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India: Special Investigation Team Implicates Modi

A compilation of newsreports

by co-admin, 9 February 2011

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Tehelka says that it has obtained a copy of the report submitted by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to the Supreme Court. The SIT was appointed by the Supreme Court to investigate the role of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others in the riots that followed the burning of the Sabaramati Express on 27th February 2002. The favorable impression sought to be created by the associates of Modi and journalists sympathetic to him is strongly negated by the many critical observations of Modi and his administration contained in the report.

From the Hindustan Times:

HT 4th FEB 2011

GUJARAT SHAME - SIT indicts Modi for 2002 riots: Report

AHMEDABAD/NEW DELHI

REPORT INDICTS MODI ON SEVERAL COUNTS INCLUDING SHUNTING OUT COPS TRYING TO STOP RIOTS AND DESTROYING DOCUMENTS

In a severe indictment of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi for his alleged role in the 2002 post-Godhra massacre, the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) has held that he failed to control the riots in which more than 1,200 people were killed.

In its 600-page report, accessed by weekly Tehelka, the SIT has indicted Modi on several counts such as taking a partisan stance, discriminatory attitude, failing to condemn the violence, destruction of documents with evidentiary value and shunting out police officers who tried to prevent the riots.

The SC in April 2009 had asked the SIT headed by former CBI director RK Raghavan to investigate the complaint of Zakia Jafri into the murder of her husband Ehsan Jafri, a former Congress MP who was among the 69 people killed by rioters in Gulberg Society.

The SIT report, dated May 12, 2010, said Modi, despite attacks on Muslims, tried to water down the seriousness of the situation by saying every action had an equal and opposite reaction. It said Modi’s implied justification of the killings suggested a partisan stance at a critical stage when the state was badly disturbed by riots.

It also indicted the Gujarat police for “patently shoddy investigations in Naroda Patiya and Gulberg Society massacres cases“. Rioters killed more than 100 people in Naroda Patiya.

The weekly quoted the report saying, “The chief minister had tried to water down the seriousness of the situation at Gulberg Society, Naroda Patiya and other places by saying that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.“

In an “extremely controversial“ move, the report said Modi placed two ministers Ashok Bhatt and IK Jadeja -whose mobile records showed they were in touch with rioters -in control rooms of Ahmedabad city police and Gujarat state police during riots with no def inite charter, fuelling specula tion they were sent to interfere in police work and give “wrong ful“ decisions.

A three-judge SC bench wil hear the matter on March 3.

The report has given the Congress a fresh handle to attack Modi. “The BJP and Modi should realise that he already stands convicted many times over,“ party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said.
The SIT report also says that, in an inexplicable move the police administration did not impose curfew in Naroda and Meghani Nagar (Ahmedabad city) until 12 and 2 pm respectively on February 28, 2002. By then, the situation had severely deteriorated at both places.

From the Hindu

4th FEB 2011

SIT: Modi tried to dilute seriousness of riots situation

Vidya Subrahmaniam

New Delhi: The Gujarat government overlooked “ghastly and violent attacks” on Muslims in the aftermath of the 2002 Godhra carnage, and Chief Minister Narendra Modi “tried to water down” the seriousness of the situation by contending that “every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”

This and several other key findings pertaining to the role of Mr. Modi and his government in the anti-Muslim pogrom are contained in the 600-page report submitted to the Supreme Court by the R.K. Raghavan-headed Special Investigation Team. The report was scooped by Tehelka magazine in its latest issue.

The pogrom had followed the February 27, 2002 killings of Hindu pilgrims in Godhra. Mr. Modi was among those who testified before the Court-appointed SIT.

The SIT’s inquiry officer noted in the report: “His [Mr. Modi’s] implied justification of the killings of innocent members of the minority community read together with an absence of strong condemnation of the violence that followed Godhra suggest(s) a partisan stance at a critical juncture when the State had been badly disturbed by communal violence.”

For his part, Mr. Raghavan recorded that the State government had placed two ministers — Ashok Bhatt and IK Jadeja — in the Ahmedabad city police control room and the State police control room during the riots. The ministers had “no definite charter,” fuelling speculation that “they had been placed to interfere in police work and give wrongful decisions to the field officers.” Further, “the fact that he [Mr. Modi] was the Cabinet Minister for Home would heighten the suspicion that this decision had his blessings.”

However, Mr. Raghavan concluded that of the 32 allegations probed by the SIT, only a few could “in fact be substantiated,” adding that “the substantiated allegations did not throw up material that would justify further action under the law.”

One of the significant findings of the SIT was that the Chief Minister did hold a meeting with the State Director General of Police, the Chief Secretary and other senior officers on the night of February 27, 2002. The Chief Minister held the meeting at his residence after returning from Godhra. In her complaint to the Supreme Court, Zakia Jafri, widow of Congress leader Ahsan Jafri — who with dozens of other Muslims was hacked to death during the riots — had alleged that at this meeting, Mr. Modi asked his officers to allow Hindus to freely vent their anger against Muslims.

However, the SIT, which summoned the officers, pleaded its inability to establish whether Mr. Modi had given such instructions at the meeting. The inquiry officer gave the following reasons for not being able to do this. 1. Some of the public servants who had retired earlier, claimed loss of memory as they did not want any controversy. 2. Some others, who had recently retired and who had been provided with good post-retirement assignments, felt obliged to the State government and the Chief Minister, and therefore their testimony lacked credibility. 3. The serving public servants, who had been empanelled for higher posts, did not want to come into conflict with the politicians in power and incur their wrath.

Among the SIT’s other findings: Mr. Modi displayed “a discriminatory attitude by not visiting the riot-affected areas in Ahmedabad where a large number of Muslims were killed, though he went to Godhra on the same day.” The Modi government appointed Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated advocates as public prosecutors in the riots cases. The government did not stop the illegal bandh called by the VHP on February 28, 2002. Police officers who took a neutral stand during the riots and prevented massacres were transferred.

From Mail Today
4th FEB 2011

SIT indicts Modi for riots 
but says not enough proof

By Mail Today Bureau in New Delhi

Probe finds Gujarat CM guilty on many counts

THE SPECIAL investigation team ( SIT) that probed the post- Godhra riots of 2002 has exposed the dubious role played by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in the communal carnage.

However, the SIT concludes in its report that its findings are not enough to take any legal action against Modi.
The 600- page report of the inquiry team, dated May 12, 2010, has been accessed by the Tehelka magazine and was broadcast by Headlines Today on Thursday.

The report says political and communal agenda weighed heavily in Modi’s handling of the criminal justice system and that he made “ sweeping” and “ offensive” comments against the Muslim community when communal tension was running high.

It was earlier reported in December that the SIT had given a clean chit to Modi. But the report reveals that the probe team found him and his government guilty on many counts, such as making inflammatory speeches, destruction of crucial official records, persecution of neutral officers and so on. It says the Gujarat government failed in providing justice to the victims.

“ The report says the Gujarat government has reportedly destroyed the police wireless communication of the period pertaining to the riots. It adds that no records, documentations or minutes of the crucial law and order meetings held by the government during the riots had been kept,” Tehelka has reported.

The SIT report adds that though ghastly and violent attacks had taken place on Muslims, “ the chief minister had tried to water down the seriousness of the situation at Gulberg Society, Naroda Patiya and other places by saying that every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. According to Tehelka , the probe also found that “ Modi displayed a discriminatory attitude by not visiting the riot- affected areas in Ahmedabad where a large number of Muslims were killed, though he went to Godhra on the same day, travelling almost 300 km on a single day”. SIT chairman R. K. Raghavan notes in the report that Modi’s statement accusing Muslims in Godhra and the neighbourhood of possessing a criminal tendency was sweeping and offensive.

“ Modi’s implied justification of the killings of innocent members of the minority community, read together with an absence of a strong condemnation of the violence that followed Godhra, suggest a partisan stance at a critical juncture when the state had been badly disturbed by communal violence,” the magazine quotes from the report.
According to the SIT, the Gujarat government did not take any steps to stop the illegal bandh called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad ( VHP) on February 28, 2002. The BJP, in fact, supported the bandh.

“ The SIT report also says that, in an inexplicable move, the police administration did not impose curfew in Naroda until 12 pm and in Meghani Nagar ( Ahmedabad city) until 2 pm on February 28. By then, the situation had severely deteriorated at both places,” Tehelka has reported.

Worse, the SIT discovered that the state police had carried out shoddy investigations in the Naroda Patiya and Gulberg Society massacres.

“ It deliberately overlooked the cellphone records of Sangh Parivar members and BJP leaders involved in the riots — prominent among them were the Gujarat VHP president Jaideep Patel and BJP minister Maya Kodnani. If these records had been analysed and used as evidence, it could have established their complicity,” Tehelka has written, quoting from the contents of the SIT report.

The SIT report has also slammed the controversial move of the state government placing two senior ministers — Ashok Bhatt and I. K. Jadeja — in the Ahmedabad city police control room and the state police control room during the riots.

“ The SIT chairman comments that the two ministers were positioned in the control rooms with no definite charter, fuelling the speculation that they had been placed to interfere in police work and give wrongful directions to the field officers. The fact that Modi was the state’s home minister would heighten the suspicion that this decision had his blessings,” the magazine says, quoting the report.

The report says former Ahmedabad joint commissioner of police M. K. Tandon has been found guilty of deliberate dereliction of duty while deputy commissioner of police P. K. Gondia, has been found guilty of willfully allowing the massacres. “ The SIT says that if the two had just carried out their duty, hundreds of Muslims could have been saved,” Tehelka says.

The SIT has found evidence against the then minister of state for home Gordhan Zadaphia for his complicity in the riots.

The probe report also says that police officers who took a neutral stand during the riots and prevented massacres were transferred by the Gujarat government to insignificant postings.

“ Raghavan has termed these transfers questionable since they came immediately after incidents in which the officers concerned were known to have antagonised ruling party men,” says the magazine, quoting the SIT report.

The magazine quotes the report further observing that the government appointed VHP and RSS- affiliated advocates as public prosecutors in sensitive riot cases. “ It appears that the political affiliation of the advocates did weigh with the government for the appointment of public prosecutors. It has been found that a few of the past appointees were in fact politically connected, either to the ruling party or organisations sympathetic to it,” Raghavan has noted.

The SIT also asserts that in August 2002, in a bid to ensure an early assembly election, top officials of the Modi government misled the Election Commission by presenting a picture of normalcy when the state was still simmering with communal tension, Tehelka reports.

The magazine says despite its own damning findings against the Gujarat CM and his government, the SIT “ is very reluctant to proceed against Modi”. “ In his concluding statements, SIT chairman Raghavan says: ‘ As many as 32 allegations were probed into during this preliminary inquiry. These related to several acts of omission and commission by the state government and its functionaries, including the chief minister. A few of these alone were in fact substantiated... The substantiated allegations did not throw up material that would justify further action under the law’, Tehelka says quoting the report.

The magazine termed the SIT’s conclusion as “ shocking”. The BJP, however, dubbed the exposé a “ political witch- hunt”. According to party leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy, the only aspect that can be commented on when the Supreme Court is seized of the matter is the intention behind the leakage of such confidential documents. “ The law of the land will take its course.

However, there should be no political witch- hunt,” he said.

Party spokesperson Prakash Javdekar said there should be a probe into who leaked the report. “ I am certain that this is the handiwork of the Congress’s dirty- tricks department to divert attention from the corruption in the ruling establishment.

There should be an inquiry into how a report that was presented to the apex court in a sealed cover was leaked to the media,” he said.

The Congress and the Left, however, slammed the saffron party. Congress general secretary B. K. Hariprasad, who is incharge of Gujarat, said: “ The truth as to who is responsible for this massacre, this genocide, should come out.” He, however, said he would not like to comment on the work of the SC- appointed SIT. “ It is for the apex court and the SIT to ascertain facts,” he said.

CPI general secretary A. B. Bardhan said this is the most authoritative report on Modi’s misdeeds because the SIT was appointed by the Supreme Court.

“ Modi can no longer whitewash his role in the riots,” he said.

CPM leader Nilotpal Basu said: “ The report only confirms the earlier findings of the NHRC and civil society teams. We hope the Supreme Court will take appropriate decision to uphold the majesty of the Constitution.” ’

From the Indian Express

4th FEB 2011

IE Gujarat EDN

SIT says no ground for legal action against Modi: report

EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE
NEW DELHI

THE Special Investigation Team (SIT) inquiring into the Gujarat riots is learnt to have concluded that its "preliminary inquiry" did not throw up any material "that would justify further action under the law" against chief minister Narendra Modi, according to Tehelka which published a report on its website based on contents it claimed to have taken from the SIT report submitted to the Supreme Court.According to Tehelka, SIT chief and chairman, former CBI director R K Raghavan, has made the following observation in his concluding statement: " As many as 32 allegations were probed into during this preliminary inquiry.
These related to several acts of omission and commission by the state government and its functionaries, including the chief minister. A few of these alone were in fact substanti ated... the substantiated allegations did not throw up material that would justify further action under the law".

The SIT was set up by the Supreme Court which is hearing sev eral petitions related to the 2002 Gu jarat riots cases. It submitted its final report to the Supreme Court last year in a sealed cover.

The magazine, however, claimed to have accessed the 600-page inquiry report and ran extracts from it.
The magazine said that the SIT report had passed adverse remarks against Modi:

■ “In spite of the fact that ghastly and violent attacks had taken place on Muslims at Gulbarg Society and elsewhere, the reaction of the government was not the type that would have been expected by anyone. The chief minister had tried to water down the seriousness of the situation at Gulbarg Society, Naroda Patiya and other places by saying that every action has an equal and opposite reaction." (Page 69) Modi’s statement "accusing some elements in Godhra and the neighbourhood as possessing a criminal tendency was sweeping and offensive, coming as it did from a chief minister, that too at a critical time when HinduMuslim tempers were running high". (Page 13 of chairman’s comments) "His (Modi’s) implied justification of the killings of innocent members of the minority community read together with an absence of a strong condemnation of the violence that followed Godhra suggest a partisan stance at a critical juncture when the state had been badly disturbed by communal violence.” (Page 153)

■ Modi displayed a “discriminatory attitude by not visiting the riot-affected areas in Ahmedabad where a large number of Muslims were killed though he went to Godhra on the same day, traveling almost 300 km on a single day” (Page 67).

“Modi did not cite any specific reasons why he did not visit the affected areas in Ahmedabad city as promptly as he did in the case of the Godhra train carnage” (Page 8 of chairman’s comments).

From the Indian Express

4th FEB 2011

Narendra Modi not involved in Gujarat riots: SIT report

Express news service

New Delhi: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) inquiring into the Gujarat riots is learnt to have concluded that its “preliminary inquiry” did not throw up any material “that would justify further action under the law” against Chief Minister Narendra Modi, according to Tehelka which published a report on its website based on contents it claimed to have taken from the SIT report submitted to the Supreme Court.

According to Tehelka, SIT chief, former CBI director R K Raghavan, has made the following observation in his concluding statement: “As many as 32 allegations were probed into during this preliminary inquiry. These related to several acts of omission and commission by the state government and its functionaries, including the chief minister. A few of these alone were in fact substantiated... the substantiated allegations did not throw up material that would justify further action under the law”.

The SIT was set up by the Supreme Court which is hearing several petitions related to the 2002 riots cases. It submitted its final report to the court last year in a sealed cover. The magazine claimed to have accessed the 600-page report and ran extracts from it. It said the SIT report had passed adverse remarks against Modi: “In spite of the fact that ghastly and violent attacks had taken place on Muslims at Gulbarg Society and elsewhere, the reaction of the government was not the type that would have been expected by anyone. The CM had tried to water down the seriousness of the situation at Gulbarg Society, Naroda Patiya and other places by saying every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” (Page 69)

- Modi’s statement “accusing some elements in Godhra and the neighbourhood as possessing a criminal tendency was sweeping and offensive, coming as it did from a chief minister, that too at a critical time when Hindu-Muslim tempers were running high”. (Page 13 of chairman’s comments)

- “His (Modi’s) implied justification of the killings of innocent members of the minority community read together with an absence of a strong condemnation of the violence that followed Godhra suggest a partisan stance at a critical juncture when the state had been badly disturbed by communal violence.” (Page 153)

- Narendra Modi displayed a “discriminatory attitude by not visiting riot-affected areas in Ahmedabad where a large number of Muslims were killed though he went to Godhra the same day, traveling almost 300 km on a single day” (Page 67). “Narendra Modi did not cite specific reasons why he did not visit the affected areas in Ahmedabad as promptly as he did in case of Godhra train carnage” (Page 8 of chairman’s comments).

DNA
4th FEB 11

File FIR against Narendra Modi, demands Teesta Setalvad

DNA Correspondent

Teesta Setalvad, secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), has demanded that, on the basis of the report submitted by the special investigation team (SIT) before the Supreme Court, an FIR should be filed against chief minister Narendra Modi.


Tehelka magazine has published a scoop on the report that the Supreme Court-appointed SIT had earlier submitted to the court in sealed cover. According to the Tehelka report, the SIT has made many damaging observations regarding the alleged role of the chief minister, police officers and bureaucrats in the communal riots.


"I was very upset by the earlier report in the media that the SIT had given a clean chit to Modi," said Teesta who has been at the forefront of the campaign for justice for the victims of the Godhra riots.


"Acting on the report, the SIT should now file an FIR against Modi to ensure a comprehensive investigation because there is ample evidence for a formal FIR," she said. 
"Last month, the lawyer Raju Ramchandran submitted a 10-page report to the Supreme Court on the SIT findings and we are expecting justice from the apex court," Teesta said.

The Supreme Court lawyer, Raju Ramachandran, is the amicus curiae in the matter concerning Zakia Jafri’s petition seeking an investigation into the alleged role of Modi and 62 others in the 2002 riots.


Reacting to the Tehelka report, Mukul Sinha, convener of the Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM) who has also been fighting for justice for the riot victims, said that the SIT should now file an FIR against Modi. 
"Also, the Nanavati Commission should now accept our demand and allow us to conduct a cross-examination of the chief minister and others," Sinha added.


The Nanavati-Mehta Commission, which is investigating the communal riots of 2002, had earlier rejected the JSM’s plea seeking permission to cross-examine Modi, his personal assistants and the then home minister, Gordhan Zadafia.

The JSM has filed an appeal before the Gujarat high court against the commission’s ruling. 
Senior lawyer in the Gujarat high court and human rights activist said that a first reading of the Tehelka report indicated that Modi can be held responsible for the riots in Gujarat.


"If he cannot be nailed under law, he is at least morally responsible for not suppressing the riots as the head of the state’s government. It is also evident that he did not visit the riot-affected areas for many days," Patel said. 
Giving the example of the Mumbai riots of 1992, Patel said, "Justice Krishna Iyer, who conducted an enquiry into the riots, had held many people responsible for the violence on the basis of an analysis of telephone records and wireless messages of police stations."

From DNA 04FEB11

What the Tehelka exposé says

Team DNA

Weekly magazine Tehelka has claimed to have accessed the 600-page SIT report submitted to the Supreme Court. The magazine has reported quoting the SIT report that: 
"The CM had tried to water down the seriousness of the situation at Gulbarg Society, Naroda Patiya and other places by saying that every action has an equal and opposite reaction." 
Note by enquiry officer: "His (Modi) implied justification of the killings of innocent members of the minority community read together with an absence of a strong condemnation of the violence that followed Godhra suggest a partisan stance at a critical juncture when the state had been badly disturbed by communal violence." 
"Modi’s statements were sweeping and offensive coming as it did from a chief minister, that too at a critical time when Hindu-Muslim tempers were running high." SIT chairman RK Raghavan’s comments.
"In an extremely ’controversial’ move, Modi had placed two senior ministers — Ashok Bhatt and IK Jadeja — whose cellphone records showed that they were in touch with rioters — in Ahmedabad city police control room and the Gujarat state police control room during the riots with ’no definite charter’, fuelling the speculation that they ’had been placed to interfere in police work and give wrongful decisions to the field officers’."
Police officers who took a neutral stand during the riots and prevented massacres were transferred by the Gujarat government to insignificant postings in a highly ’questionable’ manner.
"The Gujarat government has reportedly destroyed the police wireless communication of the period pertaining to the riots. No records, documentations or minutes of the crucial law and order meetings held by the government during the riots had been preserved." 
"Modi displayed a ’discriminatory attitude’ by not visiting the riot-affected areas in Ahmedabad where a large number of Muslims were killed, though he went to Godhra on the same day, travelling almost 300 km on a single day." 
Government appointed VHP and RSS-affiliated advocates as public prosecutors in sensitive riot cases. The report states, "It appears that the political affiliation of the advocates did weigh with the government for the appointment of public prosecutors." Gujarat government did not take any steps to stop the illegal bandh called by VHP on 28.02.2002. 
On the contrary, the BJP had also supported the bandh. 
"In an inexplicable move, the police administration did not impose curfew in Naroda and Meghaninagar (Ahmedabad city) until 12 noon and 2 pm respectively on 28.02.02. By then, the situation had severely deteriorated at both places."
"The state police had carried out patently shoddy investigations in the Naroda Patiya and Gulbarg Society massacre cases and deliberately overlooked the cellphone records of Sangh Parivar members and BJP leaders involved in the riots."

From DNA
4th FEB 201111

SIT did nothing to prove Modi’s role: Ex-DGP Sreekumar

"The SIT report is like the report of a doctor who says that the operation done by him was successful but the patient had died," former DGP RB Sreekumar said. Sreekumar, who was at loggerheads with Narendra Modi, was giving his reaction to the Tehelka magazine’s scoop on the probe team’s report. 
"The report just concludes that Narendra Modi could have been responsible for mass crimes," Sreekumar said. 
"But the SIT made no sincere effort to marshal and mobilise the substantial evidence available to prove the complicity of Narendra Modi in the anti-minority carnage."
"Neither did it do anything to expose the chief minister’s subversion of the criminal justice system to deny justice to the riot victims and prevent witnesses from telling the truth before judicial bodies, including the Nanavati commission and the SIT itself," he said. 
The former DGP further said, "The report reflects the failure of the Indian criminal justice system to prosecute real planners and executers of anti-minority pogroms."

From DNA

4th FEB 11

No SIT clean chit for Modi: Tehelka

Tehelka claims it has accessed 600-page 
SIT report that holds Modi guilty 
> Magazine questions why SIT doesn’t want to probe further despite evidence
> SIT has put the ball in court of three-judge SC bench which will convene on March 3

Team DNA Ahmedabad

Just when the dust seemed to be settling for chief minister Narendra Modi after an attention-grabbing Vibrant Gujarat business show, the ghost of 2002 post-Godhra riots has come back to haunt him. Weekly magazine, Tehelka, has leaked a report submitted to the Supreme Court by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by former CBI director RK Raghavan. The expose rips apart ’clean chit for Narendra Modi by SIT’ reports by a section of media and establishes that SIT has, in fact, held Modi guilty on several counts for the riots in which 2,000 people were massacred.

The expose which was made public on Thursday, questions why SIT doesn’t want to probe further, though it has found Modi guilty of destruction of crucial records, communal mindset, inflammatory speeches, appointment of Sangh Parivar members as public prosecutors for the riot cases, illegal positioning of ministers in the police control rooms during riots. According to the report, the SIT has held Modi responsible for persecution of impartial officers too.

Tehelka claims to have accessed the 600-page SIT report submitted to the SC in May 2010 in a sealed cover. The report has been kept under wraps by the apex court. It claims that the report has not exonerated Modi and his administration and in fact held them guilty of not taking the requisite action to control violence; inflaming emotions of Hindus when tempers were running high; and destruction of evidence like police records which hampered the investigations. The story also quotes the SIT report as stating that Gujarat police had carried out patently shoddy investigations in the Naroda Patiya and Gulbarg Society massacre cases.


The SIT, headed by Raghavan, was formed in 2008 on SC directive to re-investigate certain riot cases. Later, Zakia Jafri, widow of Congress MP Ahsan Jafri who was killed in Gulbarg Society massacre, filed a petition in SC, seeking probe into the alleged role of Modi and 62 others in the riots that broke out after the burning of Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002. Zakia had alleged Modi as principal accused in the petition.


Following the SC brief, SIT interrogated all the accused, which included seven ministers of the Modi government at that time, BJP and VHP leaders, senior bureaucrats and police officers. The SIT also questioned Modi for nine hours at a stretch on March 25, 2010. This report was then submitted to the SC in May 2010. In December 2010, it was reported by a section of the media that the SIT report had given a ’clean chit’ to Modi in the 2002 riots case, but it did not claim to have accessed the report.

The SIT report, as Tehelka says, has observed that Modi has been blamed of questionable behaviour in the time of crisis when tempers were running high after the burning of S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express at Godhra, which killed 52 kar sevaks. The SIT has also found evidence against the then minister of state for home Gordhan Zadafia (who was reporting directly to Modi) and top cops like MK Tandon and PB Gondia for their complicity in the riots. (Page 168, 169).

From DNA

4th FEB 2011

How Narendra Modi tackled 71 questions by the SIT...

Tehelka leaks show how Modi resorted to selective facts, evasion, amnesia, lies & rhetoric during questioning
Modi told SIT that he had given clear-cut instructions to maintain peace and communal harmony at any cost

The Tehelka magazine on Thursday published what everyone was curious to know — what questions were posed to chief minister Narendra Modi during his interrogation by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on March 25, 2010, and what his responses were. The details show how Modi resorted to selective facts, evasion, amnesia, outright lies and rhetoric during his questioning.


The interrogation began with inquiry officer AK Malhotra showing Modi the text of his inflammatory public speech at Becharaji in Mehsana on September 9, 2002, in the middle of Gujarat Gaurav Yatra, and asking him if the remarks referred to Muslims.


According to Tehelka, Modi, however, replied that the speech did not refer to any particular community or religion. He said it was a political speech, in which he tried to point out the increasing population. He also said that his speech had been distorted.


The CM described as baseless his alleged instructions to police and home department officials to allow Hindus to vent their anger in the wake of the Sabarmati carnage. He claimed that he had given categorical and clear cut instructions to maintain peace and communal harmony at any cost. The SIT asked Modi as to who gave the call for Gujarat Bandh on February 28, 2002 and Bharat Bandh on March 1, and whether the bandhs were supported by the ruling party. In response, the CM said he had learnt that Gujarat bandh call was given by the VHP.
"

However, I came to know from newspaper reports on February 28 that the bandh had been supported by the BJP," he claimed. Asked to explain his statement to a news channel on March 1, 2002, in which Modi described the violence as a chain of actions and reactions, the CM replied that he did not recollect his exact words. 
He told the SIT that he had always appealed only for peace, and "had tried to convey to people to shun violence in straight and simple language".


Tehelka said that on being asked about his movements on February 28, 2002, Modi replied, "On the afternoon of February 28, I met the press, and informed about the announcement of an inquiry commission and also made an appeal to the public to maintain peace and communal harmony.

"
During the questioning, which continued till 1 am in the night, the SIT posed a total of 71 questions to Modi. Asked who took the decision of transporting bodies of victims of Sabarmati train carnage to Ahmedabad and on what basis, Modi said it was a collective decision. The CM said the decision was taken because most of the victims belonged to Ahmedabad and nearby places. 
Asked about a meeting at his residence on February 27, Modi said that it was a law and order meeting attended by top officials. He also named the officials that were present at the meeting. He also said that Sanjeev Bhatt, the then DC (intelligence), was not present, as it was a high-level meeting. However, Bhatt has claimed that he was indeed present in the meeting. Quizzed whether a decision was taken to allow ministers Ashok Bhatt and IK Jadeja to sit in the state control room and Ahmedabad city control room, respectively, which affected supervision of riot situation, Modi said no such decision had been taken. He also claimed that he did not have any knowledge that the two ministers were positioned in the control rooms, and that he learnt about it from media.
"

It has been my and my government’s approach right from the first day that a culprit is a culprit irrespective of his caste, creed, religion and socio-political background, as nobody is above law," he told SIT during his 9-hour grilling.
In response to a question about whether he knew ex-MP Ahsan Jafri, who was killed in Gulbarg society massacre, and if he had requested for help over phone, the CM said that he did not know Jafri. He claimed that he had not received any phone call from Jafri.


Modi described as absurd the allegations that the then sitting ministers Nitin Patel and Narayan Patel had led the violence, arson and sexual assault on women in Kadi and Unjha respectively. The CM also answered in the negative when questioned if he had asked senior officials to brief the then ADGP RB Sreekumar prior to his deposition before Nanavati Commission, and to influence him to not make any deposition against the government.


Asked if he was in touch with Jaydeep Patel, Babu Bajrangi and Maya Kodnani during the riots, Modi said that he knew Kodnani and Patel, while Bajrangji was not known to him. He, however, said they had not contacted him over phone during the riots.


The SIT also asked Modi’s reaction to the allegations that public servants who connived with those responsible for carnage were doubly rewarded and those who tried to uphold the law were punished by way of transfers and supersessions. In response, Modi said the allegations were vague, false and without any basis.

From the Times of India

SIT findings ensure Narendra Modi can’t shake off riot taint

TNN, Feb 4, 2011, 12.18am IST

NEW DELHI: In a serious blow to Narendra Modi’s reputation as an able administrator, the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) has indicted him on over a dozen counts for his alleged complicity in the Gujarat riots of 2002. 


The confidential report of the SIT, which has been reproduced extensively by Tehelka magazine, has upheld much of the complaint lodged against Modi and his administration by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ahsan Jafri who had been killed during the riots. 


The SIT submitted its 600-page report to the Supreme Court in May 2010 after it had, among other things, questioned Modi for 10 hours. Its damaging observations against Modi are despite the SIT’s admission that several witnesses had declined to testify for what was merely a preliminary enquiry and not a criminal investigation under the law. 


Key findings of the inquiry done by former CBI officer A K Malhotra under the supervision of SIT chairman K Raghavan are as follows:



* "The chief minister had tried to water down the seriousness of the situation at Gulbarg Society, Naroda Patia and other places by saying that every action has an equal and opposite reaction," Malhotra reported. "His implied justification of the killings of innocent members of the minority community, read together with an absence of a strong condemnation of the violence that followed Godhra, suggest a partisan stance at a critical juncture when the state had been badly disturbed by communal violence." Raghavan added that Modi’s statements were "sweeping and offensive coming as it did from a chief minister, that too at a critical time when Hindu-Muslim tempers were running high."



* The report said that Modi’s ’controversial’ move to place two senior ministers — Ashok Bhatt and I K Jadeja — in the Ahmedabad city police control room and the Gujarat state police control room during the riots with "no definite charter" fuelled the speculation that they "had been placed to interfere in police work and give wrongful decisions to the field officers."



* The report affirmed that police officers who took a neutral stand during the riots and prevented massacres had been transferred by the Gujarat government to insignificant postings in a highly ’questionable’ manner. 

* "The Gujarat government has reportedly destroyed the police wireless communication of the period pertaining to the riots," SIT said, adding, "’No records, documentations or minutes of the crucial law and order meetings held by the government during the riots had been preserved."



* The report said Modi displayed a "discriminatory attitude by not visiting the riot-affected areas in Ahmedabad where a large number of Muslims were killed, though he went to Godhra on the same day, travelling almost 300km on a single day."



* According to the report, the Gujarat government did not take any steps to stop the illegal bandh called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on February 28, 2002. On the contrary the BJP had also supported the bandh. 



* The SIT report also pointed out that the police administration did not impose curfew in Naroda and Meghani Nagar (Ahmedabad city) until 12 and 2pm respectively on 28.02.02 although the situation had by then severely deteriorated at both those places. 



* The SIT discovered that the state police had carried out shoddy investigations in the Naroda Patia and Gulbarg Society massacre cases and deliberately overlooked the cellphone records of Sangh Parivar members and BJP leaders involved in the riots. 



* The SIT has also found evidence against the then minister of state for home Gordhan Zadafia (who was reporting directly to Modi) and top police officers such as M K Tandon and P B Gondia for their alleged complicity in the riots.



* SIT confirmed that the government appointed VHP and RSS-affiliated advocates as public prosecutors in sensitive riot cases. The report states: "It appears that the political affiliation of the advocates did weigh with the government for the appointment of public prosecutors."

From DNA

’No SIT clean chit for Modi’

2002 riots: Tehelka claims to have accessed report; says SIT finds Gujarat CM guilty on several counts

Team DNA Ahmedabad

The monkey of the 2002 post-Godhra riots may not be off Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s back yet. It emerges now that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by former CBI director RK Raghavan has not given Modi a clean chit and in fact, finds him guilty on several counts. The SIT had submitted its report to the Supreme Court in May 2010.


Weekly magazine Tehelka claims to have accessed the 600-page report, which has been kept under wraps by the court. The exposé, made public on Thursday, questions the SIT’s reluctance to probe further despite finding Modi guilty of destroying crucial records, making inflammatory speeches, appointing Sangh members as public prosecutors for the riots cases and positioning ministers in the police control room during riots. According to the report, the SIT has held Modi responsible for persecution of neutral officers too. 
The magazine also quotes the SIT report as stating that the Gujarat police carried out patently shoddy investigations in the Naroda Patia and Gulberg Society massacre cases.
The SIT was formed in 2008 on the basis of a petition by Zakia Jafri, widow of Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri, who was killed in the communal riots that engulfed Gujarat after the burning of Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002. Zakia, in her petition, had named Modi as the principal accused.


Following the SC brief, SIT interrogated all the accused, which included seven ministers of the then Modi government, BJP and VHP leaders, senior bureaucrats, police officers. Modi himself was questioned for nine hours at a stretch on March 25, 2010. 
According to the magazine, the report observed that Modi’s behaviour was questionable when tempers were running high after the Godhra incident in which 52 karsevaks were killed.


The SIT has also found evidence of the complicity of the then minister of state for home Gordhan Zadafia and top cops like MK Tandon and PB Gondia in the riots. Though the above allegations have been found to be true, they can’t be further investigated under the law, the report says.
Tehelka interprets this remark to say, "By doing so, SIT has hinted at the lack of adequate legal provisions to punish government functionaries guilty of adding and abetting communal massacres."


The SIT has said it was a mere fact-finding exercise and not an investigation under the CrPC which would have given the SIT teeth and legal powers to carry out a full-fledged investigation.


No police officer or bureaucrat was ready to speak up against Modi, Tehelka’s exposé says, quoting the report. "The SIT has now put the ball in the court of the three judge bench — DK Jain, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam — which will convene on March 3 and decide the future course of action," the statement concludes.