Late chief minister Amarsinh Chaudhary,who had faced two riots during his chief ministership,saw several flaws in the way his successor Narendra Modi handled the riots of 2002,one of them being the inadequate requisitioning of paramilitary force to control the violence.
His 21-page affidavit,submitted before the Nanavati Commission in July 2002 when he headed the state Congress,has been annexed to the 400-page affidavit suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt filed with the National Commission for Minorities on April 25,in response to a complaint by one Niyazbibi Malek of Ognaj village in Ahmedabad who had alleged that certain records that indicated the state governments complicity in the riots were missing.
Chaudharys affidavit (a copy of which is with The Indian Express) also mentions the controversial meeting on February 27,2002,during which Modi allegedly asked top officials to go slow on rioting mobs.In his affidavit,Chaudhary says of his meeting with Modi,When I learnt from him that only two companies of para-military forces were asked to assist local police,I told him I had summoned more than 100 companies even for the rath yatra.
Chaudhary,who was a Congress Chief Minister in 1985-1989 and 1995-97,further said in his affidavit that during the 1985 communal riots,Congress MLA Mohammad Hussain Barejiya was among those arrested.
Chaudhary died weeks before he was to be cross-examined by Jan Sangharsh Manchs advocate Mukul Sinha before the Nanavati Commission in 2005. He was among those whom late Congress MP Ahsan Jafri called for help before he was killed by the mob along with 68 others at Gulberg Society on February 28,2002.I wanted to question Chaudhary because he had gone to meet the CM to apprise him about the violence,especially in Gulberg Society. I wanted to know what he told Modi and what Modi told him. We wanted to cross-examine Modi to confirm the same. However,we are not allowed to do so, Sinha says.
In his affidavit,the late CM also mentioned his meeting with Modi. Former MP Ahsan Jafri had made frantic calls to all those who could help him. He called me apprising me about the danger to his life and his family members at Gulberg society.
I called police commissioner P C Pande,but he did not help. Then I had to rush to Gandhinagar with Naresh Rawal,Leader of Opposition,to meet Modi at 2 pm. I apprised him about the grave danger to the lives of Jafri and others. I did not find any response from the CM, Chaudhary said in his affidavit.
I personally experienced in my meeting with CM on February 28,2002,that he did not want to help. The CM was acting and reacting to situations from February 27,2002 onwards, he said.
On February 28,2002,as Chaudhary went to meet Modi,he met Sanjiv Bhatt,who was returning from Modis forenoon meeting,according to his affidavit.
Bhatts affidavit to NCM says that when Chaudhary and Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela sat on a dharna demanding action to stop the violence,Modi had snubbed Chaudhary saying he would meet the same fate as Muslims.