Special Correspondent

Nothing before us that could warrant summoning of Modi: Nanavati

Advocate for riot victims says the commission has enough evidenceThe then Health Minister accused of "interfering with police operations"Nanavati Commission has no jurisdiction over Central agencies

AHMEDABAD: The G.T. Nanavati and K.G. Shah Inquiry Commission, probing the Godhra train carnage and the post-Godhra communal incidents in Gujarat, has so far not come across any evidence to implicate Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the riots.

At a sitting here on Saturday, Justice Nanavati said that "as of now'' there was nothing before the Commission that could warrant summoning Mr. Modi to depose before it. It would be pointless to ask the Chief Secretary or the then police chief to file affidavits on the role of the Chief Minister in the riots. "They will always say everything was all right," Justice Nanavati commented.

The Commission was considering an application submitted on behalf of the Jansangharsha Manch by Mukul Sinha, advocate for the riot victims.

The application sought a directive to the Government to submit an intelligence report and other government documents on the role and conduct of the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers, other leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress and that of the Sangh Parivar outfits in the train carnage and the riots.

'Enough evidence'

Speaking to mediapersons later, Dr. Sinha claimed that the Commission had "enough evidence" on the role of the Chief Minister and some of his Ministers in the communal carnage. Additional Director-General of Police R. B. Shreekumar had filed two more affidavits, quoting the then DGP, K. Chakravarthy, as having "overheard" a conversation between Mr. Modi and some of his Ministers implicating them in the riots. He had also referred to the then Health Minister, I. K. Jadeja, as "interfering with the police operations" sitting in the police control room on the day a Gujarat Bandh was called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, supported by the ruling BJP, to protest against the train carnage.

Dr. Sinha's application also requested that Mr. Shreekumar be summoned for a second time for cross-examination on his fresh affidavits.

The Government through a revised notification had brought the Chief Minister, his Council of Ministers, top police officers, political parties, non-government organisations and others within the purview of the Commission to inquire into their roles in the train carnage and the riots.

Even while asking the government pleaders to give the Government's views on Dr. Sinha's application on or before the next sitting on February 8, Justice Nanavati rejected a request for a CBI investigation against some "suspicious" political leaders and police officers. The Commission, he said, did not have jurisdiction over the Central agencies and it could direct only the State Government agencies to act in a particular manner. "There is no meaning requesting the CBI, they may or may not agree."

The Nanavati Commission, while taking a serious view of the U.C. Bannerjee Commission turning down its request again for sending the documents and records in its possession about the train carnage, said it would issue an "appropriate order." The Bannerjee Commission, through a letter, showed its reluctance to send copies of the documents sought.

"Analyse CDs"

Dr. Sinha requested the Commission to order a "detailed processing and analysis" of two compact discs submitted by the then Bhavnagar DSP, Rahul Sharma, who was later shifted to the Intelligence Department. Dr. Sinha, in his application, said the CDs contained a list of mobile phone calls made to and from Ahmedabad implicating several persons in the Naroda Patia and Gulberg Society incidents as well as the "complete failure bordering on collusion" by some police officers.