Thoughts on economics and liberty

If Narendra Modi has destroyed potentially incriminating records, then he MUST go – and now!

It is often hard to know the truth about some extremely sensitive matters such as communal riots (and firings by the police) till independent inquiries are conducted, something that is unfortunately not always easy to come by in India.

The fact that Narendra Modi has a great fan following (at least on the internet) despite his widely reported involvement in strong-arm action against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 must give everyone some food for thought. What is true? One could, I suppose, give Modi the benefit of doubt so long as inquiries are being conducted independently. My sense is that Modi is deeply involved, but I have no direct proof, and technically he is not guilty till proven otherwise.

However, some very strong circumstantial evidence has now emerged to make it difficult to believe that Modi is innocent. The following extract from The Hindu indicates strong circumstantial evidence for Modi's involvement

Senior counsel S. B. Vakil representing the State government in the Nanavati Commission, probing the 2002 riots, had on Wednesday told reporters that telephone call records, officers’ movement registers and vehicle log books of the SIB pertaining to the period of 2002 riots were destroyed in 2007, as per government rules. [Source]

What rules? There is no rule I'm aware of by which government records – critical to an inquiry – can be destroyed within five years. These records should have been seized and retained in safe custody. 

True, it is possible that some officials might have destroyed the records to save themselves, and that Modi was not directly involved. But was it not his bounden duty as CM of Gujarat to ensure that critical records were kept safe and proof from vandalism? He is touted as a great administrator, but he couldn't ensure that the records necessary for an inquiry against him were kept safe?

Modi can't claim to be fit to lead India with this kind of callous and shocking record-keeping that could conveniently remove all traces of his involvement in the heinous crimes of 2002. Indeed, there are perhaps good reasons he should be behind bars. And if he had any hand in the destruction of these records, then he must be hanged.

Very clever, our politicians. In relation to corruption they are experts at hiding and destroying evidence. And now they are becoming experts in destroying evidence of criminal violence.

What's going on, Modi? Please explain. I'm finding it almost impossible to believe that you are innocent.

(This, by the way, is a man whom this half-baked Gandhian, Anna Hazare, admires!)

Building a public dossier on Modi

I'm happy to build a public dossier on Mr. Modi on this blog to confirm whether he is indeed a criminal, or – if it turns out that he is indeed innocent – to allow the public to see for themselves the data that underpins his innocence. Please send me all information you can find (any public report/article) about his involvement (otherwise) in the murder of hundreds of innocents.

On this matter, let me admit that I am strongly inclined to defer to the judgement of Harsh Mander, my erstwhile colleague and friend, who has written extensively about Modi's involvement in the crimes of 2002. I disagree with Harsh on many things, including his refusal to resign from the NAC – something that I suggest is cowardly and displays double standards – but I believe Harsh is a man of impeccable integrity and his research into the 2002 events is credible.

Modi's credibility, on the other hand, is close to zero, being, as he is, a typical run-of-the-mill politician. He can't afford to destroy potentially incriminating records. That is a very serious crime in itself. It is very hard to believe that this destruction took place without his personal involvement. 

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11 thoughts on “If Narendra Modi has destroyed potentially incriminating records, then he MUST go – and now!
  1. Sanjeev Sabhlok


    • Aditya Bajoria he must go??? & replace it with an anti-national & communal party like Congress

      3 hours ago · 

    • India I promise to make you very rich No. The replacement has to be a new classical liberal political party. Note that murderers can't be allowed to govern. They must be put behind bars. This is a very serious matter – that his officials have destroyed key records of the 2002 events.

      about a minute ago · 

  2. Murthy

    The Investigating Agencies should have collected that data & kept with them by now, if not what were they doing all these days.

  3. Shravan

    Dr Sabhlok, it is very difficult for me to believe that copies of the records were not made, besides are you sure you are aware of all the rules? is it impossible for a rule to exist wherein records are destroyed in 5 years?  what were the investigative agencies doing all these years? I am sure they must have copies. How could they not have copies before if they wanted?
    You also want modi to be hanged? why? you seem to have a problem with ramdev's demand for getting the corrupt hanged, how come,you, say the same this time?
    also you have conveniently forgotten that hazare changed his tunes and criticised modi when he visited ahmedabad.
    You said Harsh Mander is a man of impeccable integrity, are we supposed to take your word on that? if no then why did you say it in the first place? how can a man who is a part of the anti-national and unconstitutional NAC be a man of impeccable integrity? Impossible! Harsh mander is a mischievous man.
    what do you have to say about people like teesta setalvad who have forced so called witnesses to falsify and falsely accuse modi and his government? how do you know the same is not happening again? 

  4. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Shravan

    The charges against Modi are not related to corruption (indeed, he might not be personally corrupt, something like MMS – but definitely is part of a corrupt outfit and corrupt system), but being the man who ordered the killing of innocents. Such a crime, if established, can (and should) lead to the death penalty. Corruption is not in the same league although I can understand Ramdev’s anguish – and indeed, they do that in China.

    Re: Harsh’s integrity. He is misguided and confused on occasion – and I have called on him to get off the NAC – but definitely he is an honest man: or was till I last knew him in 1994. Not one paisa here or there on his watch.

    I’m afraid I don’t know much about Setelavad so no comment.

    Re: “I am sure they must have copies. How could they not have copies before if they wanted?” – well, the Government’s own prosecutor has said the records cannot be obtained since they were DESTROYED. (“telephone call records, officers’ movement registers and vehicle log books of the SIB pertaining to the period of 2002 riots were destroyed”).

    How can you create things that don’t exist? Or are you saying the Government prosecutor is lying?

    My point on Modi is simple. The charges against him are VERY SERIOUS and he was obliged to ensure that all relevant records were secured. There is a good chance he has got these destroyed. I don’t trust the slimy politicians of India. I’ll trust Harsh Mander’s views over that of Modi’s – about the events that took place in 2002 – ANY DAY.

  5. Shravan

    Dr Sabhlok, you have said in one of your earlier articles that killing people in riots is a minor offense IN COMPARISON with some other offences like following wrong policies (which lead to corruption) but now you are saying corruption is not in the same league?!!!
    how does anyone establish the seriousness of any crime? why is corruption not in the same league?
    Is damage done by corruption not bad enough to get death penalty?
    Harsh Mander is misguided? that is a laughable statement you just made, am i to believe what you just said? Why can he not be mischievous? do not talk to me about Mander's honesty, Modi too is honest.
    If you do not know about setalvad, please google for it, also google for Rais Khan. 
    The Government's prosecutor said the records were destroyed in 2007.
    what did the nanavati panel do from 2002 to 2007?
    My point is also very simple, Modi is being targetted by the leftist cabal, a lot of allegations against him and his government are questionable, the same people who said the train was burnt from inside (which it was not) are the  ones who claim that some meeting took place between Modi and police officers, their judgement and also their integrity is under my question. You trust your good friend, I will trust facts.

  6. Supratim

    Dear Sanjeev,
    There has been some interesting backtracking from the Gujarat Government on this particular issue, saying that the records exist and that the AG meant only some specific phone records, etc
    My own (Chankyian) thought on the above is that Modi & Co floated a trial balloon to see what the reaction would be if the records were to be, indeed, destroyed – given the flood of criticism, that plan is now shelved!

  7. Murthy

    Mr Sanjeev,
    You said in one of your above posts that modi ordered killing of people , Can you justify that statement with any proof ?

  8. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Murthy

    That is indeed the key point – how could hundreds of innocent Muslims have been killed under his regime and driven out of their homes in the tens of thousands? I worked in the bureaucracy for a long time and know that such things are IMPOSSIBLE without direct political control. The local administration can undertake a few excesses, but widescale carnage whereby Hindu fanatics are allowed to run amuck under shelter provided by the police (as is alleged to have occurred in this case) can’t be done without direct political orders. That’s why Harsh Mander got agitated and spent time investigating this carnage. We teach how to control communal riots at the academy (e.g. see case studies at: Immediate stringent action is taught. Strong curfews and shoot at sight orders. The army must be called out immediately.

    Such immediate stringent action would have significantly reduced the carnage. That it was allowed to run its “natural” course under the ‘protection’ of the police is a diabolical crime that can only come from shelter provided by the government.

    Such things (verbal orders/ phone calls/ gestures) can’t be “proven” just like most corruption can’t be proven – being under the table, hidden. However, you and I know that criminals don’t leave traces of their crime. This inquiry which is dragging on for years might unearth such evidence, but there is in my mind no doubt that Modi is very likely to have been directly involved in the killings. However, it is one thing to have such suspicion and such questions, but another thing to prove them. That’s why there is an inquiry into this matter. Let’s wait for its results since you and I can only form opinions based on our understandings, we can’t prove them without data.


  9. Varun

    Sir it's high time that people like u wake up…congress is doing the greatest damage to this country…it s following the same policy of British 'Divide and Rule'.It doesn't have  a vision for the country…it is only concerned about being in power.We ll not have a man like Modi in this century.Why is that u talk about muslims killed in the riots and not about hindus or that stupid Banerjee committee which declared the karsevaks killed themselves just to appease the muslims…Sir please wakeup.Modi called in the army and controlled riots.He resigned and won the confidence of the people again.The SIT report also claims Modi to be innocent.

  10. Supratim

    Dear Varun,
    If I can respond to you. The problem with Modi is that he failed in his fundamental duty to the people of Gujarat. The state's first function is to ensure the defence of people from external threats and internal goons. He failed this miserably, and not just for one or two days, but for 10-12 days, when goons ran amok in the state of Gujarat killing and maiming and raping and torturing innocent people.
    He fails the first test of governance. Where is the question of him ever becoming PM of India?
    And, BTW, Mubarak won every poll he contested in Egypt – did that make him a legitimately elected President of that country – do think about that aspect, too. In Gujarat, we have had mobocracy inside and outside of elections, not democracy. I refuse to bow to the tyranny of the majority – tomorrow, to take an exaggerated example, the majority may decide that they should execute all college educated graduates, to allow poor villagers to get jobs – and the party that has this manifesto may even win the elections on the support of the poor majority – would you subscribe to such a manifesto and say that since the party was elected with a majority, it can go ahead with this scheme?
    Today, the only real hope for BJP is to project Nitish Kumar as the potential PM candidate of the NDA – I wonder if they will ever have the stature to go down that route.

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