The retired Gujarat Director-General of Police, R.B. Sreekumar, has submitted to the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team a compact disc reportedly containing his tape-recorded conversation with an IAS officer who said he could depose before the Nanavati-Shah Commission at the risk of his promotion.
The commission is probing the Godhra train fire and the communal riots that followed in 2002.
Mr. Sreekumar, who was Additional DGP, claimed that the then Home Secretary (law and order) summoned him on August 25, 2004 and said, “If you tell the commission anything against the State government, you will not get your promotion.” Mr. Sreekumar said he recorded the conversation without the officer’s knowledge because he apprehended punitive action.
Mr. Sreekumar, however, filed affidavits before the commission and also appeared for cross-examinations during which he said he was told by the then DGP that Chief Minister Narendra Modi had asked the police to “allow the Hindus” to give vent to their anger against the alleged killing of kar sevaks in the train carnage.
Mr. Sreekumar was later superseded and three juniors elevated to the DGP rank. After he filed a petition before the services tribunal, he was promoted DGP with retrospective effect but only after he retired from the police service.
The CD was submitted to help the SIT probe the complaint by Zakia Jafri, wife of a former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the Gulberg Society massacre in Ahmedabad. The complaint filed before the Supreme Court was handed over to the SIT to “look into” the role of 63 senior political leaders and bureaucratic and police officers, including Mr Modi, in the communal riots.
In this connection, the SIT is reported to have closely questioned half-a-dozen serving and former police officers including Mr. Sreekumar.
Deposing before it, he demanded that all the 63 persons named in Ms. Zakia Jafri’s petition, including the Chief Minister, be subjected to narco-analysis. He himself expressed a readiness to undergo this test.