Thoughts on economics and liberty

The amazing distortion of the OPEN AND SHUT case against Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi may well be an "efficient" administrator. He may well believe in minimum government maximum governance. He may well be far better for India than Rahul Gandhi or any of the super-corrupt Congress "leaders" (gangsters). India has very bad choices.

But it is amazing how the simple open and shut case against Modi has been allowed to drag on for ten years, without justice being administered.

Asghar Ali Engineer has summarised the (startling) facts of the case quite clearly. I've annotated his open letter in colour, below (Source). T

There can't be smoke without fire. Modi was the fire. BJP was the fire. The fact that allegedly competent investigative agencies are unable to pierce the SMOKE and MIRRORS created by Modi (through obfuscation/destruction of data, as well), seems to be amazing. If anything, one can say that Modi is a very clever man. Or one who is able to threaten/ buy out even the highest investigative officials.

Or Mr Raghavan is just any other INCOMPETENT official – made incompetent (like most others) over the many years he spent in the IPS.

There is clearly no justice in India. When even BASIC and OBVIOUS facts are denied and buried by the investigative agencies, what hope is there of justice for the common man, for the hundreds of innocents MASSACRED under the blessings of the Ravana Narenda Modi? 

I do hope the Supreme Court will finally hold court DIRECTLY in Gujarat and DIRECTLY compile evidence. Everyone must be satisfied that justice has been done. Else the besmirched reputation of Modi will cling to the Supreme Court as well.

AN OPEN LETTER TO SIT CHIEF SHRI R.K.RAGHAVAN
 
Dear Shri R.K. Raghavan,
 
We have been reading these days every day about your ‘clean chit’ to Shri Narendra Modi, the Gujarat Chief Minister about his responsibility about the Gujarat riots of 2002 in general and about the Ahsan Jafri brutal murder in Gulbarg Society, in particular. The Supreme Court had appointed you as chief of Special Investigation Team (SIT) putting full trust in your impartiality and integrity.
 
We also put full trust in you and were sure that your investigation will throw full light on the happenings of Gujarat riots and we will be able to judge, through your investigation, what is right and what is wrong. However, your investigations have raised storm of controversy and it is also surprising that you have given differing reports one in 2010 and another final closure report in 2012 finally giving ‘clean chit’ to Shri Narendra Modi.
 
What is more surprising is that in defending your investigation and its ‘truth’ you have defended Narendra Modi the way even BJP could not have defended or perhaps even Modi himself could not have defended himself. It appears as if you were appointed by the Gujarat Government and not by the Supreme Court of India. I read your point by point refutation of Shri Raju Ramchandran (Amicus Curie) ‘views on your report.
 
The fact that the Supreme Court had to appoint Amicus Curie itself is a reflection of controversial nature of the Report. Shri Raghavanji, you were head of CBI, the prestigious investigation agency of our country and is the ultimate report of victims denied justice by other investigation agencies. One can hope for justice from CBI and not even from politicians. Politicians have their own logic. Whereas investigation agencies like the CBI are supposed to go strictly by the law of the land.
 
As a student of politics and as a political analyst I can tell you that what happened in Gujarat in 2002 had is own politics behind it. The BJP was loosing all elections even at local levels and lost even Assembly bye-election and had panicked as the Assembly elections were due in December 2002. The reason was several corruption scandals in which BJP members were involved had surfaced and people of Gujarat were very unhappy with its performance and BJP leaders feared its government will be thrown out in 2002 elections.

One easiest way in our country, to win elections, unfortunately, is to polarize the voters on caste and community basis and BJP was resorting it steadily to hide its  corrupt practices and to win 2002 elections it had to do it on much larger scale and with much more intensification. It needed some event to do that and Godhra incident on 27th February 2002 in which 59 Karsevaks were burnt came handy to the BJP leaders.
 
The Godhra incident, as you must have known, itself is shrouded in mystery as to who did it? Was it done by those 120 people arrested by the Modi Government? The court verdict is not very supportive of conspiracy theory. The police had made Hussain Umarji as ‘chief conspirator’ but court found no evidence against him to declare him guilty. He was thus discharged by the session court. Some were held guilty but they were all poor vendors and could hardly plot a conspiracy to burn one coach of the train. This is not the place to go into those details. Anyway whosoever was responsible the Modi Government got an opportunity to provoke riots against Muslims.
 
The fact that Government of Gujarat joined the bandh and allowed dead bodies to take out in procession itself is an indictment of Narendra Modi Government. No Government, worth its salt and interested in keeping peace would ever allow dead bodies to be taken into procession irrespective of who claimed the bodies. That is merely a technical problem. Real question is who gave permission to take the dead bodies out in the procession through the streets of Ahmedabad causing grave procession when all sorts of rumours were being spread and people were already agitated. As a police officer of such high rank you must be well aware of consequences of such a procession.
 
For your information Shri Raghavanji I have investigated all the major riots in this country from Jabalpur in 1961 to the Gujarat riots in 2002 and I am well aware of what government should or should not do when there is palpable tension in a town or a city. Government immediately imposes 144 and takes other steps to stop rioting and also tries its best to counter rumours.

The Modi Government did nothing. The Gujarati newspapers were carrying highly provocative articles and were publishing, most prominently, rumours as news and were also writing provocative editorials. You know there is something like Article 153 (A) in the Cr.P.C. under which action should have been taken against those newspapers but nothing of the sort was done and newspapers enjoyed full ‘freedom’ under the Modi Government to provoke riots.
 
You say there is no proof that in the high level officials’ meeting Modi asked them to let Hindus to take out their anger and not to stop them. Okay though such a firm stands is controversial but even if it was so Modi is not culpable. But you go a step further and say even if he said this so what? He said this in a closed door meeting and so he is not culpable. Raghavanji how can you forget that he was not saying this to ordinary people in a closed door meeting but to high police and other officials who were responsible for controlling the riots? In fact it is worse than saying such a thing in a public meeting.
 
But it seems you are so keen to defend Narendra Modi that you are not taking such elementary things into account. And you know what happened in Gujarat in coming days. You also did not take into account the sting operation by Tehelka which had completely exposed Modi government how it had given them assurance of protection after committing heinous crimes of killing hundreds of innocent people. They also told the person carrying out sting operation that we were provided all hiding facilities by the Modi Government.
 
Sting operation is considered credible evidence in any court and it was on this basis that former BJP President Shri Bangaru Laxman was convicted by the Delhi Court. You should have taken sting operation into account at least for further investigation. Raju Ramchandran, the amicus curie, is of the opinion that whether Modi gave instruction to high police officials or not and whether Sanjiv Bhatt was present or not, should have been investigated further instead of dismissing Mr.Bhatt’s claim. He could have been cross questioned but you did not consider this worthwhile.
 
You even found Narendra Modi not anyway responsible for what happened with Jafri and instead blamed Ehsan Jafri responsible for his death saying he fired on the mob. It is disputed whether he fired or not and even if we accept for a moment the theory that he fired on the mob, tell me Raghavanji who will not try to save himself from such a violent mob when all your pleas fail? And when no one is ready to come to your rescue. I have investigated Gujarat riots and found how desperate was Jafri’s position and about 60 other innocent persons who had taken refuge in his Bungalow. I am not a super cop like you but still possess certain faculties and can vouch for the position Jafri was in,
 
Even the People’s Panel which was presided by a Supreme Court retired Judge, Justice Samant and Justice Suresh have falsified your claims. Both judges are men of known integrity they are, after all, judges and judge the investigations done by the men of your tribe i.e. the police. I personally talked to Justice Suresh and he was of the firm opinion that Narendra Modi was responsible for all that happened in Gujarat in 2002.
 
Also, in your 2010 closure report prepared by Mr. Malhotra, one of your colleagues, you had found some problems with Mr. Modi and had blamed him on some counts.Tahelka the well known fortnightly which is known for its exposures had published it and that report was closer to truth than your final one in 2012. Tahelka had also alleged that your to and fro trip to London for your personal work was paid for by the Gujarat Government. I do not know whether it is true or not but such an allegation against you is a serious matter.
 
I have spoken to many eyewitnesses of Gujarat riots of 2002 from police officers to victims to members of political parties to survivors of these riots and all of them have blamed Narendra Modi. I have also heard Modi’s speeches which were video-recorded including the one in which he justified riots as per Newtonian law of equal and opposite reaction to action (though reaction in Gujarat by no means was equal but several hundred times more in number and in brutalities) and the one in which he calls relief camps as ‘Baby-producing Factories’.
 
These speeches may not constitute hard evidence of his complicity in the riots but certainly indicate his mentality and his collusion. Apart from his collusion or not his failure to control riots itself places great moral responsibility on him. You also must have read in papers what Mr. A.B.Vajpayee said when he visited Ahmedabad after riots in 2012 that what face will I show when I go abroad and, addressing Modi, he said you must know your rajdharma i.e. your responsibility for governance. A chief minister who cannot stop riots for weeks and lets innocent people be killed in hundreds is not worth continuing. He not only continues but now takes out sadbhavna yatras.
 
Raghavanji, such people are not fit for multi-religious democratic governance who, for the sake of power, do not mind thousands being killed. We thought you will, as an honest officer, expose such politicians. But alas we were disappointed.
 
Yours sincerely,
Asghar Ali Engineer
Chairman
Centre for Study of Society and Secularism
Mumbai.
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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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6 thoughts on “The amazing distortion of the OPEN AND SHUT case against Narendra Modi
  1. Dibyasundar

    Deeply pained to see you repeating the same arguments again and again to substantiate your view that Modi was indeed guilty. I have read the SIT report as well as the Amicus Curie (AC) report and from what you have written above (and supported someone else’s claims), I can definitely conclude that you have not tried to read the two reports.

    I don’t understand why an SC appointed committee should be doubted only because it found out that your view was wrong. Let me mention some of the facts that anti-Modi industry has failed to notice.

    1. Both AC and SIT concluded that Godhra dead bodies were NOT paraded rather they were transferred in the night.
    2. Both AC and SIT agree that the govt. took all necessary step to stop the riots.
    3. The action reaction comment of Modi was distorted. The real statement was: “Actions and reactions happening from both sides. We want niether action nor reaction happens.
    There are a lot of other facts. You can see them only when you will try to see truth.

     
  2. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dibyasundar

    I’ve not had time to read any report on this issue, so far. And I’m quite happy to be proven wrong. My inclination has been very strongly against Modi – so I agree that I’m not exercising full reason but biased reasoning. For me to exercise full reason I’d need to devote a few hundred hours to study the details (like I’ve done in the case of climate change arguments).

    I’m afraid I’m unable to devote the hundreds of hours of time needed to do justice to this task.

    That’s why I retain an INCLINATION but not commitment to a proof. In my opinion, based on whatever little I know of this case, there is overwhelming evidence of Government mischief, just as there was overwhelming evidence of mischief by BJP in demolishing Babri Masjid.

    You can rightly conclude that I’m DEEPLY BIASED against BJP. I admit to that.

    That’s not to say that I’m not aware of it. Even Modi must get justice. But I’m concerned about the injustice likely being done to the hundreds of people who were massacred.

    I have the misfortune of having worked inside government. I know PRECISELY the kinds of conversations Ministers have with their bureaucrats/police officers behind closed doors. And that’s not very flattering. Their DEEP HATRED towards certain communities is freely ventilated behind closed doors. They promote and reward biased officers.

    I can’t believe that the events of 2002 occurred without DEEP connivance of Modi’s government. There can’t be smoke without fire.

    I don’t expect you to believe me, just I don’t expect you to believe me when I say that TOP leaders in India are deeply corrupt. I’ve got first hand evidence, but I’ve not taken videos/ sound recordings of these conversations.

    You are right to disbelieve me.

    Let us await Supreme Court’s judgement. In the meanwhile I remain convinced that there is an effort underway to distort justice.

    Call me biased, call me confused, whatever you wish. I’m just me. I don’t trust politicians. I can’t believe that Modi is innocent. But when the final judgement is published, I might spend time to review the judgement.

    s

     
  3. Kishan

    Sir, good that you admitted your biased; that itself is a great thing.
    From whatever reports I have seen and read, I feel Tehelka also is deeply biased against BJP. It published a so called investigative report last year that said that some people in Godhra said that some Muslim girls were teased by Kar-Sevaks, and the train burning was a reaction to that incident.
    I don’t remember Tehelka doing any sting against any high Congress functionary. Is there or was there no corruption in Congress ? I think a sting operation is needed to reveal the sources of finances of Tehelka.
    Regarding communal politics it is the Congress who gave birth to and nurtured communalism in free India by being the originator of vote bank and symbolic appeasement politics. Shah Bano was a desperate attempt in that direction. BJP started to safeguard its vote bank much later.

     
  4. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Kishan

    In life we form stereotypes based on our average experience.

    On average, I have formed a view that BJP is a communal organisation. There is substantial evidence to support this belief. But like any other human I’m constrained. I don’t know everything that exists in this world. There may well be some decent people in BJP, but I can’t understand why BJP (or its branches, such as RSS) is so closely involved with most major communal events. Congress is also communal, so I don’t exonerate it one bit. Not just its entire history of blatant selling favours to Muslims, the Shah Bano case, and the attack on Sikhs after Indira Gandhi’s assassination, it is a miserable organisation. I detest it equally along with BJP.

    Tehelka is not my organisation. I try to stand for the truth. Where there is evidence provided by Tehelka, one should consider it on its merits, regardless of whether Congress has not been similarly ‘stung’.

    In this case I’m unable to comprehend (I’m a relative simple man) how hundreds could have been killed in this modern age, despite a powerful routine that is available to officers. I have myself taught in the National Academy and can’t understand how anyone would not have imposed severe curfews immediately. The thing doesn’t add up at all.

    It is this, taken along with many statements by learned senior judges (Human Rights commission/ others) who are convinced of Modi’s culpability, that prevents me from believing SIT’s report.

    I will wait till I am satisfied that the truth has indeed been found.

    Satyameva Jayate, that’s my belief.

    s

     
  5. Kishan

    Sanjeevji, Satyameva Jayate is my belief too. But Satya is so feeble, it is barely breathing in present day India. But, may be it will be healthy and victorious again.

     
  6. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    I hope good people will rise to the occasion. We can’t leave the country hostage to ruffians of all hues.

     
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