Maharashtra rejects Srikrishna report as being 'biased against Hindus'
The Maharashtra government today rejected the
findings of the Justice Srikrishna Commission report which probed
the 1992-93 riots and the serial bomb blasts in Bombay, and
described it as "biased".
Tabling the report in the state legislative assembly on Thursday
afternoon, Chief Minister Manohar Joshi said the report could
not be accepted by the government as it was totally prejudiced
against Hindus and that it would lead to countrywide false
propaganda against Hindus.
He also expressed the government's surprise over the
fact that the Commission had not taken cognisance of the
involvement of a foreign hand in the riots and subsequent serial
bomb blasts in the metropolis on March 12, 1993. However, the chief
minister assured the House that the government had accepted all
"good suggestions" made in the report for strengthening and
upgrading the police machinery to deal effectively with riotous
situations and to maintain communal harmony
The chief minister said the government was also rejecting all
references made against Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray as there
was no concrete evidence. He said it was regrettable
that the Commission had made no comments about
Muslim leaders responsible for instigating their community during
the riots. He said the Commission made no mention of the
call for a jihad (holy war) given by a particular community.
The chief minister, who belongs to the Shiv Sena, said
Thackeray took the lead in protecting Hindus
during the riots. He noted with surprise that the Commission,
instead of fixing blame on communal elements responsible for the
riots, blamed Thackeray.
The chief minister also regretted that the Commission, while
indicting the Marathi newspaper Saamna, the Sena daily
edited by Thackeray, and Navakal for
alleged inflammatory writings during the riots, had completely
excluded Urdu newspapers which had indulged in stoking communal
Even today, a section of Urdu newspapers continue to spit venom
against the Sena chief by publishing distorted reports about his
Joshi said the government had accepted the Commission's
finding that weak political leadership during the period and
political rivalry between then chief minister Sudhakar
Naik and then defence minister Sharad Pawar was one of the reasons for
the delay in controlling the volatile situation.
He said his government did not find anything wrong in
''nationalist'' slogans like 'Is desh me rahna hoga to Vande
Mataram kehna hoga' which have been termed by the Commission as
fanning communal passion.
He also alleged that there were several conflicting versions in
the report. One of the unacceptable points is about a huge mob
that had gathered at Ambedkar Garden in Charni road on December
6. But Ambedkar Garden is in Chembur and not in Charni
road, and the mob had gathered to observe Ambedkar's death
anniversary, he said.
Mention has been made that a group of Shiv Sainiks cycled through
a Muslim area in celebration of the demolition of the
Babri Masjid. However, Joshi said the cyclists were actually
drawing attention to the long standing demand of constructing the
Ram temple in Ayodhya.
The report also refers to groups of youth as Shiv Sainiks in
certain portions while in other places, it merely mentions
''group of young people''. He queried whether a young group
necessarily meant Shiv Sainiks.
Joshi criticised the report saying it did not give
suggestions about ways to bring together Hindus and Muslims.
According to him, the Commission had not taken
a serious view of the large-scale violence.
He wondered how the report had not mentioned the killing of
Mathadi workers and burning of Radhabai Chawl as one of the
prime reasons for triggering off the riots.
The chief minister said one of the main objectives before the
government, while constituting the Srikrishna Commission, was that
it would bring out certain basic and fundamental concepts and
ideas, with recommendations for preventing and controlling the
riots, and the government gave all co-operation to the Commission. It
was hoping that the conclusions and recommendations made by the
Commission would be useful not only for the
present, but would help safeguard the future.
It is, however, regretfully noted that the Commission did not
fulfill this expectation and did not take a comprehensive
view of all the facets and elements responsible for the riots
which has led to one-sided conclusions, the chief minister said.
One community and its leadership has been held responsible while
the other has been more or less absolved, he added.
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