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal said in the Rajya Sabha that too in a written reply on 11 May 2005. He said an amount of Rs 1.5 lakh was paid by the government to the next of kin of each person killed and Rs 5,000, Rs 15,000, Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 to those injured up to 10, 30, 40 and 50 per cent respectively.
In addition, Jaiswal said relief was also extended by the state government to the victims of the riots under the heads of cash doles and assistance for household kits, foodgrains to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in affected areas, housing assistance, rebuilding earning assets, rehabilitation of small business, assistance to industries/shop and hotel and so on.
The state government, Jaiswal said has informed that a total of Rs 204.62 crore has been incurred by it towards relief and rehabilitation measures. The Gujaratgovernment has also informed that they had published the data as recommended by the NHRC, he added.
In April 2002 Gujarat Government said : “ At the rate of Rs 30 per person, the Government is spending Rs 35 lakh a day on providing foodgrains to the 1.1 lakh inmates of the 99-odd relief camps in the state, 47 of them in Ahmedabad.
The relief operations at the camps are being directly looked after by IAS officers of the rank of secretary to the state Government.
The camps in Ahmedabad have been divided into six groups. Each group is being monitored by a bureaucrat of the rank of secretary. The secretaries have been looking after the minutest problems of the inmates. Teachers were deputed in each camp to help the children prepare for the exams and the state Health Department has been taking special steps to look after the well being of the inmates. In order to rehabilitate the rural inmates, the Government has floated the Sant Kabir Awas Yojana as per the directions of Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee. The scheme will enable the inmates to build houses.”(And in these camps were 1 lakh Muslims and 40,000 Hindus as well)
How ridiculous to equate this with Hitler! Did Hitler ever spent crores on helping Jews or other Christian Germans affected by violence? He ordered killing of Jews- not spending of money to help them. Has any government in the world ever cared about minority Hindus who suffered like this? In the 1971 East Pakistan genocide, West Pakistani soldiers killed around 2 million Hindus (and also other Bangladeshi Muslims when their leader declared that Bangladeshis are un-Islamic). and also raped at least 2,50,000 Bengali women. From 1947- Pakistan has constantly massacred the Hindus, reducing their population from 20 % in West Pakistan to 1 % now. In Bangladesh also- the Hindu population has declined from around 30 % to just 7 % now. Hindus are regularly killed, women raped, abducted and forcibly converted to Islam, temples attacked, Hindus thrown out of their homes in Bangladesh and Pakistan. In Kashmir in January 1990, Hindus were given 3 choices by local Islamic leaders- convert to Islam, die or leave Kashmir. Nobody ever reconstructed houses for these Hindus. Nobody gave them financial compensation of crores of rupees. And nobody spent 35 lakhs per day on them. Nobody arrested the culprits and punished them. Those who order killing of others- or want others to suffer horribly, do not take the pains to do all that the Gujarat Government did. Not only did the Gujarat Government do all this- the police also arrested 35,552 people as of 28 April 2002, out of which 27,901 were Hindus. Around 20,000 people were arrested as a preventive measure out of whom 17,000 were Hindus. No Islamic country (or our own country in Kashmir in 1990) or other mass murderers like Saddam Hussain, Hitler ever carried out preventive arrests to save the victims. And already 130 people have been convicted for rioting- the highest ever in Gujarat. No Islamic country has ever punished anyone for killings of Hindus- not even of the tallest Hindu leader of Pakistan- Sudamchand Chawla, who was killed by Islamic radicals on 28 January 2002. There is no way a Muslim nation will punish a believer (Momin) for the murder of a kafir (infidel) that too an idolator.
Question #21 – The Gujarat HC also had to order the various authorities under your administration to pay for the restoration of the hundreds of religious structures destroyed. Why did the situation come to this?
OUR ANSWER: Correct question. This doesn’t mean that the Gujarat Government did not give compensation on all other victims. Religious structures are public property, individuals don’t have to be compensated here. the Gujarat Government has spent crores and crores on victims relief, like Rs 35 lakh a day in April 2002 handling 99 odd relief camps. The maximum relief/ refugee camps opened were 159 since many camps were closed and new ones opened at different times. As on 5 March 2002 out of 85 refugee/ relief camps opened 85 were for Muslims and 13 for Hindus.
The question on religious structures is a genuine one. There is a legitimate Constitutional question on this on tax payer money being spent on religious structures. Let the Supreme Court appeal be settled. After all no compensation was paid for structures that were damaged or destroyed in the 2001 earthquake or during the terror attack on the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar in 2002. And let us also mention here that many temples too were destroyed by Muslims even after Godhra. And after the Babri demolition of 6 Dec 1992, there were around 160 temples demolished in Kashmir by Muslims- let us not even talk of temples demolished in Pakistan and Bangladesh by Muslims right since 1947 and specially after 6 December 1992. There were 37 temples demolished in Kashmir BEFORE 6 December 1992. Also, leaving apart Kashmir more than 600 temples have been demolished inIndia by Muslims after 1947- yes you read it right. We have a list of all these 600 temples demolished OUTSIDE Kashmir in today’s India after 1947. Is it surprising, since temples were also demolished in Gujarat by Muslims under Narendra Modi’s rule even after Godhra. Only one question to Outlook- did you bother to even mention these temples demolished, not to talk of demanding any compensation for them? Since no government ever paid for religious structures demolished in riots, 200 odd temples demolished in Kashmir before and after 6 Dec 1992, nor in any other place perhaps this court ruling will set a precedence.
Question #22 – What is your take on the high court blaming the 2002 riots on the “negligence of the state”?
OUR ANSWER: All these actually are questions to Narendra Modi- not us. We replied to all accusations of inaction, causing violence, etc. Here the PERSONAL OPINION of Narendra Modi is being asked which we cannot give. But we will give OUR PERSONAL OPINION (unsolicited!).
This was in a case filed by an Islamic group seeking compensation from Government on damages caused to religious structures. The job of the Gujarat High Court in this case was to simply decide whether the state government should give compensation or not for damaged religious structures. It has absolutely no right to comment on whether those structures were demolished due to ‘negligence of the state government’ or not when that it not its job, nor its jurisdiction. When the matter is in case of whether compensation should be given or not, the High Court has no right and no business to comment on what caused the damages, blaming someone for it and that too without listening to that party’s side. That too is irrelevant, whether the court gave a chance to the Gujarat Government to argue on why it did not do any negligence, because that is a matter which is simply beyond the powers of the High Court.
The basic minimum for any court before saying anything , even on a point which is not in the powers of the court to speak on, has to be- LISTENING TO BOTH SIDES. If a court passes some order without even asking the other party its position- then it means that the opinion (mind the word, opinion not judgment) of the court is terribly biased. In this case, did the Gujarat High Court listen to the side of the state government ON THIS POINT- on whether the religious structures demolished were due to negligence on its part?
The words are : “Even if, for the sake of argument, we accept the defence of the state that the cause of riots was the ‘general reaction from the incident of Sabarmati Express, failure on part of the police intelligence to gather such general reaction (after the Godhra train burning incident) in time and to take appropriate timely action definitely come within expression ‘negligence of the state’.
“Similarly, the fact remains that the anarchy continued unabated for days … itself suggests lack of appropriate action or adequate action, if not inaction, on the part of the state in handling the situation,” it further observed.
The division bench of acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala, while castigating the state government, ordered payment of compensation for over 500 religious structures, damaged during the riots.
The state cannot shirk its responsibilities, the court observed. “There was ‘inadequate endeavour’ on the part of the state government in effectively handling the situation resulting in destruction of more than 500 places of religious worship throughout the state belonging only to one religious community,” it said.
The judges held that “it is the duty of the state government to restore all those religious places, irrespective of the religion, to original position as they existed at the time of destruction.”
If the structures are already restored by now, the government should reimburse the amount spent, the court said.”
The High Court has absolutely no right to comment on either this or the 2002 riots. It is beyond the jurisdiction of the court to comment on what happened in the 2002 riots – in the first place when there is a full-fledged Commission of Inquiry which has all the powers under the Commission of Inquiry Act i.e. Nanavati Commission to probe the riots and give its report. Secondly, assuming that the Gujarat High Court did pass such a comment, that is just an opinion of the bench which passed it- and it is not a judgment or a law. For example a case which comes to mind is a ruling of the Karnataka High Court which said that 18 is an ok age for a girl to marry if its an arranged marriage, but for a love marriage the age should be 21 for a girl since a girl is too young at 18 to go in for a love marriage. Now this is just the view of the court- it is not a law, it is not a judgment. A girl can go in for a love marriage even at 18, 19 or 20.
Let us point out here that respect for the Gujarat High Court does not mean that no action of it can be challenged. The High Court is also incorrect on facts in saying that religious structures of only one community were damaged. It did not note that 17 Hindu temples were also demolished by Muslims, and that Muslims attacked a prominent temple in Jamalpur locality in Ahmedabad as early as 1 March 2002 as reported by The Hindu the next day. The High Court did not look at all the steps and PRO ACTIVE ACTION (far from negligence) taken by the Gujarat Government to control the violence which was controlled in a mere 3 days.
Q 23: How is it that instead of censuring newspapers like Sandesh and Gujarat Samachar—which spread false, dangerous and communal rumours—you actually wrote them letters of appreciation while seeking to ban those who exposed the complicity of your administration in the violence?
OUR ANSWER: One factually incorrect news given was that Hindu girls were kidnapped, raped and their breasts cut off by Muslims in Godhra. What this question asker does not seem to remember is that the report of its own magazine, Outlook in its issue dated 11 March 2002 said, “Though the government scotched the rumours, the damage was done”. Naturally, the Narendra Modi Government DENIED THE RUMOURS of Hindu girls being kidnapped in Godhra by Muslims and their breasts cut off. This too on 27 Feb when there was no confirmation of whether this is false or not.Government did not say “There is no proof of this news ” etc. It directly DENIED the rumours. No Hindu girl will ever say that she has been raped. So the government could not have concluded on 27 Feb that no rapes took place. It took some days for this fact to be established, that no rapes took place in Godhra, but the Narendra Modi government immediately DENIED THE RUMOURS on 27 Feb as reported by none other than Outlook!
The newspapers like Sandesh and Gujarat Samachar were far more truthful, safe and factually correct than magazines like Outlook and our national English media and TV channels who reported very inflammatorily and factually incorrectly and were responsible more a lot of violence. The claim “While seeking to ban those who exposed the complicity of your administration in the violence” is based on a terrible assumption that the administration was complicit in the violence. This shows Outlook’s bias- in holding the administration complicit-guilty. As we have said, we have not seen a single evidence against the administration in the past 10 years nor has anyone refuted our arguments till date. This is also a very generalized question against Narendra Modi. Talking vague. The question should have been more specific- which channels or newspapers did Narendra Modi try to ban and for what reason did he try- if at all he did. No details given by Outlook. What complicity did they expose? No answer. Where and when did Narendra Modi write letters to appreciation to them and for what reason- is not mentioned by Outlook. It is too generalized a statement made by Outlook.
Papers like Sandesh and Gujarat Samachar may have been guilty of exaggeration but they definitely did not concoct stories the way the national English media did and magazines like Outlook did- for example, lying that Ehsan Jafri’s daughters were raped, lying that a pregnant woman’s womb was ripped open and foetus taken out, that in that 27 Feb meeting officers were told to allow Hindus to retaliate, or that 2000 Muslims were killed in the riots whereas the correct number is less than 1000, calling the riots a ‘genocide’ whereas they were plain riots, ignoring all actions taken by the government to control and prevent the violence and instead alleging that free hand was given etc etc. On this, we will ask some questions to the Indian media in general and Outlook in particular after we answer all its 25 questions.
There was a contrast of day and night in the versions of the riots as projected by the ‘national’ English media and the local Gujarati papers, not merely Sandesh and Gujarat Samachar. All Gujarati papers were giving identical versions of riots, which was completely different from the versions given by national TV channels and English dailies. The reason was that the national English dailies were projecting Muslims as victims ignoring that fact that almost all the riots after 4th March 2002 were started by Muslims and were attack on Hindus. Muslims threw out 40,000 Hindus from their homes even after Godhra, in a state ruled by Narendra Modi is something which the national media forgot to mention, but the Gujarati media reported.
The Justice Tewatia Committee study team went to Gujarat in April 2002, studied and gave a report. Justice D. S. Tewatia, a former Chief Justice of Calcutta and Punjab and Haryana High Courts, was the leader of the team. Other members were: Dr J C Batra, senior advocate, Supreme Court of India, Dr. Krishan Singh Arya, Academician, Chandigarh, Shri Jawahar Lal Kaul, former Assistant Editor, Jansatta, Delhi, and Prof. B K Kuthiala, Dean, Faculty of Media Studies, G. J. University Hisar. Note that this was not a team with Hindu ideology, it was a panel having all ‘other’ people and a retired Chief Justice. Its report says:
“ROLE OF MEDIA
The Study Team received a large number of complaints against biased reporting’, non-objective attitude and anti Gujarat conspiracy of Delhi Media. The team felt it necessary to objectively observe and analyse the role of Media both regional and English language newspapers published from metropolitan cities. It also solicited comments about the role of media from about 500 persons with whom the members of the team interacted. The team’s observations are:
1. Local and regional papers at times seemed to be emotionally surcharged and lost sight of objectivity. However, Gujarati newspapers, by and large, were factual in day to day reporting.
2. The editorial pages of local and regional newspapers maintained a balance in projecting all viewpoints.
3. Newspapers published in English from Delhi invariably editorialized the news. Direct and indirect comments in the news writing were so telling that the personal likes and dislikes of the news reporters were too obvious to be missed.
4. English language newspapers published from Delhi appeared to have assumed the role of crusaders against the State Government from day one. It coloured the entire operation of news gathering, feature writing and editorials.
5. The edit pages of English language press carried comments that clearly indicated biases:
a. against the State Government of Gujarat,
b. in favor of Congress, leftist parties and the secularist
c. indifferent to the carnage at Godhra,
d. against the Hindu organizations, and
e. against the NDA government at the Centre.
6. Most of the national newspapers and news channels played down the intensity of Godhra carnage and projected it as a result of provocation by pilgrims. Not many reporters were deputed to dig out facts or to do follow-up stories. This resulted in large number of editorials and articles that projected Godhra as a reaction to provocation by karsevaks’ and riots in rest of the state as “state sponsored terrorism”.
7. A distorted image of sectarian violence in the state was projected by the electronic and print media based in Delhi.
8. Repeated telecasts of arson and violence contributed in spreading the tension to unaffected areas. TV channels ignored warning from officials and kept telecasting communal riots like infotainment.
9. Coverage of Machhipiti in Vadodara is an example. One national news channel went overboard to telecast police firing at Machhipit as if it had taken place in Ahmedabad.
10. On 27.02.02 the Government of Gujarat announced a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh for the next of kin of victims of Godhra carnage. There were protests about discrimination between Hindu and Muslim victims and the Government announced on March 9 that all victims would get Rs one lakh.
Yet, as late as the first week of April a Congressperson in USA citeda report in an Indian newspaper to accuse the Government of discriminating against minorities in the grant of compensation. The newspaper concerned did not care to inform its readers of the correct situation.
11. The code of ethics prescribed by the Press Council of India was violated by the media with impunity. It so enraged the citizens that several concerned citizens in the disturbed areas suggested that peace could return to the state only if some of the TV channels were closed for some weeks.
12. Media did not help to cool down the tempers. It failed to act as a platform for a dialogue between the Hindus and Muslims on the one hand and between the people and the establishment on the other.
The Study Team is of the considered opinion that the media in general failed to perform as conscious and socially responsible gatekeepers of information.
It followed in the footsteps of an American journalist who said, ” My job is to report the facts. I give a damn to the consequences”.
Telecasting images that spread hatred and instigated violence is unhealthy, but their repeated telecast is lethal. The media acted as an interested party in the confrontation, not a neutral reporter of facts.
The team was alarmed at the intensity of hostile attitude among the people of the state for Delhi press and television news channels. This attitude was especially articulated by delegations of intellectuals like lawyers, doctors, and businessmen. Even the tribals complained that the media had no time to hear their tale of their agony and was spreading canards against the Hindus.”
THIS IS A REPORT of the Justice Tewatia Committee, not of any RSS study-team!
Q 24: While you claim to condemn the killings in 2002, your critics argue the reason you refuse to show any repentance for the same is your deep-seated anti-Muslim prejudice. Do you agree?
OUR ANSWER: Prejudice is what is an integral part of the anti-Narendra Modi media (a section of it) who cannot judge anything on merit- like Sanjiv Bhat being suspended after being absent from work for days and days without information and ignoring all notices to him. Actually, it is the English dailies and weeklies like Outlook and TV channels like NDTV (run by CPM leader Brinda Karat’s younger sister Radhika Roy) and CNN-IBN which have a deep rooted prejudice against Narendra Modi-horrible anti-Modi prejudice. This question has been answered by us in “Myth 18”. And the much-repeated nonsensical claim that Narendra Modi never expressed regret at the Gujarat riots is absolute rubbish.
Narendra Modi has expressed regret for the riots and termed the riots as ‘unfortunate’ . In an interview to Aaj Tak‘s Prabhu Chawla on its program Seedhi Baat, the excerpts of which were published in India Today weekly dated 4 Nov 2002, Narendra Modi was asked “Prime Minister Vajpayee and Home Minister Advani have said that whatever happened in Gujarat was wrong” to which he said, “I say the same thing. The communal riots in Gujarat were unfortunate and we are sad they took place.”
After the 2002 Gujaratriots Narendra Modi made a statement in the State Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) in March 2002. One paragraph from that statement is “Are we not supposed to soul-search ourselves? Whether it is Godhra incident or post-Godhra it does not enhance the prestige of any decent society. The riots are a stigma on humanity and do not help anyone to hold his head high. Then why is there a difference of opinion”.
When Narendra Modi went on his “Sadbhavana fast” in Gujaratin 2011, some newspapers said, “In a statement interpreted as his first sign of regret over the 2002 post-Godhra violence, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Friday said the pain of anyone in the state is “my pain” and he had a duty to do justice for everyone.”Constitution ofIndia is supreme for us. As a Chief Minister of the state, pain of anybody in the state is my pain. (Delivering) Justice to everyone is the duty of the state,” Modi said on the eve of his three-day fast.”
It wasn’t merely this paper, almost the entire media said the same thing. What a ridiculous interpretation from the media, and how factually incorrect it reported! The entire self-styled secularists and activists have carried on this myth in their hate-campaigns against Modi. Gujarat Congress leaders too have repeated this terrible lie. The BJP’s public relations work truly is not up to the mark. How it allowed such a massive lie to crop up without ever bothering to try to bring out the truth is beyond comprehension.
What is correct is that Narendra Modi has not apologized for the Gujarat riots, and rightly so. Why should he? Apology is given when someone does something wrong, makes a mistake and asks for forgiveness for a mistake. What wrong has Narendra Modi done? He actually has done an excellent work in controlling the 2002 riots, his administration saved more than 24,000 Muslims, the riots were controlled in 3 days while weeklies like India Today and Outlook predicted weeks of violence on 28 Feb, he frantically called the Army to Ahmedabad on 28 Feb 2002, ordered preventive arrests of 827 people on 27 Feb itself, gave ‘shoot-at-sight’ orders in Godhra on 27 Feb itself (primarily aimed at Hindus who could have retaliated in Godhra). His government spent more than 204 crores rupees on relief and rehabilitation measures, built houses, opened relief camps, etc. Strong action was taken against the rioters, with as many as 35,552 arrests made as of 28 April 2002, including 27,901 Hindus. Already, in just 9 years at least 163 people have been convicted in at least 16 cases for the riots, including 98 Hindus and 65 Muslims (including 31 Muslims for Godhra and 34 for post-Godhra). The media’s argument often is “The Congress has apologized for the 1984 riots. Will the BJP apologize for the 2002 Gujarat riots?” This was asked by Arnab Goswami to BJP leader Nalin Kohli on 16 May 2009 on TV after the BJP’s massive debacle in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
There is absolutely no need to equate the two. Firstly there is not a single parallel between the post-Godhra riots of 2002 and the 1984 riots. We have seen the contrasts between these two riots. Secondly, Congress apologizing for the riots is not an action of credit. Apologizing means accepting culpability in the 1984 riots in which 3,000 Sikhs were killed. Is the sin of killing 3,000 forgivable by merely issuing an apology? Accepting culpability for the death of 3,000 people means the party deserves severe punishment. 3,000 murders cannot be pardoned and condoned by an apology. The then Congress Government took no action against the rioters, hardly any arrests were made and hardly 13 people have been convicted in 6 cases in 27 years. For what should the BJP or Narendra Modi apologize? They have done absolutely nothing wrong, controlled violence in Gujarat in record time even after a shocking massacre like Godhra, while it took previous Congress Governments several months to stop riots in 1985 and 1969 even without any cause like Godhra.
It should be remembered that not a single English newspaper actually accused the Chief Minister Narendra Modi of any wrongdoing on the actual days of the riots, i.e. 28 Feb 2002 (Thursday), 1st March 2002 (Friday) and 2nd March 2002.
Q 25: If you really have nothing to hide, why do you refuse to engage with those who have raised such allegations about you?
OUR ANSWER: For once, we agree with something said by Outlook. But the question that “If you have nothing to hide why don’t you speak on this issue” ignores one big issue. And that is- that all these questions were answered by Narendra Modi in 2002. He engaged in dialogue with all those at that time. If Narendra Modi had something to hide, why did he answer all these questions in 2002- like in interviews to India Today weekly dated 18 March 2002, 8 April 2002, 29 April 2002, Outlook dated 18 March 2002, in various other interviews and in press conferences almost daily? However, here we agree that Narendra Modi should now break his silence on the issue of riots. Perhaps he could be keeping quiet as a matter of strategy. Once he is given a clean chit- may be by the Nanavati Commission he will open his mouth. Perhaps he is waiting for 100 sins’ pot to be filled. Let us tell you, that if and when he opens his mouth, it will a disaster for the media and political rivals and social ‘activists’. The defamation cases fought and won by him will cost these liars and false allegation-makers poorer by THOUSANDS OF CRORES OF RUPEES remember- thousands of crores of rupees. This question has one counter question by us- if YOU (OUTLOOK) have nothing to hide, then why do you refuse to engage with those who challenge you for a debate on this- that is, us at www.gujaratriots.com ? (OUTLOOK will not be blamed because it has not yet been given an invitation for debate unlike many others in “Our Challenge” section). Note that the media has not published any articles refuting allegations on Narendra Modi and the state government since 2002. This writer himself has sent many many letters and articles many many times to many many English dailies and weeklies and not a single has been published. Why have none of the people we sent invitation mails to debate us ever responded to us? Does this not show that they can only lie and lie in their newspapers (like Vir Sanghvi’s Hindustan Times lying that 3,000 Muslims were killed in Gujarat on the edit pages day after day and calling Narendra Modi a ‘mass murderer’ without answering our arguments ever or giving us a space in their pages?)
OUTLOOK or any other paper, scholar, magazine or anyone is challenged to debate with us on this issue. http://www.gujaratriots.com/our-challenge/