Gujarat riots: Loss of memory in 2010,recall in 2012

How the Special Investigation Team on the Gujarat riots changes its own accounts

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published: May 11, 2012 3:46:56 am

Gujarat 2002: The SIT Findings – The two reports of the Special Investigating Team that probed the Gujarat riots differ in the way they recount statements by the chief minister (to the Assembly) and the state’s top bureaucrats and police officers (to the SIT).

Indeed,DIG A K Malhotra’s 2010 report had noted that “some of the public servants,retired long back,claimed loss of memory as they did not want to get involved in any controversy; other public servants,recently retired and provided good post-retirement assignments,felt obliged to the state government and the CM and their testimony lacks credibility; serving public servants… did not want to come into conflict with politicians in power.”

About the police,it noted,“Wireless messages were not made available by the government as the same had been reportedly destroyed”.

Here are some of the variations between 2010 and 2012.

NARENDRA MODI

Chief Minister

2010: Narendra Modi informed the Assembly that… the government was considering a proposal for an ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh to each victim.

2012: Modi informed the Assembly that he had discussed the matter with then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin… and also ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident.

SWARNAKANTA VERMA

Acting chief secretary

2010: She has stated that she does not recollect whether the CM instructed police officers that the police should not come in the way of the Hindu backlash as justice for Godhra was to be done the next day,during the Gujarat bandh called by VHP. She has pleaded loss of memory due to passage of time.

2012: She remembered attending the Modi meeting of February 27,2002,but did not recollect if any ministers,police or government officials were there… However she has denied that there was any mention by the chief minister of balancing action against Hindus and Muslims or [that Muslims be taught a lesson or Hindus be allowed to vent their anger.

ASHOK NARAYAN

Additional chief secretary,home

2010: Confirmed attending the meeting,but stated he does not recollect whether Sanjiv Bhatt,then DC (intelligence),attended the meeting. He does not recall having seen any ministers in the meeting.

2012: …Has stated that Sanjiv Bhatt,then DCI (security),did not attend the meeting. He has further stated that no minister was present.

K CHAKRAVARTHI

DGP

2010: Has denied having told R B Sreekumar [IPS officer on February 28 that the CM had said in the meeting held on February 27 night that in communal riots police take action against Hindus and Muslims on a one-to-one basis,and that this will not do now,and allow Hindus to give vent to their anger. He has stated that as per his recollection,Sanjiv Bhatt did not attend.

2012: He has categorically stated that Sanjiv Bhatt did not attend the meeting and no such instructions were given by the chief minister… Regarding the allegation against the chief minister [of saying… that Hindus be allowed to vent their anger,Chakravarthi has denied any such utterances by the chief minister.

PK MISHRA

Principal secretary to CM

2010: Does not recollect whether Sanjiv Bhatt attended the meeting.

2012: Has categorically denied the presence of Sanjiv Bhatt…

ANIL MUKIM

Addl principal secy to CM

2010: Denied having attended this meeting,but all other participants have confirmed his presence in the meeting.

2012: Stated that he attended the meeting for some time and then left after taking permission from PK Mishra. He has further stated that as long as he was present in the meeting,general discussions were held regarding the Godhra incident and necessary preventive measures to be taken under the circumstances were also discussed. He has denied outright any utterances/instructions by the CM about Muslims being taught a lesson and Hindus being allowed to vent their anger,in his presence.

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