Gujarat government took all necessary steps to control riots: Nanavati

Justice GT Nanavati submits his commission's report on Godhara riots to Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel at her residence in Gandhinagar on Tuesday.  

The 2002 post-Godhra riots were “purely communal” in nature and erupted specifically as a reaction to the Sabarmati train burning incident. The Gujarat government and the police took all necessary steps to control the incidents, Justice (retd.) G.T. Nanavati, Chairman of the Nanavati Commission of Inquiry, told The Hindu in an interview on Wednesday.

“Whatever steps are required to be taken, we found that they were taken,” Mr. Nanavati said when asked if the State and the police had responded in an appropriate manner during the riots.

>Read the full text of the interview with Justice Nanavati

On whether the Commission had given a clean chit to Mr. Modi, Mr. Nanavati refused to divulge the contents of the report. “That is a matter of the contents of the report and I would not like to disclose it at this stage. But I can only say that we have considered everything. At this stage, I cannot say if the report indicts Mr. Modi or not.”

In an indication that the Commission did not find any merit in the allegations against Mr. Modi, Mr. Nanavati said the panel saw “no justification” for calling him.

Asked why the panel had not summoned Mr. Modi even as a point of inquiry, he said: “What inquiry. If there are nine allegations against you and if I find that almost eight allegations are false and there is only some substance in one allegation, should I call you to appear before the Commission personally, if I can get answers in some other manner?”

Commenting on Mr. Modi’s role, he said, “Naturally, ultimately riots are initially required to be controlled by the police. So, obviously the police will be involved. The State being ultimately responsible for law and order, the State’s role is also to be considered. So, we have to consider the role of the police force, the bureaucrats and also the top persons... We examined whether there was negligence, connivance, abetment.”

Asked whether the panel saw the riots as spontaneous, Mr. Nanavati said: “It is a matter of inference and we have drawn the appropriate inference. The communal riots obviously happened because of the Godhra incident ... had the Godhra incident not happened, the riots would not have happened.”

The Commission Chairman remained non-committal on whether the riots were heinous or brutal. “I don’t know what you mean by one of the most heinous incidents, because I am not aware of all the incidents everywhere. [About] brutality also I cannot say because I am not aware of all the incidents.”

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 5:53:17 AM |

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