Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said this week he would rectify lapses in implementing the Srikrishna Commission Report, but
has information showing that in the six years he has been in power, his government has done virtually nothing to press charges against those indicted for their involvement in the 1992-1993 riots — in which 900 people were killed.
The spotlight has once again been turned on the Commission’s findings because accused after accused in the bomb blasts trial has angrily asked the court why they should be punished while those indicted by the report are still free.
The serial bomb blasts that ripped through Mumbai in March 1993 killed 257 people, and came just two months after the riots. The Srikrishna Commission was set up to inquire into those riots, and submitted its report in 1998.
Using the Right to Information Act, Teesta Setalvad, a social activist who co-edits Communalism Combat, recovered status reports from the home department. These reports show that Deshmukh’s government exonerated many policemen after mere departmental inquiries and failed to appeal against judgments of lower courts that allowed indicted policemen to go free.
Sub Inspector Nikhil Kapse, who the Commission had indicted for “unprovoked” firing which killed seven Muslims, was even promoted after the riot report (for details on other cases, see page 2).
When HT asked Deshmukh about these cases, he declined to comment, but reiterated that he would ask Mumbai’s police commissioner to look into them. Deshmukh had already told minority leaders earlier this week that he would direct Maharashtra’s director general of police and police commissioner to identify indicted officers and initiate immediate punitive action against them.
Ultimately, many policemen may have only been doing the bidding of their higher-ups. Indeed, the Srikrishna Commission had also indicted several politicians. Tomorrow, we bring you details that Setalvad has recovered about the status of cases against these politicians.