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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Inquiry Commission Absolves Modi of Complicity in Gujarat Massacre

An inquiry commission has absolved Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Gujarat state apparatus of being directly or indirectly involved in the 2002 Gujarat massacre.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was absolved from any responsibility in the 2002 Gujarat Massacre, which led to the extermination of Muslims in the Indian state.

The Indian Premier was absolved from the charges levied against him by the Nanavati-Mehta Commission, established to launch an inquiry into the harrowing incident.

Modi Absolved of Gujarat Massacre

Findings of the Nanavati-Mehta Commission revealed that the state administration, led by then Chief Minister Gujarat Narendra Modi, was absolved of any direct or indirect complicity, alongside key ministers and police personnel.

The inquiry commission also ruled out the possibility of any conspiracy to organize wide-scale riots, which instigated the Muslim massacre. The commission denied that the riots were a case of “orchestrated violence” or a “pre-planned conspiracy” against the Muslims citizens of Gujarat.

The report revealed by the commission, spanning over 1500 pages and nine volumes, stated, “There is no evidence to show that these attacks were either inspired or instigated or abated by any minister of the state.”

However, the inquiry commission, which includes former Indian Supreme Court judge Justice G. T. Nanavati and former Gujarat High Court Judge Justice Akshay Mehta, noted that at some places, the police personnel was “ineffective in controlling the mob because of their inadequate numbers or because they were not properly armed.”

Read more: After Massacre at Gujarat, Modi’s has Programmed Pogrom for Kashmir

The report by the Nanavati-Mehta Commission was tabled in the Indian Legislative Assembly by Pradeepsinh Jadeja, Minister of State for Home, after five years of its submission to the former government.

The report also included the commission’s findings on the riots that took place in the Indian city of Ahmedabad, which also claimed the life of former parliamentarian Ehsan Jafri. It stated, “The police had not shown their competence and eagerness which was necessary” to undermine the rioters.

The report added, “On an overall consideration of the entire material, the commission finds that the communal riots which followed the Godhra incident were really by way of aftermath of those incidents.”

According to the inquiry commission, the riots were triggered by the burning incident of the Godhra train. It said, “Because of the Godhra incident, large sections of Hindu community became very angry and ultimately indulged in violent attacks on Muslims and their properties.”

The commission concluded that it was unable to find any evidence to suggest that “any religious or political party or organizations as such” was responsible for the mass riots and violence.

It added, “The only thing that can be said with some certainty, on the basis of evidence which has come before the commission, is that local members of the VHP and Bajrang Dal took part in the incidents which happened in their localities.”

The commission has raised questions over the credibility of three former IPS officers, namely Rahul Sharma, RB Sreekumar, and Sanjiv Bhatt, who had claimed that the government had a role to play in instigating the riots. However, it concluded that after closely examining the evidence, it was difficult to conclude that the police had exhibited a negligent behavior.

Read more: US court summons Modi & Amit Shah: Atrocities against Kashmiris & Sikhs

The 2002 Gujarat Massacre was a three-day incident of inter-communal violence that rocked the Indian state of Gujarat. According to official figures, the incident claimed the lives of over 700 Muslims, with a total of 1044 casualties, 2500 injured and over 200 missing. Many sources estimated a greater death tool of over 2000 casualties.

The three-day period of violence was followed by mass rapes and brutal killings as the city of Ahmedabad city witnessed further outbreaks of mass violence and brutalities targeting the Muslim population of India.

Former IPS officer, Sanjiv Bhatt, who is presently serving a life imprisonment sentence, has claimed that he had attended a meeting at the residence of former Chief Minister Gujarat Narendra Modi on February 27, 2002 to receive directions of the riots.

Bhatt accused Modi of being complicit in orchestrating the riots and targeting the Muslim population of the state. Sources reveal that police and government officials had incited the rioters, giving them lists of the properties owned by Muslims across the state.

In the aftermath of the riots, Modi earned himself the title of the “butcher of Gujarat”, and he was banned from from travelling to the US under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA).