Social activists and the opposition Congress party have lambasted the Gujarat government for destroying official records relating to the 2002 communal riots, saying this made the fair trial of riot cases virtually impossible.
The Narendra Modi government, they said, destroyed the documents to hide the truth behind the riots, in which at least 1,200 people were killed within a few weeks.
On Wednesday, the ruling BJP government lawyer SB Vakil told the Nanavati Commission, which is probing the riots, that authorities had destroyed documents and reports of the state intelligence bureau in 2007, in line with regulations.
“How could it be done? It is an audacious act committed with impunity,” said RB Sreekumar, who was additional director general of the state intelligence bureau from April to September 2002.
Sreekumar said the panel should direct that a complaint with the police be registered for the destruction of valuable records that were part of the legal process concerning cases related to the riots.
“Since April 2002, the Supreme Court has been monitoring important cases, but the state authorities have torn down records with evidentiary value,” Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhvadia said. “This must have been done to suppress the truth from coming out to haunt those who perpetrated the communal carnage.”
Activist Hanif Lakdawala said, “The state government has destroyed the evidence, which could have potentially nailed the role of the authorities.”