Modi wanted Muslims to be taught a lesson: top cop

Ahmedabad: A senior police officer from Gujarat, Sanjiv Bhatt, has accused Chief Minister Narendra Modi of wanting to teach Muslims “a lesson” after the Godhra train attack in 2002 killed 59 Hindus. Modi reportedly told senior officials that emotions were running high among Hindus following the burning of the Sabarmati Express at Godhra, the Indian Police Service (IPS) officer said in an affidavit to the Supreme Court.

Most of the dead were ticketless Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists, returning to Gujarat from Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. The train burning led to communal violence that left at least 1,000 people dead across Gujarat. “This time the situation warranted that the Muslims be taught a lesson to ensure that such incidents do not recur ever again,” Bhatt quoted the chief minister as saying in his affidavit.

“The chief minister expressed the view that the emotions were running very high among the Hindus and it was imperative that they be allowed to vent out their anger.”

Modi reportedly made these remarks when a section of officers told him that bringing the bodies of the train burning victims to Ahmedabad from Godhra would only inflame passions.

Bhatt, presently principal of the State Reserve Police Centre in Junagarh, said in the affidavit: “The effects of these directions given by the chief minister were widely manifest in the half hearted approach and the evident lack of determination on the part of the police while dealing with the widespread incidents of orchestrated violence (from Feb 28, 2002).” Bhatt was then based in Gandhinagar as deputy commissioner of intelligence in the State Intelligence Bureau.
MG News Desk

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 May 2011 on page no. 7

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