`Commission should collect info on riot handling`

Former state DGP (intelligence) R B Sreekumar has suggested that Nanavati Commission should collect info about measures taken by police officers.

Last Updated: Oct 31, 2011, 23:23 PM IST

Ahmedabad: Former state DGP (intelligence) R
B Sreekumar has suggested that Nanavati Commission, which is
probing post-Godhra riots, should collect information about
the measures taken by police officers of those areas which
witnessed relatively less communal violence in 2002.

In a letter written last week, Sreekumar has urged the
Commission to "get information...documents from Commissioners
of Police of Surat and Rajkot cities, Superintendents of
Police and District Magistrates, in whose jurisdiction the
communal violence was purposefully controlled and public order
was sustained (in 2002)".

"The information on operational strategy, tactics, ground
-level methodology, techniques of leadership...adopted by
these officers during the time of protracted 2002 anti-
minority bloodbath in Gujarat will be of great relevance to
the Commission."

It would be useful to get affidavits from IPS officers V
K Gupta, Manoj Shashidhar, Satish Verma, Narasimha Komar,
Vivek Shrivastava, Rahul Sharma, MD Antani, Upendra Singh,
Keshav Kumar, etc on preventive measures taken, the letter
says.

Information of measures taken to contain communal
violence needs to be collected as per Terms of Reference of
the Commission, Sreekumar has claimed.

The letter states that though media reports alleged that
police officers committed acts of omission and commission to
facilitate the carnage, "there are laudable exceptions of
senior police officers scrupulously implementing the wisdom
enshrined in regulations on prevention and containment of
riots..."

Of the 26 police districts and four commissionerates, no
riot-related deaths occurred in Amreli, Narmada, Ahwa-Dang,
Jamnagar, Navasari, Porbandar, Surat Rural, Valsad,
Surendranagar, Rajkot Rural and Kutch districts, the letter
says.

Besides, the toll was low in five other districts and in
the Commissionerates of Surat and Rajkot cities.

In Surat, the second most populous city of state, only
seven deaths were reported in communal violence, in contrast
to 326 deaths in Ahmedabad and 32 in Vadodara, it says.

The Gujarat government, while portraying the 2002 riots
as a spontaneous articulation of ire against a community
following the Godhra train burning incident, underplayed or
belittled "the praise-worthy and model performance of law
enforcers" in areas with zero or negligible violence,
Sreekumar adds.

PTI