Gujarat cop had told govt of minister ‘role’ in riots
Seven years before the Supreme Court ordered a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the alleged role of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi (58) and his administration for aiding and abetting the 2002 riots, the state police had informed the government about suspected role of a BJP leader and VHP-Bajrang Dal workers during the riots.india Updated: Apr 28, 2009 23:59 IST
To: DGP K Chakravarty
What it said: “On April 15, 2002 between 9.30 am and 9.45 am, there was an incident of stone pelting near Kapadia High School in Delhi Darwaja area… in this connection it has secretly been learnt a mob gathered at the spot... when Honourable Minister Shri Bharat Barot arrived in a private car and spoke to the mob. It was after he left that the mob started pelting stone.”
Barot to HT: “It is part of police records and I don’t know about it. I will let law take its course. I have many members from Muslim community supporting me.
To: Additional Chief Secretary Ashok Narayan
What it said: In Ahmedabad city, VHP and BD workers are collecting money from traders on pretext of providing protection from minority community. Traders are disgruntled.
VHP, BD are pressuring traders not to employ members of minority community. Traders are afraid of informing police.
Cases have been registered in which members of minority community are threatened from doing business outside their respective areas... They are disgruntled due to which sporadic incidents keep happening... VHP, BD workers are behind these cases.
In areas where property belonging to minority community was destroyed, they are being prevented from setting up shops. Intention of encroaching these properties can’t be ruled out. Above stated organizations are involved.
The letters, details of which are available with HT, are part of government records. And while the state sat on it, the SIT has not taken any cognisance of it.
In a April 19, 2002 letter, then Ahmedabad police commissioner P.C. Pande had informed then Director General of Police K. Chakravarty that BJP MLA Bharat Barot (then state civil supplies minister) is suspected to have aided and abetted a case of rioting in the city’s Delhi Darwaja area with support from Bajrang Dal workers.
In another letter on April 22, 2002, Pande had told Additional Chief Secretary Ashok Narayan that “groups providing support to the government are indulging in activities which can in future prove to be adding fuel to the fire.”
In the first case, five persons were arrested and released on bail with no action against Barot (58), the government choose to dump the second letter. Barot is a five-term sitting BJP MLA from Ahmedabad’s Dariyapur-Kazipur assembly constituency.
Pande, now Gujarat’s police chief, wrote the letters on the basis of inputs provided from the Special Branch. He could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
First Published: Apr 28, 2009 23:49 IST