British govt reports reveal PM Modi was behind 2002 riots in Gujarat, killing over 1000 Muslims
By The South Asia Times
NEW DELHI - A team sent by the UK government to investigate the 2002 riots in the Indian state of Gujarat had reported that Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat and current Prime Minister of India, was behind the killing of hundreds of Muslims.
In a latest documentary released by BBC, revealed that the report which was never published by the British government, had confirmed the involvement of Modi and was “directly responsible for a climate of impunity” that led to the violence, the Scroll In quoted BBC reported.
The documentary, titled The Modi Question, was removed from YouTube on Wednesday apparently following the Indian government approached to remove it from the social media platform.
The Gujarat riots were sparked by a fire in a train in Godhra in 2002, which killed 59 Hindu pilgrims coming from Ayodhya. Muslims were blamed by Hindus extremists organization for their role in the train fire and launched attacks against the Muslims.
During the attacks Hindu rioters hacked and burned to death over 1,000 Muslims and destroyed hundreds of houses of Muslim community.
Modi has denied allegations that he did not do enough to stop the riots, however, the report revealed that Modi didn’t stop the violence against Muslim and he ordered the police to not intervene to stop Hindu extremists from attacking the Muslims.
The BBC documentary released on Tuesday features a former senior diplomat, one of the investigators sent by the United Kingdom government, as saying that the violence had been planned by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, according to the Scroll In.
The report of the British government inquiry team had said that the VHP and its allies “could not have inflicted so much damage without the climate of impunity created by the state government”.
The team also cited “reliable contacts” as saying that Modi met senior police officers on February 27, 2002, and “ordered them not to intervene” in the rioting, the documentary claimed.
The report also revealed that damages and deaths reported by the Indian government following 2002 riots were more greater than reported.
According to the documentary, the violence was politically motivated and the aim was to “purge Muslims from Hindu-dominated areas”.The report said that the systematic campaign of violence had “all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing”. It alleged that “widespread and systematic rape” of Muslim women took place during the riots.
“These were very serious claims – that Chief Minister Modi had played a pretty active part in pulling back the police and in tacitly encouraging the Hindu extremists,” Jack Straw, former British foreign secretary Straw told the British broadcaster.
“That was a particularly egregious example,” he added.
Following the violence, the US and UK governments had imposed restrictions on Modi and denied him visas.
However, in 2014, both governments removed the restrictions when Modi came into power in New Delhi and never brought Modi to justice for his involvement in the killing of hundreds of Muslims in Gujarat.
Ironically, the Indian top court last year also ordered to close all proceedings relating to the 2002 riots in the western state of Gujarat, which killed over a thousand people, as well as the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid.
Hearing in the 2002 Gujarat riots case, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India led by Chief Justice UU Lalit stated that cases have now become infructuous with the passage of time and that trials in eight of nine cases have concluded, according to Anadolu Agency.
The bench observed: “Since all matters have now become infructuous, this court is of the view that this Court need not entertain these petitions any longer. The matters are therefore disposed of as being infructuous.”
All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), an umbrella group of various Muslim organizations called the supreme court verdict is disappointed and said they were upset by court order.
"As well as the perpetrators of the Gujarat riots in 2022. The judgment encouraged violent offenders while simultaneously disheartening the aggrieved party and may pave the way for an atmosphere of losing hope in the judiciary," AIMMM President Navaid Hamid said following the verdict.
Shamshad Pathan, a Gujarat-based activist and lawyer, told Anadolu "We were hoping for justice from the highest court, but it has decided to close everything."
"I don't have anything to say. I'm quite disappointed," he remarked.