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Like Lord Shiva drank poison, Modi endured pain: Shah on Gujarat riots ruling

Source: ANI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: June 25, 2022 16:07 IST
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'Modiji was also interrogated, but nobody protested, workers from across the country did not gather in solidarity with Modiji. We cooperated with the law. I was also arrested. We did not protest'

Union Home Minister Amit Shah hailed the Supreme Court verdict on the 2002 Gujarat riots and said that those who levelled "politically motivated" allegations against the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi should apologise for it.

In an interview to ANI, Shah said Modi presented an ideal example for all political persons of how to respect the Constitution.

"PM Modi has presented an ideal example to all political persons of how the Constitution should be respected in a democracy. Modiji was also interrogated, but nobody protested, workers from across the country did not gather in solidarity with Modiji. We cooperated with the law. I was also arrested. We did not protest," Shah said referring to Congress's protest over the Enforcement Directorate's summons to its leader Rahul Gandhi.

"This is not the first clean chit to PM Modi. Nanavati Commission has also given a clean chit. Still the SIT was formed. And Modiji did not appear before the SIT doing drama... come in support from every village if not then call MLAs, MPs and ex-MPs, hold dharna," Shah added.

"When the truth comes out after such a long battle with victory, then it shines brighter than gold. I am feeling good that today those people who leveled allegations against Modiji... if they had an inner conscience then they should apologise to Modiji and the BJP," Shah added.

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the plea filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, challenging the clean chit given by the Special Investigation Team to then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and several others in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar dismissed an appeal against the clean chit to Modi in the Gujarat riots case filed by Zakia Jafri who alleged a "larger conspiracy" in the riots.

The bench said that it finds the appeal as "devoid of merit."

 

Shah said Narendra Modi had endured pain for the last 19 years without speaking a word and followed "Lord Shiva who swallowed poison and held it in his throat."

"The Supreme Court has dismissed all allegations. It has said why allegations were levelled. You can say in a way that allegations are politically motivated, this has also been proved. It was a battle of 19 years, such a big leader without saying a word, endured pain like Lord Shiva drank poison and continued to fight," the home minister said.

"I have closely seen Modiji enduring this pain, facing the allegations despite being on the side of truth and because the judicial process was underway he did not speak. Only a man with a strong heart can do this. The interview we are doing today, I could have done in 2003 as the Gujarat home minister and later as the party chief. But till the judicial process was completed, Modiji did not say anything so that there was no influence. He endured all this silently," he added.

In a veiled attack on the Congress, the Union home minister said that the then Central government helped an NGO to target Modi, who was the chief minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014, and frame him in the riots case.

"We believe that we should cooperate in the judicial process. There was a Supreme Court order, and an SIT was there. If the SIT wants to ask questions from the Chief Minister, he himself said that he is ready to cooperate. Why stage a protest? No person is beyond the law," he said.

Speaking about the SC ruling, Shah said "The state government made all the efforts to control the Gujarat riots and had taken the right decisions at the right time. The court also said that the state government had controlled the situation with less damage. The state government had also applied the witness protection scheme. The judgement consists of around 300 pages in which the Supreme Court explained every point. The court also said that Modiji had held a lot of meetings, and made appeals for peace. Today, truth has won and Modiji has emerged victorious."

Ehsan Jafri was among 69 people killed during violence at the Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002.

His widow Zakia Jafri challenged the SIT's clean chit to 64 people including Narendra Modi who was Chief Minister of Gujarat at the time.

After 58 pilgrims were burnt alive on the Sabarmati Express train at Gujarat's Godhra Railway Station on February 27, 2002, riots broke out across the state in which more than 1,000 people were killed.

The SIT, appointed by the apex court, conducted the investigation into the case and gave a clean chit to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, other top politicians and bureaucrats.

The Gujarat High Court's order dated October 5, 2017, also upheld SIT's clean chit to Modi.

Shah said the Gujarat government gave its consent for the SIT as there was nothing to hide.

"The SIT was not ordered by the court. An NGO demanded SIT and the court, for sake of asking, asked our lawyer and our government said we have nothing to hide. The SIT was subsequently constituted. We did not have any objection to it. The Gujarat government's consent is on the record. The court also said in its judgment that SIT was demanded by an NGO and the Gujarat government gave the consent," he said.

"I have read the judgement very carefully. The judgement clearly mentions the name of Teesta Setalvad. The NGO that was run being run by her - I don't remember the name of the NGO- had given baseless information about the riots to the police,"  Shah told ANI.

He said the court had noted in its judgement that incidents after the Godhra violence were not pre-planned.

The minister said the court also dismissed Tehelka's sting operation because when the footage before and after it came to light, it was found that the sting operation was politically motivated.

"It (June 24 SC judgement) is very significant. The manner in which an attempt was made to victimise my party's tallest leader, Court tore it down. I believe this judgement is a matter of pride for all party workers, false allegations against our tallest leader have been dismissed," he said.

Earlier in 2019, the Nanavati-Mehta Commission Report on the post-Godhra riots, which was tabled in the Gujarat assembly, gave a clean chit to then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi. The report mentioned that the riots were "not organised".

Asked what then Gujarat CM Modi could have done at that time, the Home Minister said Modi had done everything and there was no delay about any action on the part of the Gujarat government and police had also resorted to firing to control the situation.

Answering a query on the Gujarat government's response after the riots and how he would have dealt with the situation if he was the state Home Minister, Amit Shah said "whosoever was there, they had worked well."

"But the anger was on such a large scale due to the (Godhra) incident, which could not be sensed by anyone including the police."

Shah also said that there was no delay on part of the Gujarat government in requisitioning the Army to deal with post-Godhra 2002 Gujarat riots and noted that former Punjab DGP KPS Gill had termed the state government's action as "prompt and neutral".

He also attacked Congress over anti-Sikh riots in 1984, saying that so many Sikhs were killed "but nothing was done for three days".

"The Gujarat government did not delay in anything. When the Gujarat Bandh was declared, we called the Army. The Army needed some time to reach. There was not even a day's delay by the Gujarat government and this was also appreciated by the court," Shah said.

"The Army headquarters is situated in Delhi and there are a lot of armymen in the city but despite that so many Sikhs were killed (during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots) but nothing was done for three days. How many SITs were constituted then? An SIT was constituted after our government came to power. How many were arrested?" Shah said while questioning the Congress led government during the 1984 Sikh riots.

"I think PM Modi did everything because I was observing the situation very closely. I think no CM would have dealt with the situation in this way. For example, there are 100-150 cops in one police station, if we put additional force, then it amounts to only 400. If there is a gathering of around two lakh people it takes time to control the situation in the state. Every action including lathi-charge, firing etc was taken to control the riots in Gujarat riots, 900 people were killed in firing ," Shah said.

He referred to remarks of KPS Gill, who was among the officers credited with ending terrorism in Punjab.

"It takes time for the government to make arrangements to control a situation like riots. Gill Sahab had also come to help the Modi government at that time in Gujarat. I also had dinner with him. He himself told me that he had not seen such a prompt and neutral action in his whole life. However, allegations were raised even against Gill Sahab," the union minister said.

"Political parties opposed to the BJP, some people who become journalists due to a specific ideology and some NGOs - the troika together propagated such allegations in a big way. Their ecosystem was so strong that people started to believe lies as truth," Shah said.

The Home Minister said that the government never interfered in the functioning of the media.

"This is not our attitude, we had neither done such a thing then nor do we do so at present. But the ecosystem of that time presented lies in front of the people in such a way that it influenced everyone," he said.

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Source: ANI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
 
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