Skip to main content

Gujarat government is "intransigent" in non-publication of 2002 riots commission report: Ex-DGP Sreekumar

Counterview Desk
RB Sreekumar, former director general of police (DGP), Gujarat, has asked chief minister Anandiben Patel to make public the Enquity Commission Report on 2002 Gujarat riots, prepared by Justices GT Nanavati and Akshay H Mehta, regretting, it is “painful” that no MLA of Gujarat has moved, at appropriate level, “for ensuring the release of the report by the state government.”
Calling it an “obvious instance of breach of legislature’s privilege by the executive wing of the government”, Sreekumar said, the Commissions of Enquiry Act, 1952 stipulates an enquiry commission report should be “laid before the House of the people or, as the case may be, the Legislative Assembly of the State… together with a memorandum of the action taken thereon, within a period of six months of the submission of the report.”
The commission, which was set up to inquire into the Godhra train fire of February 27, 2002 and “subsequent incidents of violence”, was appointed on March 6, 2002. It submitted its report on November 14, 2014 after several extensions.
Sreekumar said, he submitted “nine affidavits to the commission, four while in service and five after my superannuation on February 28, 2007 (in all 498 pages), relevant to the terms of reference to the commission”, adding, he was “cross examined by the Commission on August 31, 2004 and September 30, 2011.”
The ex-DGP said, “During the protracted communal clashes in the State in 2002 (February 27, 2002 to May 31, 2002) most gruesome mass killings and destruction of property” took place, including of “historic religio-cultural monuments of the 15th century Christian Era (CE)” in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Anand, Godhra, Sabarkantha, Kheda, Mehsana, Banaskantha, and Dahod districts.
Pointing towards the reason for making public the report, Sreekumar said, “reputed historian, Ramachandra Guha, in his book “India After Gandhi”, had characterized 1984 Delhi and 2002 Gujarat Riots as pogroms (organized massacre) in the history of Independent India.”
“Significantly, while anti-Sikh riots in 1984 had affected the whole of Delhi city, in Gujarat … ghastly high voltage man slaughter was reported from 11 districts only”, he said, adding, “The commission must have probed into the enabling factors and ambience responsible for varying degree of violence in different geographical segments of the state.”
“The public, riot victim-survivors, human rights activists, state government functionaries in criminal justice system, sociologists, criminologists, jurists and so on would be naturally anxious and keen to comprehensively study the commission’s wisdom in this aspect and related matters of riots”, Sreekumar said.
The commission was tasked by the government “to recommend suitable measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents (Godhra train fire incident and subsequent riots) in future”, Sreekumar said, adding, the commission would have, therefore, provided “suitable suggestions” to be “incorporated in the edifice of regulatory architecture of the rule of law in Gujarat.”
Pointing out that reports of Reddy and Dave commission reports on 1969 and 1985 riots, respectively, “were published within the prescribed time frame along with action taken reports by the then state governments”, Sreekumar said.
Even today, he said, “hundreds of riot victim survivors are not in a position to go back to their pre-riot habitats for want of resources and other reasons, beyond their control and capacity”, one reason why the commission’s recommendations “on relief, reconciliation, rehabilitation and re-settlement will be helpful to the sufferers to emerge out of current state of poverty and privation.”
On the other hand, Sreekumar said, “The state government’s intransigence in non-publication of the commission report would debilitate and erode the stamina and vigour of democracy and its institutions in Gujarat.”

Comments

TRENDING

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

UN experts object to GoI move to 'reinforce' trend of prosecution, eviction of tribals

Counterview Desk
In a report sent to the Government of India, three United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs, expressing "concerns" over the failure to ensure "adequate" implementation of the India Forest Rights Act (FRA), have regretted that the Government of India has not cared to reply their previous communications on this.

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

As submergence stares Narmada valley, Patkar says: With powerful in throne, we're helpless

Counterview Desk
Well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), plans to begin its “Resist Illegal Submergence in Narmada Valley” satyagraha on August 21 at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, amidst news that the situation in the valley is “critical”, with two persons having already died in flood-related incidents in the upstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam.

RTI Act holy cow for Govt of India? Official insists, don't ask why, when, what, where

By Pankti Jog*
The Government of India appears to have begun treating the Right to Information (RTI) Act as a holy cow. Its officials seem to believe that the Act is a sacred law, under which people shouldn't be questioning its functioning. One recalls what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing an RTI convention in 2015: “Why should government wait for people to ask information, we will have all information out in the domain, we have nothing to hide."

Strategy for united struggle against Hindutva 'fascism': Ideological silence is 'no option'

By Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Electoral alliance and opportunism of national and regional political parties, neoliberal economic marginalisation and soft secular Hindutva line pandering to Hindu majoritarianism laid the foundation of Hindutva fascism in post-colonial India.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Kashmirisation of India? Ayodhya communal harmony meet: Activists stopped, detained

Counterview Desk
In a joint statement, three civil rights organizations, Rihai Manch, National Alliance of People's Movements and Lok Rajniti Manch, and Socialist Party (India), have taken strong exception to the Uttar Pradesh government taking "preventive" steps against those seeking to hold a meeting on communal harmony at Ayodhya.