During the course of his interrogation with the SIT, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi stated that a section of media left no stone unturned to tarnish him. In a copy of the interrogation report published by Hindustan Times, Narendra Modi has exposed the role of media-houses like Tehelka and The Times of India in maligning his persona.
Q: Did you make a statement to the media about post- Godhra riots by citing Newton’s law that every action has equal and opposite reaction?
Ans: The Times of India has published a news item purportedly, as though I had given an interview to them. The truth is that nobody from Times of India had met me. The falsehood of my so-called justification “Action-Reaction Theory”is evident from this fact. The state government issued a denial with regard to my not having given any interview and the same was belatedly published in a remote corner of the newspaper. There is a saying in Gujarati, “Ver thi ver same nahin”. It has been my constant opinion that violence cannot be a reply to violence and I had appealed for peace and I had not and would never justify any action or reaction by any mob against innocents. Hence i deny all allegations in this regard.
On the matter of Tehelka publishing interviews given by Haresh Bhatt, Rajendra Vyas which have heaped allegations against Narendra Modi, he referred to them as “false and incorrect allegations”.
It may be added here that this particular issue was raised in November, 2007 through Tehelka magazine after about 6 years of the incident and that too at the time of elections that were held in December, 2007. These issues were again raked up when the SIT was appointed by the Honourable Supreme Court of India in Aqpril, 2008. This issue was raised in this week on 22-3-2010, when I was to appear before the SIT for my examination. In view of all these factors, I would say that the whole episode is motivated and stage managed. I have no personal knowledge about authenticity of the said CD.
The interrogation report clearly states what the Chief Minister did as soon as he received news of the train being torched:
I held discussions with Shri. Gordhan Zadafia, the then MoS (Home), Shri. Ashok Narayan, the then ACS (Home) and other officials of Home and Police Department and asked them to collect the facts because the issue was going to be raised in the assembly. I gave directions that necessary steps be taken, that the other passengers should not be delayed, which may lead to tension. I also gave instruction that Godhra was communally sensitive place and that necessary steps like curfew etc should be taken immediately to avoid any untoward incident and that senior police officers and extra force, if required should reach the spot without delay.
Asked if Modi had made the statement, “Hindus should wake up now” alleged to have been made in the assembly; Modi refuted the same, referring to it as a “baseless allegation. No such words were uttered by me.” The Chief Minister also denied that Sanjeev Bhatt, the suspended IPS officer ever attended the controversial meeting of 27 February, 2002 at his residence immediately after the train was torched in Godhra. “As far I recollect, Shri Sanjeev Bhatt, the then deputy commissioner (intelligence), did not attend as this was a high level meeting.”
The report made by the SIT was recently submitted to the Ahmedabad Metropolitan Magisterial court. However, the court rejected all pleas that sought copies of the report. When submitted, the report was supposed to have exonerated Narendra Modi of all charges in the Gulberg Society riots. “The summary closure report” that was filed by SIT led by RK Raghavan stated that there existed no “prosecutable evidence” against Narendra Modi. The complaint against Modi was filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of slain MP Ehsan Jafri, who was among those killed in the post Godhra violence at Gulberg Society.
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