Gujarat riots case: Nanavati panel report released

#dailynews60 : The Nanavati Commission report on the 2002 Gujarat riots was tabled in the state Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.

Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja tabled the report in the House, five years after it was submitted to the then state government.

Retired Justices G T Nanavati and Akshay Mehta had in 2014 submitted their final report on the 2002 riots – in which over 1,000 people, mainly of the minority community, were killed – to the then state chief minister Anandiben Patel.

The commission was appointed in 2002 by the then state chief minister Narendra Modi to probe the riots, that took place after the burning of two coaches of the Sabarmati Express train near Godhra railway station, in which 59 ‘karsevaks’ were killed.

The Nanavati-Mehta Commission Report on post-Godhra riots has given clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Talking to media persons, Gujarat Home Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja said: “Allegations were made on Narendra Modi that he visited Godhra without informing anyone. This allegation has stood false in the report of the commission. It was not a secret visit nor a visit to destroy the evidence.”

The minister said that it was not necessary for Modi, who was then the Gujarat Chief Minister, to inform all the high officers of the state about his visit to Godhra.

“The concerned officers were informed about his visit and they had made necessary arrangements for that visit. It was not a secret meeting,” he added.

Meanwhile, on allegations of disturbance of evidence in the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express, the report said: “There is no material to show that the Chief Minister, by entering the burnt coach S6, disturbed any evidence and that it was done with some ulterior motive.”

An allegation was made by former IPS Shreekumar in which he claimed that there was a meeting held at Modi’s residence on February 27, 2002 night. In the meeting, the then Chief Minister directed the police and the state administration to refrain from resorting to any strict action and to permit the majority community to express their anger and anguish against the minority community.

On these allegations, the commission reported: “Shreekumar has not claimed that he was present in the said meeting. While officers present in the meeting have not supported this version.”

The report also quoted PM Modi as saying: “I was personally reviewing the situation continuously by holding review meetings of the senior government and police officials responsible for maintaining law and order to ensure that normalcy is restored.”

The first part of the report was submitted in 2008 by the Nanavati-Mehta commission. It covered the Godhra train burning incident in which it had concluded that burning of the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express near Godhra Railway Station was a “planned conspiracy.” The first part also gave clean chit to then Chief Minister Modi.