Narendra Modi now feeling "at peace"
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: A day after a court here upheld the closure of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) report probing the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat, state Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday reiterated that the judgement represented the "triumph of truth".
In his much-awaited over 1,000 word-long blog post, Modi said that he was "shaken to the core" by the “mindless violence” in his state in 2002 and described a "harrowing ordeal” he had gone through in those days “at a personal level”.
Modi had on Thursday said he wanted to share his "inner thoughts and feelings with the nation at large", and on Friday, in his first public statement on the 2002 sectarian riots, he said: "I was shaken to the core. `Grief`, `sadness`, `misery`, `pain`, `anguish`, `agony` - mere words could not capture the absolute emptiness one felt on witnessing such inhumanity.”
Modi termed the post-Godhra riots as a "crippling blow to an already shattered and hurting Gujarat" and the court verdict made him feel "at peace".
He said he took over as the 14th chief minister of the state on October 07, 2001, and was given the responsibility to "soothe and rebuild" after the January 26, 2001, devastating Bhuj earthquake.
"... however, the mindless violence of 2002 dealt us another unexpected blow."
"On one side was the pain of the victims of the earthquake, and on the other, the pain of the victims of the riots," Modi said in his blog.
Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party`s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, called Thursday`s court verdict a triumph of truth.
Modi has been blamed for not stopping the rioters. He had also been denied a visa to US for the riots.
Writing ahead of the upcoming 2014 General Elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party`s prime ministerial candidate said: “As if all the suffering was not enough, I was also accused of the death and misery of my own loved ones, my Gujarati brothers and sisters. Can you imagine the inner turmoil and shock of being blamed for the very events that have shattered you!”
"For so many years, they incessantly kept up their attack, leaving no stone unturned. What pained even more was that in their overzealousness to hit at me for their narrow personal and political ends, they ended up maligning my entire state and country. This heartlessly kept reopening the wounds that we were sincerely trying to heal," he said.
"In decisively confronting this great turmoil, I had to single-mindedly focus all the strength given to me by the almighty, on the task of peace, justice and rehabilitation; burying the pain and agony I was personally wracked with."
The BJP leader added that Gujarat government responded to the violence more "swiftly and decisively than ever done before in any previous riots in the country".
Defending himself, Modi mentioned in the blog: "I had appealed to the people of Gujarat on the day of the Godhra train burning itself; fervently urging for peace and restraint to ensure lives of innocents were not put at risk. I had repeatedly reiterated the same principles in my daily interactions with the media in those fateful days of February-March 2002 as well; publically underlining the political will as well as moral responsibility of the government to ensure peace, deliver justice and punish all guilty of violence. You will also find these deep emotions in my recent words at my Sadbhavana fasts, where I had emphasised how such deplorable incidents did not behove a civilised society and had pained me deeply."
Communal riots broke in Gujarat in February 2002 after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims was torched in Godhra, prompting a wave of reprisal attacks against Muslims.
In a major relief for the Gujarat Chief Minister, a local court on Thursday dismissed a petition by Zakia Jafri, widow of Congress leader Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the 2002 riots, challenging the SIT`s closure report.
That report had given a clean chit to Modi and 58 others in the communal violence.
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