Amit Shah on 2002 Gujarat Riots: Breaking his silence on the 2002 Gujarat riots, Home Minister Amit Shah came in full support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In an exclusive interview with ANI, Shah touched on various aspects of the dastardly Gujarat Riots which claimed thousands of lives.
Shah said, "...reason for the riots was Godhra train burning. 59 people, incl a 16-day-old child, were set on fire. No parade was done, it's false. They were taken to Civil Hospital & bodies were taken by families to their homes in closed ambulances."
On PM Modi's stand
"Modi ji didn't do drama while appearing before SIT - come out in my support, call MLAs-MPs & stage dharna...If SIT wants to question CM,he himself is ready to cooperate. Why protest?" Modi ji set an example, showing how Constitution can be honoured. He was questioned but nobody staged dharna & workers didn't come to stand in solidarity with him...If those who levelled allegations have a conscience, they should apologise. A tall leader fought this 18-19-yr-long fight without saying a word&braving all pain like 'vishpaan' of Lord Shankar...I saw him suffering through this very closely. Only a strong-willed person could've taken stand to not say anything as case was sub-judice:
On Action being taken during riots
"As far as Gujarat Govt is concerned, we were not late. The day Gujarat Bandh call was given, we called Army that afternoon itself. Army takes some time to reach. There wasn't even a day's delay. Court appreciated it too. Everything was done (to control situation)...It takes time to control...Gill Sahab (ex-Punjab DGP, late KPS Gill) had said that he never saw a more neutral & prompt action in his life. Still, allegations were levelled even against him. There was no professional input that there would be such escalated reactions. No parade(of bodies of Godhra train burning victims)was done, it's false. They were taken to Civil Hospital & bodies were taken by families to their homes in closed ambulances."
"People (officers-administration) had done a good job. But there was anger due to the incident (Godhra train burning), and nobody had an inkling - neither the Police, not anyone else. Later it wasn't in anyone's hands."
"..Court said in judgement today that riots after burning of train (Godhra) weren't pre-planned but self-motivated. It dismissed Tehelka's sting operation because when the footage before&after it came to light, it was found that the sting op was politically motivated."
On Zakia Jafri plea
"Today SC said Zakia Jafri worked on someone else's instructions. NGO signed affidavits of several victims&they didn't even know. Everyone knows Teesta Setalvad's NGO was doing this. When UPA Govt came to power at that time, it helped the NGO. I read the judgement (24th June) hurriedly but it clearly mentions Teesta Setalvad's name. She had an NGO that gave such applications involving BJP workers, at all Police Stations. There was so much pressure by media that all applications were treated as truth."
On Police action
"Troika of BJP's political rivals, ideologically driven politically motivated journalists&some NGOs publicised the allegations. They had a strong ecosystem so everyone started believing lies to be truth.