After 10 years and 17 extensions, the two-member inquiry commission headed by justice GT Nanavati will submit its final report on the post-Godhra riots, in which 1,200 people died.
The commission, set up in March 2002, will place its report by March 31 before the Gujarat government.So far, it has examined more than 45,000 affidavits and applications, more than 4,200 incidents of riots in 20 districts from February 27 to May 30, 2002, and 1,016 witnesses including two former ministers - Gordhan Zadaphia, junior home minister in 2002 and IK Jadeja, urban development minister when the riots took place.
Among the police officials who have deposed so far, the two by IPS men RB Sreekumar, now retired, and Rahul Sharma have been sensational in the sense that they supposedly exposed the complicity of the authorities during and after the riots.
During his deposition, Sharma had submitted two CDs that contain call records of police officials, bureaucrats, ministers and other public functionaries when the riots were raging. On the other hand, Sreekumar filed nine affidavits reportedly exposing the role of the administration during and after the riots.
In 2008, the commission had submitted the report's first part, which dealt with the torching of the Sabarmati Express, in which 59 people were killed. The commission concluded the incident was a result of a "conspiracy" hatched to attack kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya.
In 2011 when the trial court passed its verdict on the Godhra case, it held the conspiracy theory valid and convicted 31 persons. Earlier this month, the Gujarat HC dismissed a plea seeking a direction to the commission to summon CM Narendra Modi for deposition.
Social activists fighting for justice for the victims of the riots have often been uneasy about the fact that the commission was set up by the state government, whose role was being probed.