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Ex-DGP wants 2002 riots Nanavati report released

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R B Sreekumar, 2002 riots
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Gandhinagar: Former Gujarat Police chief RB Sreekumar, who had locked horns with then chief minister Narendra Modi over the 2002 riots, has asked the Anandiben Patel government to make public the inquiry commission report on the violence of 2002 riots.

The report was submitted by retired Supreme Court judge G.T. Nanavati and former Gujarat High Court judge Akshay Mehta, 12 years after it concluded the inquiry with 25 extensions.

The Modi government had on March 6, 2002, appointed justices Nanavati and Mehta to look into the February 27 Sabarmati Express train burning that left 59 people dead and the subsequent riots that killed 1,169 people in the state.

The commission submitted the final report to Chief Minister Anandiben Patel last year soon after she took over the reins of Gujarat from Modi after he became the prime minister.

In a letter to the chief Minister, Sreekumar, who as additional director-general of police (intelligence) reported that Modi’s comments after the riots could prove incendiary in an already communally surcharged atmosphere, said he found it “painful” that no legislator in the state had shown any hurry to ensure an early public release of the commission’s report.

Sreekumar’s letter dated November 18, a copy of which is with IANS, asserts that this was an “obvious instance of breach of legislature’s privilege by the executive wing of the government”.

He pointed out that the Commissions of Enquiry Act, 1952, stipulates that a probe report should be laid before the house of the people or, as the case may be, the legislative assembly … together with a memorandum of the action taken thereon, within six months of the submission of the report.

The commission submitted its report on November 14, 2014, after getting 25 extensions.

Sreekumar had 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”.

He was cross-examined by the commission on August 31, 2004, and September 30, 2011.

He pointed out that during the protracted communal clashes in 2002 (February 27 to May 31), “most gruesome mass killings and destruction of property” took place, including of historic religious-cultural monuments of the 15th century in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Anand, Godhra, Sabarkantha, Kheda, Mehsana, Banaskantha and Dahod districts.

“Significantly, while the anti-Sikh riots in 1984 affected the whole of Delhi city, in Gujarat … ghastly high voltage manslaughter was reported from 11 districts only”, he said.

“The commission must have probed into the enabling factors and ambiance 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” and would surely have provided “suitable suggestions” to be “incorporated in the edifice of regulatory architecture of the rule of law in Gujarat”.

Even today, he said, hundreds of riot victim survivors are not in a position to return to their pre-riot habitats for want of resources and other reasons, beyond their control and capacity.

This is one reason why the commission’s recommendations “on relief, reconciliation, rehabilitation and resettlement will be helpful to the sufferers to emerge out of the current state of poverty and privation”.

He said: “The state government’s intransigence in non-publication of the commission report would debilitate and erode the stamina and vigor of democracy and its institutions in Gujarat.”

(Darshan Desai, IANS)

 

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Vijay Rupani Takes Oath As Gujarat Chief Minister

Eight ministers, including Nitin Patel, took oath as the cabinet ministers while 16 took oath as ministers of state.

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Vijay Rupani is elected as the 16th CM of Gujarat
Vijay Rupani is elected as the 16th CM of Gujarat

BJP leader Vijay Rupani on Sunday took oath as the 16th Chief Minister of Gujarat along with Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and 23 other ministers.

Governor O.P. Kohli administered the oath of office and secrecy at the Mahatma Mandir at an event witnessed by BJP President Amit Shah, veteran L.K. Advani and outgoing Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.

Eight ministers, including Nitin Patel, took oath as the cabinet ministers while 16 took oath as ministers of state.

In a surprise move, nine ministers of the outgoing government, including Finance Minister Saurabh Patel and Social Justice Minister Ramanlal Vora, were dropped.

The total strength of new Council of Ministers has reached 25 while there were 24 ministers in the Ananidben government.

A total of eight ministers are from Patidar community, whose massive street protests posed the first major challenge to Anandiben who cited her age for stepping down as Chief Minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Rupani and Nitin Patel after they took an oath, saying it marked the start of a new inning: to continue the development journey” of Gujarat.

“Congrats to Vijay Rupani, Nitinbhai Patel, and others sworn in as they begin their innings to continue the development journey of Gujarat,” Modi tweeted.

He applauded Anandiben: “She has been working tirelessly for the people of Gujarat for many years.”

Chief Ministers Manohar Lal Khattar of Haryana and Devendra Fadnavis of Maharashtra also attended the event. IANS

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