Nanavati Commission Gives Clean-Chit to Modi Government in 2002 Gujarat Riots Case

PM Narendra Modi

The Nanavati Commission has given a clean chit to Gujarat’s former CM and now Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministers in the 2002 communal riots, in which 1000 people had been killed in Gujarat.

The commission’s report stated that, “There is no evidence that these attacks were either inspired or instigated or abated by any minister of the state.” 

The report is a 1,500 page document and has been compiled in nine volumes. The Commission’s final report was tabled in the Gujarat assembly today, that is five years after it was submitted to then state chief minister Anandiben Patel. The Commission had blamed the police for having failed in controlling the mobs in some places either due to a shortage of numbers or due to the fact that they had not been armed properly. On some riots in Ahmedabad city, the commission observed, “The police had not shown their competence and eagerness which was necessary.”

Testimonies that were given against the then Gujarat government by three IPS officers such as RB Sreekumar, Rahul Sharma and Sanjiv Bhatt were dismissed by the commission. A departmental enquiry has also been initiated against them.

It was in February 27,2002 that 59 Kar Sevaks had been burnt alive in the S-6 each of the Sabarmati Express train close to the Godhra railway station in Gujarat. This brought forward massive communal riots in parts of Gujarat leading to the deaths of 1,169 persons.

It was shortly after the Gujarat riots of 2002 that the then CM of Gujarat Narendra Modi had appointed the commission. In the beginning it had been a single member commission headed by Justice KG Shah. However, owing to opposition by some groups, it was converted to a two-member commission headed by Justice(retired)GT Nanavati as its chairman.

It was in August 5,2004 that a significant new development took place in the context of the commission when the Gujarat government amended the Terms of Reference of the commission and enabled it to probe the roles of Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and other ministers and bureaucrats in connection with the Godhra train burning and subsequent riots in the state of Gujarat in 2002. It was in March 2008 that after the death of Justice KG Shah, Justice Akshay Mehta was anointed the second member of the commission.

The commission had already released its first report pertaining to the incident at the Godhra railway station on February 27, 2002. The Commission had termed the incident as a pre-planned conspiracy involving “ some individuals.”

The report that deals with post-Godhra violence in which 1,000 people had been killed in a widespread communal-riots across the state was of immense significance and it has given a clean-chit to the Narendra Modi government. The commission holds that the riots were not organised and state administration had taken all the necessary measure to control the situation. 

 

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