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Limited proof against VHP, Bajrang Dal leaders in Gujarat violence: Nanavati
May 20, 2003 23:13 IST
There is limited evidence against any Vishwa Hindu Parishad or Bajrang Dal leader's involvement in rioting and violence that followed the Godhra incident, Justice G T Nanavati, who heads the Godhra probe commission, said on Tuesday.
He told television channel NDTV 24x7 that it will be wrong to suggest the riots were one-sided and targeted against one community. Members of both communities, he said, were involved in the violence.
"Yes, there have been instances where people have said the Bajrang Dal and the VHP workers at the local level instigated people to riot. But the complaints are primarily of a very general nature. There is no real evidence that has been brought to name individual Bajrang Dal or VHP leaders," he said.
So far, the commission has recorded evidence in almost all the districts of the state, except Ahmedabad and Vadodara.
Justice Nanavati also said that in only one instance had the commission recorded evidence of the involvement of an MLA. "The MLA was from Bhavnagar. But there is no evidence of any minister being involved. If there are any reports on ministerial or political involvement, we haven't come across them."
He said the evidence before the commission suggested the Godhra train burning was a 'mix of pre-planning and spontaneity'. "I do not think you can say that the incident was planned for weeks before it happened. Things had been building up for some time, and its clear that something happened in Godhra that morning which sparked off the trouble."
Complete Coverage: Gujarat Riots