SIT shielding Modi from prosecution: Ex-DGP
Former Gujarat DGP, RB Sreekumar on Thursday slammed the Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) for allegedly taking a pro-Narendra Modi line in the probe into the 2002 riots cases, to shield him from the prosecution.
In an open letter to the people, Sreekumar, who headed the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) during the riots period, has also made public his first statement before the SIT in May 2008.
He had then talked about how the conspiracy theory with regard to the Godhra train burning incident was floated by a top-ranking police officer.
In that statement, he had also mentioned how Commandant Khurshid Ahmed at the State Reserve Police (SRP) camp in Naroda-Patiya succumbed to pressure from higher authorities and BJP leaders, resulting in massacre of 95 persons from the minority community on February 28, 2002.
Sreekumar said that he was writing the letter to "people of India" as the last resort.
"For any helpless citizen, being dismayed over the inadequate response from the powers that be, an appeal to the real sovereigns is the last relief and remedy," letter says.
The former DGP said that he had submitted substantial evidence about sabotage of criminal justice system by the Modi government before the SIT through his nine affidavits and several letters.
"But SIT has been turning a Nelson's eye to any evidence incriminating to CM Narendra Modi and his collaborators".
"What could be the potential force prompting SIT for taking such an unabashed pro-Modi line in investigation of Mrs (Zakia) Jaffery's petition?" Sreekumar asked.
Evidence submitted by Sreekumar includes that related to alleged intimidation of witnesses, use of rewards and punishment to coerce officers to implement Modi government's agenda of 'Hindu sectarian mobilisation' after the Godhra train incident, anti-minority violence, fake encounters, etc.
In his statement before SIT on May 9, 2008, Sreekumar had stated that he was told by the then DGP, K Chakarvarthi, that Central IB joint director, Ahmedabad, Rajendra Kumar, had come up with the theory of ISI conspiracy behind Godhra incident.
With regard to Naroda-Patiya riots, Sreekumar had told the SIT that on the morning of February 28, 2002, he was informed by the SRPF group II commandant, Khurshid Ahmed that a group of over 500 Muslims including women and children were requesting shelter as they were being chased by armed mobs led by VHP workers.
Sreekumar claimed that he had ordered Ahmed to open the SRPF campus gates immediately and later sent a fax message confirming his oral order.
"But there was a pathetic and deplorable post-script in the whole affair. It is learnt from SRPF officers that by the afternoon of 28.2.2002, under pressure from higher authorities and BJP leaders, the Commandant had closed the gates to the refugees without informing me," according to the statement.
"Consequently, in front of SRPF Group-II entrance, nearly 100-130 Muslims were killed, many women were gang-raped and dead bodies were dumped in a nearby abandoned well."
Sreekumar said that he had informed the DGP about the SRPF and his orders to Ahmed to allow those seeking shelter inside the barracks.
"Then the DGP told me about a meeting convened by the chief minister Narendra Modi, on 27/2/2002 late evening, and his verbal instructions to officers "to allow Hindus to give vent to their anger," Sreekumar claimed.
"In my view, there is substantial chain of evidence to establish that the anti-minority genocide, following the Godhra train fire incident, was conceived, designed, organised, prepared and perpetrated by the then CM of Gujarat State Narendra Modi, his cabinet colleagues and Sangh Pariwar leaders."