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Ex-DGP wants 2002 riots Nanavati report released

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R B Sreekumar, 2002 riots

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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Build Bridge between Artificial Intelligence, Human Intentions: PM Modi Urges Technocrats

Observing that there is a conspiracy to present technology as a challenge for India's demographic dividen

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Modi, Human, AI
He said the emphasis should be on ways to upgrade skills as per the demand. "Let AI be just another aid, which is little more sophisticated," he said. Pixabay

Stressing integration and right balance between human and artificial intelligence (AI), Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Sunday said the debate on AI should focus on bridging the gap between human intentions and AI, and not its likely negative impact.

Speaking at the launch of book ‘Bridgital Nation’, written by N. Chandrasekaran and Roopa Purushottam, Modi said, “The debate should not be on what are the dangers from AI, but how to bridge the gap between artificial intelligence and human intentions.”

He said the emphasis should be on ways to upgrade skills as per the demand. “Let AI be just another aid, which is little more sophisticated,” he said.

Observing that there is a conspiracy to present technology as a challenge for India’s demographic dividend, he said, “Human intentions and right intentions” were important for AI’s operations. Technology and talent were force multipliers, rather than a threat, he said. Technology was a bridge between aspirations and achievements, he added.

Modi, Human, AI
Speaking at the launch of book ‘Bridgital Nation’, written by N. Chandrasekaran and Roopa Purushottam, Modi said, “The debate should not be on what are the dangers from AI, but how to bridge the gap between artificial intelligence and human intentions.” Pixabay

The Prime Minister narrated how technology had been a key component of government schemes to reform, transform and perform. He mentioned about the use of data intelligence, digital mapping and real time monitoring in Ujjwala Yojana, which has transformed the lives of millions of women. He also talked about how technology had helped in empowering people through schemes, like Jan Dhan Yojana and Ayushman Bharat.

Modi said his government had used technology to remove silos among departments and build a bridge between supply and demand through innovative ideas, like the Government e-market Place (GeM). He explained how technology was used to create a robust startup system in the country, especially in tier 2 and 3 cities, which helped in development of a new ecosystem of startups.

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On the need to convert challenges posed by technology into opportunities, Modi cited the example of creation of India Post Payment Bank. The disruption caused by technology to the entire postal organisation had converted it into a tech-intensive banking system, benefiting millions through postal bank, he added. (IANS)