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Godhra riots: Nanavati panel gives clean chit to Modi govt

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

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Dec 12, 2019, 07.49 AM IST
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Nanavati Commission gives clean chit to then CM Modi in 2002 Gujarat riots
Nanavati Commission gives clean chit to then CM Modi in 2002 Gujarat riots
GANDHINAGAR: The Gujarat government on Wednesday tabled the report of the (retd) Justice Nanavati Mehta Inquiry Commission, which exonerates the then chief minister Narendra Modi and his colleagues from allegations of any kind of wrongdoing in the Godhra train burning incident and the subsequent communal riots in the state.

The report, tabled more than 17 years after the appointment of the inquiry panel, however, raised questions on the credibility of three former IPS officers –– RB Shrikumar, Rahul Sinha and Sanjiv Bhatt –– who had levelled allegations against Modi.

The commission had submitted the first part of the report in September 18, 2008, which was tabled in the assembly on September 25, 2008. This dealt with the burning of coach S-6 of Sabarmati Express at Godhra station, which had sparked widespread communal riots across the state.

The commission maintained that the burning of the train by minority community members was a conspiracy which “appears to be part of a larger conspiracy to create terror and destabilise the administration”. But it gave a clean chit to the then chief minister and his administration and maintained that “there is absolutely no evidence to show that either the chief minister and/ or any other minister(s) in his council of ministers or police officers had played any role in the Godhra incident or that there was any lapse on their part in the matter of providing protection, relief and rehabilitation to the victims of the communal riots or in the matter of not complying with the recommendations and directions given by National Human Rights Commission. There is no evidence regarding the involvement of any definite religious or political organisation in the conspiracy.”

The second part of the report, which dealt with the subsequent riots, was submitted on November 18, 2014. It states that “the communal riots which followed the Godhra incident were really an aftermath of that incident (burning of Sabarmati Express).” “It was because of the Godhra incident that large sections of Hindus became very angry and indulged in violent attacks on Muslims and their properties,” it added.
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