Prominent Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband's new head Maulana Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi, who had recently praised development works in Gujarat, has said that Chief Minister Narendra Modi cannot be be given a "clean chit" in the 2002 riots.
"Those who were involved in Gujarat riots should be punished," the cleric told reporters last evening at the seminary after taking charge as Vice Chancellor and added that he has never praised the BJP leader.
"How can something like this be said about a cruel man like him. I have not given a clean chit to him (Modi).... We will pray that those who were involved (in 2002 Gujarat riots) are not spared.... Those who were killed will not return," Vastanvi, who hails from Gujarat, said.
The Vice Chancellor said he raised the point of the state's development because it involves the people of every community in Gujarat and both central and state governments were responsible for uplift of the state.
The Vice-Chancellor had earlier this week asked Muslims to leave behind the 2002 Godhra riots while saying that majority of Muslims in the state were prospering.
"I believe that most of the Muslims in Gujarat are prospering. Excluding a few, who are embroiled in one case or the other, most of them are happy with their work. Their financial condition is also good," he had said.
"It's time Muslims left it (Godhra riots) behind and moved on," he said.
Maulana Vastanvi, who was appointed as the VC of Deoband on January 10, said it was great opportunity to work for the leading Islamic institution.