Chief minister Narendra Modi was questioned by AK Malhotra, member of the Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT), at the probe team's office in Gandhinagar. Earlier, the Apex Court had asked the SIT to look into the allegations leveled against Modi and 61 others in the complaint filed by
Given below are some of the key allegations leveled against the chief minister and what Modi told the SIT in reply. These are taken from the final report of the SIT which has given Modi a clean chit and exonerated him of all charges.
On the charge that officials who had played a dubious role were rewarded
The SIT has said that this allegation was vague, false and without any basis. Modi had told the SIT that postings and transfers were the prerogative of the government. Further, in an election year, those who have completed about three years at a particular post are transferred by the govt, as otherwise the election commission transfers them, the chief minister had said.
In this chain of transfers, those who had put in less than three years at a particular place were also transferred and it cannot be said that the postings and transfers were punitive in nature, Modi told the SIT.
On pliant officers getting post-retirement jobs
The SIT says that in his reply to this allegation, Modi said that there are several government institutions in which there is a provision for the employment of retired officers. Some of these institutions are Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission, State Election commission Gujarat public service commission, etc.
Modi further said that there is a long list of departments in which only retired persons are appointed. His education advisor Kirit Joshi was earlier adviser to Indira Gandhi. One Bukhari who was earlier a government officer, was engaged by him to supervise the relief operations after the communal riots.
PC Pande formerly DGP, Gujarat, was appointed honorary chairman of the police housing corporation on a very nominal monthly honorarium. Manjula Subramanium, IAS, who was formerly in the PMO, was appointed state vigilance commissioner after her retirement.
On ‘conspiracy’ behind the riots
Modi told the SIT that he had been performing his duties with utmost respect for the Constitution and the rule of law. A meeting to take stock of the situation and review the law and order situation was held on February 27, 2002 with high officials of the state as that was his constitutional duty. Modi alleged that Zakia had been levelling wild allegations of criminal conspiracy and subversion of rule of law.
On the meeting held on February 27, 2002
Modi told the SIT that it was his constitutional duty to review the situation and ensure the safety, security and development of the people of Gujarat. He said that at the meeting, he told officials that law and order be maintained at all cost and had also appealed to people to maintain harmony. He told the SIT that he had asked the concerned officials to keep in touch with local army authorities and had held a series of such law and order review meetings thereafter and addressed the press also.
On what he had done to check the riots
Modi told the probe team that he had addressed the press and issued press statements appealing to people to maintain harmony and that his appeal for peace and communal harmony was aired on Doordarshan as well. He further said that he had requested the Union home minister and the defense minister to expedite the deployment of the army.
On rehabilitation of riot victims
The chief minister said that relief and rehabilitation measures were initiated immediately and compensation packages were announced and implemented. Modi further said that perhaps for the first time in the country, a committee was constituted under the chairmanship of the governor to review rehabilitation efforts.
This high-level committee included leader of the opposition, members from the chamber of commerce, members from prominent NGOs etc, the SIT quotes Modi as saying.