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|August 29, 1998||
Srikrishna report not rejected outright: CM
Maharashtra Chief Minister Manohar Joshi has clarified that the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance government has not rejected outright the recommendations of the Justice B N Srikrishna Commission that probed the communal riots in Bombay after the 1992 Ayodhya demolition and the subsequent serial bomb blasts.
Participating in a television programme, Joshi, however, repeated his charge that the report was ''anti-Hindu'' and it favours and supports Muslims. There is a lot of evidence the commission ignored, he said.
The chief minister said he was surprised that, after so much effort over five years and spending more than Rs 10 million, the recommendations and the conclusions in the report could be so wrong and misleading. ''I have nothing against the judge, but I do not accept his conclusions because they are not fair,'' he said.
He sought to highlight the fact that there had been no Hindu-Muslim riots during the last three-and-a-half years either in Maharashtra. ''The Muslims should have no reason to fear for their life and property in the state,'' he added.
Joshi said it has become now a trend to label someone secular only if he speaks out for the minorities.
''I do not accept this. It is not acceptable that just because somebody is Muslim, we should be lenient with him. We have not allowed any Hindu to go scot-free for similar activities,'' he said.
Asked about attacks on the house of noted painter M F Husain over some controversial paintings, Joshi said, ''How long can we tolerate insults to our gods and goddesses?''
''Nobody has come to lodge a complaint. How can we take action and against whom?'' he said when asked about Shiv Sena men disrupting Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali's concert in Bombay.
On the deportation of illegal migrants from Bombay, he said, ''We have sent back 8,000 people who have come from Bangladesh without passports. We will send back many more in the best interests of the country.''
He sought to underplay the intra-party tussle in the Shiv Sena, saying he had offered to quit twice.
BJP ministers had recently boycotted a cabinet meeting as they were unhappy over some issue which is being sorted out by the leadership, he added.
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