Was with DGP during riots: Former Guj minister

Last Updated: Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 17:50

Ahmedabad: Former Gujarat minister IK
Jadeja on Saturday admitted before the Nanavati Commission that he
had spent about three hours in the DGP`s office on the day the
2002 riots were most intense, but claimed of not interfering
in police`s work there.

The Commission, comprising Justices (Retd) G T Nanavati
and Akshay Mehta, is probing the 2002 Gujarat riots.
During the cross-examination, Jadeja conceded that he had
gone to the DGP office in Gandhinagar on February 28, the day
the rioting was most intense in Gujarat.

Jadeja, then a cabinet minister in charge of urban
development ministry, said he was in the DGP office from about
11 AM to 2 PM on the instructions of the (then) Minister of
State for Home, Gordhan Zadafia. Jadeja has been accused of
being at the DGP office and interfering in the police`s work.

He told the Commission that Zadafia had asked him to be
at the DGP office, so as to avoid "communication gap" between
the police and the state government.

Jadeja was asked whether he gave any instruction to the
DGP to control the riots. He said "no". "I was not there to
interfere in the work of the Home department but just to
ensure that there was no communication gap," he said.

When asked whether he had got any information from the
DGP during the period which he could have passed on to the
government, he said "no".

The cross-examination was conducted by advocate Mukul
Sinha who represents some of the riot victims through his NGO
Jan Sangarsh Manch, and Congress` lawyer Hiralal Gupta.

Zadafia has now left BJP to form his own outfit,
Maha-Gujarat Janata Party.
To the question how his mobile phone record showed his
location to be Ahmedabad`s Sabarmati area during this time,
Jadeja said, "In 2002, mobile network had not developed much
and despite being in Gandhinagar, my location showed that I
was in Ahmedabad."

Jadeja also denied that he had spoken to any other police
official, including the then Ahmedabad city police
commissioner P C Pande or joint commissioner M K Tandon.

The lawyers also asked Jadeja how he, a cabinet-rank
minister, had taken instructions from Zadafia, a junior
minister. Jadeja replied that in the times of natural
calamities or man-made disasters, the government worked as a

Jadeja also said he was not aware of the widespread
violence while he was at the DGP office, but later he came to
know about it through television channels and newspapers.

The former minister, who is now a BJP spokesperson, also
said he was not aware of any meeting of top police officials
called by the Chief Minister Narendra Modi on February 27,
2002, after the Godhra train incident.

Jadeja is the second minister of the Modi government
after Zadafia to have been cross-examined before the


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First Published: Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 17:49

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