Saturday, January 02, 2016

Ex-DGP cited as quoting Modi wanting Hindus to give vent to their anger during 2002 Gujarat riots

By Our Representative
Gujarat’s former topcop RB Sreekumar in his new book, “Gujarat Behind the Curtain” has said that director-general of police (DGP) K Chakravarthy had told him how chief minister Narendra Modi had told officers in a meeting on the previous day evening not to take any action against rampaging crowd on February 28, 2002, the second day of the communal riots in Gujarat.
Sreekumar says, Chakravarty that Modi told the meeting, “In communal riots, police normally takes action against Hindus and Muslims on one-to-one proportion, this will not do now, allow Hindus to give vent to their anger.”
Sreekumar, who was promoted as DGP after his retirement following a court order, says, he met Chakravarty as a “perturbed, helpless and stress-ridden about widespread mass violence in the cities of Ahmedabad, Vadodara and many rural areas”, following the Godhra train burning incident on February 27, 2002 morning.
Sreekumar says, Chakravarty “lamented that things were taking a bad shape and activists of VHP, Bajrang Dal and BJP were leading armed crowds and police officers, at decisive level on the ground, were not intervening effectively as they were keen to avoid crossing swords with supporters of the ruling party.” In 2002, Sreekumar served as additional DGP, Armed Units (ADGP (AU).
Sreekumar states, the then DGP specifically identified those present at the CM’s meeting – PC Pande, Commissioner of Police (Ahmedabad city), Ashok Narayan, Addl Chief Secretary (Home Department), Swarankant Verma, the incharge Chief Secretary, Dr PK Mishra, Principal Secretary to CM (now he is the Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi) Anil Mukim, Additional Secretary to CM, and K Nityanandam, Home Secretary.
Pointing out that none of the officers present at the meeting – including Chakravarty – took “no objection” or spoke out against “the illegality of this verbal instruction from the chief minister”, Sreekumar says, the DGP “apologetically admitted that this posture of the CM was a major impediment in initiation of action against communal elements, perpetrating bestial brutalities on the minority community.”
Recalls Sreekumar, Chakravarty also told him that “Rajendra Kumar, Joint Director, Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB), Ahmedabad (in charge of Central IB Unit of Gujarat State, Daman, Diu and Nagar Haveli), informed him directly, that he had come up with a theory of Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s major Intelligence Agency, being responsible for the Godhra train fire incident” and “Kumar wanted the Gujarat Police to investigate further to uncover this conspiracy angle.”
Sreekumar notes, Kumar, now a retired Special Director of IB has figured in the charge sheet filed by CBI as accused for fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan and others. Interestingly, 13 years after the gruesome Godhra burning incident, no evidence of ISI hand has been found.
Sreekumar further recalls that on February 28, 2002, when he was in office, Khurshid Ahmed (IPS, 1997 batch) Commandant of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), Headquartered at Saijpur Boga near Naroda Patiya, where 96 persons were killed by evening of that day, had informed him by phone that about 500 Muslim families threatened by attacking mobs were seeking asylum inside the camp, secured by compound wall and armed sentries.
Says Sreekumar, “He (Ahmed) wanted specific orders for letting these private persons inside the SRPF Battalion Headquarters. In response, I immediately sent a fax message directing the Commandant to accommodate those seeking protection in the vacant barracks emptied by men, who were deputed to disturbed areas.”
Later, he says, the Gujarat government claimed that “500 Muslims were saved by permitting them to stay in SRPF campus.” But he adds, “Afterwards, I came to know that the Commandant had refused, ignoring my written orders, entry of refuge seekers in empty SRPF barracks and consequently, they had become victims of riots at the hands of marauding brigands.”
“Most of the 96 people killed in the evening in Naroda Patiya were reportedly from this group of Muslims who were denied asylum in SRPF campus. No action was initiated for defying written order of ADGP (AU) and no report was made. Reportedly, senior leaders pressurized Commandant for not permitting Muslims under attack by rioters inside SRPF campus”, says Sreekumar.

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