`Ex-Guj Min spoke of Modi complicity in riots`

Haren Pandya said to a former HC judge during his visit to Gujarat that Modi allegedly directed the police to give Hindus a free hand to vent their anger during the riots.

Ahmedabad: In fresh problems for Narendra
Modi, a former High Court judge on Friday said ex-Home Minister
Haren Pandya told him during his visit to Gujarat after 2002
riots as part of a fact finding team that the Chief Minister
allegedly directed the police to give Hindus a free hand to
vent their anger during the riots.

Justice H Suresh, a retired Bombay High Court judge, also
alleged today that the Supreme Court-appointed Special
Investigation Team (SIT) appears to have ignored the
statements recorded by it of him and another member of the
People`s Tribunal Justice P B Sawant, a former Supreme Court

Both the judges were members of the fact-finding team
headed by veteran jurist and former Supreme Court judge
Justice V R Krishna Iyer, which had gone to Gujarat in
March-April 2002 after the post-Godhra riots.

Suresh said the evidence of the tribunal given to SIT
on alleged instructions given to police by Modi to teach
Muslims a lesson hours after the Godhra train attack was based
on what was told to them by Pandya on May 13, 2002. Pandya was
murdered on March 26, 2003.

Suresh said the Tribunal had an audio recording of
Pandya`s statement to it in which he said Modi had called a
meeting on the night of February 27 hours after the Godhra
train attack where he allegedly told the police to look the
other way during the riots.

"In that (the recording) he (Pandya) has stated that
there was a meeting at chief Minister`s place, where he
directed the police what to do and what not to do. He told the
police actually that they should give free hand to the Hindus,
who would act in their own way," Justice Suresh said to a news agency.

He said Pandya`s statement was relevant and "cannot be
ignored" in a court of law.

"I was there, Justice Sawant was there and he(Pandya)
said this in our presence," the former judge said, adding "the
SIT recorded out statements".

He also said that the tribunal had given the SIT the
audio recording of Pandya.

The SIT last week submitted its final report to a local
court on its probe into allegations of Modi`s involvement in
the riots here and it is believed to have given a clean chit
to the Chief Minister.


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