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IB indicts state, warns Centre to act
By Shivanath Jha
|New Delhi: The Intelligence Bureau, which has been investigating the reasons for the outbreak of communal violence in Gujarat following the horrific Godhra incident, is now under tremendous pressure from the Union home ministry as it is believed to have found that the Narendra Modi-led BJP government in the state was squarely to blame for its failure to prevent the riots.
The IB’s preliminary report, which is likely to be submitted to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee later this week, is understood to have indicted local politicians and religious body leaders, including those of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal, as well as some businessmen with close links to the underworld, for instigating the communal violence, highly-placed sources said.
Terming the entire episode as a ‘man-made holocaust’, the intelligence findings said that ‘if timely action is not initiated to prevent retaliation and a criminal investigation is not launched against the culprits, including those who have been assigned the task of controlling the communal frenzy, the situation is likely to be worsen in the future’. Besides identifying a number of local-level political leaders and criminals who had taken the lead in instigating the violence, the IB report also reveals the name of some businessmen having close links to the underworld and smugglers engaged in illegal transfers of arms and ammunition, explosives and contraband from across the border.
The agency’s investigators has severely criticised the role of the local police and of other top law enforcement officials. It has recommended to the Centre that criminal investigations should be launched wherever needed, adding that some local leaders with close ties to top-level ruling party leaders and the heads of some religious organizations had criminalised politics in the state. ‘The local hardcore criminals are utilised by them. The speeches of political leaders of both communities have further aggravated the situation’, it added.
IB sources said while Muslims constitute only 12 per cent of the state’s population – which is roughly similar to other parts of the country – ‘it is true that some of them are allegedly involved in the smuggling of arms and contraband from across the border’ (Asian Age, 24 April 2002).
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