Investigative weekly Tehelka on Thursday claimed to have unravelled the truth behind the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Tehelka claimed it had 'irrefutable' evidence that the killings of Muslims post-Godhra train carnage in Gujarat was 'not a spontaneous swell of anger but a genocide' planned and executed by top functionaries of the Sangh Parivar and state authorities 'with the sanction' of Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Tehelka Editor-in-Chief Tarun Tejpal claimed that the magazine had carried out a sting operation over the last six months by talking to a number of Sangh Parivar leaders, including Godhra BJP MLA Haresh Bhatt, Shiv Sena leader Babu Bajrangi, who was earlier in the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and VHP leaders Anil Patel and Dhawal Jayanti Patel, to bring out the truth.
"We have evidence that bombs were being made in the VHP office premises," Harinder Baweja, Editor (Investigations), told rediff.com.
"In Tehelka's ground breaking investigations, for the first time, hear the truth of the genocidal killings from the men who actually did it. In shocking disclosures, Chief Minister Narendra Modi came and patted the back of criminals, and told them that they had done a good job," Baweja said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has reacted sharply to the magazine's report stating that Tehelka was acting as CIA (Congress Investigating Agency) and it was a collusive sting, which could hardly be called investigative journalism.
Party spokesman Prakash Javedekar said the 'dirty tricks department' of the Congress was at work again in view of the assembly elections in Gujarat.
None of the leaders caught on camera in the expose was available for comments, except Gujarat VHP leader Dhawal Jayanti Patel who said Bajrangi had not talked to him during the riots and that he had not seen the sting operation.
Bhatt was purportedly caught on tape saying he was present in a meeting in which Modi allegedly gave him three days time 'to do whatever they wanted.'
"After three days, he (Modi) asked to stop and everything came to a halt," Bhatt said, adding that the chief minister thanked them after the Naroda Patiya masssacre.
The magazine claimed that Dhawal Jayanti Patel told its undercover reporter that the VHP activists made lots of bombs in a factory owned by him. A BJP MLA was shown as saying they even made rocket launchers, which were used in the pogrom.
It also claimed that it has exposed 'a trail of lies and coercions' that establishes the fire in coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express in Godhra on February 27, 2002 was a case of spontaneous mob fury and not a pre-meditated conspiracy as stated by the Gujarat government.
Additional Reportage: PTI