Fact: This much-repeated allegation is wrong. Narendra Modi frantically called the Army units to Ahmedabad on February 28- as per the report of The Hindu the next day. India Today weekly’s report ‘Chronology of a Crisis’ on this topic in its issue dated 18 March 2002 also proves this beyond doubt.
Before seeing this issue, let us remember the following facts. In an interview given by Narendra Modi to Outlook magazine in its issue dated 18 March 2002–
“Were you playing the fiddle while Gujarat burned?
No. Contrary to what is now being projected, I brought sanity within 72 hours of the violent outbreak…”
Note Narendra Modi’s sentence “No. Contrary to what is now being projected, I brought sanity within 72 hours of the violent outbreak.” In other words, the projection against Modi started AFTER the riots. We have already seen the reports of the newspapers like The Hindu, The Telegraph to note that there were no allegations against Narendra Modi or the Gujarat Government at the time of the actual riots. They started much later.
Doordarshan news said on 3rd March 2002 (Sunday) at night in the English bulletin: “Violence has ended in a record time in Ahmedabad…Only 3 days…In the past it would take many weeks… Today (Sunday) curfew was relaxed, people bought items from bazaar…”. No allegation against the state government but praise of controlling violence in just 3 days! All accusations on Narendra Modi and demands for his resignation, dismissal started AFTER the riots. This was because, the media wanted some scapegoat to be made for the riots. It wanted Modi to sack a few police officers, drop a minister or two. But Modi did nothing of the sort. He did not blame anyone, did not make anyone a scapegoat. In an interview to NDTV broadcast in March/April 2004, Narendra Modi said to Shekhar Gupta (Editor of The Indian Express): “You all wanted that someone be made scapegoat. I did not do that. I allowed you to break all pots on my head alone. You have all decided, all these riots happened under this man (Narendra Modi). Until this man is removed from the Chief Minister’s post, we will not rest in peace. My best wishes to you in your mission.” Narendra Modi did not resign, and the BJP did not dismiss him, so the media was livid.
The fact is that the Army staged a flag march in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Godhra on 1st March- i.e. the 2nd day. So there was no question of giving anyone a free hand. The blatant lie was repeated many times in the media. The TV channel CNN-IBN on its Hindi channel reported on 26 October 2007 by writing on TV screens: “There was given 3 days time to kill in Gujarat”. The fact is- out of the 3 days the Army was present in 2 days and the extent of violence was far less as compared to the first day. The Hindu itself reported on 3rd March 2002 that the situation improved in Ahmedabad on 2nd March i.e. the 3rd day of the riots. The Tribune reported on 3rd March 2002 that:
“(On 2nd March) Ahmedabad, the worst hit by the communal flare-up in the wake of Godhra train killings, was virtually back to normal…” That is, the Gujarat Government managed to control riots in the state in 3 days after Godhra, and in only 2 days in a communally ultra-sensitive place like Ahmedabad!
Moreover-there was already a minority backlash on the 2nd day of the riots- i.e. on 1st March the Muslims started a backlash in Ahmedabad- as reported by The Hindu the next day. The question of the next two days does not arise, even on February 28- when the Army was not present- the police shot dead 10 Hindus in Ahmedabad alone and 16 were injured. 700 were arrested and close to 2,000 tear gas shells were also burst. The police fired more than 1,000 rounds- out of which 600 were fired in Ahmedabad alone-on February 28. Police saved 2500 Muslims from certain death in Sanjeli- a town in North Gujarat on 1st March 2002 i.e. the 2nd day of the riots.
Narendra Modi did not even give 3 minutes, not to talk of 3 days to the rioters. He had ordered 827 preventive arrests on February 27 itself (even the SIT appointed by judges like Aftab Alam, Arijit Pasayat admitted 827 preventive arrests)- and given shoot-at-sight at Godhra on February 27 itself at 9:45 AM- only 2 hours after the Godhra carnage. The entire police force was deployed in Gujarat in view of apprehension that riots might break out on February 27 itself. The Rapid Action Force was deployed in Ahmedabad and other sensitive areas and the Centre sent in CRPF personnel-on February 27 itself! All this was reported by various English newspapers-like The Indian Express, The Times of India, The Tribune, The Hindustan Times etc the next day- i.e. 28 February.
Also- Defence Minister George Fernandes was in Ahmedabad on 1st March at 1:00 AM on Narendra Modi’s request. And the next day- he was bravely on Ahmedabad’s streets at a great risk to personal life. If Modi gave a free hand for 3 days- then why did he call George Fernandes?
On Feb 27 itself- www.rediff.com reported- “The situation became tense as news of the incident spread to other parts of the state prompting the state government to initiate precautionary security measures. Security has been tightened in Godhra and other parts of Gujarat.”
The Link for this report is:
Rediff.com also reported quoting PTI on Feb 28 evening that-“The army has been asked to stand by and the Rapid Action Force and the Central Industrial Security Force have been deployed in Ahmedabad and other places.”
The link for this report is-
Rediff.com reported on Feb 27 itself- after Godhra that- “Two companies of the Rapid Action Force and one company of the State Reserve Police were deployed at Godhra to guard against further outbreak of violence.”
The link for the report:http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/feb/27train4.htm
On Feb 28 curfew was imposed in Baroda at 8 Am in the morning itself as reported by rediff.com the same day. The report says-
“Indefinite curfew was imposed in the city from 0800 hours following the stabbing incidents, a senior police official said.
Curfew had been imposed in the six police station areas of the walled city (i.e. Ahmedabad) and RAF and CISF companies have been deployed in sensitive areas, Police Commissioner Deen Dayal Tuteja said.
Indefinite curfew has also been imposed in Lunawada town of Panchmahal district after 0200 hours on Wednesday night following incidents of arson and looting, he said.
Meanwhile, indefinite curfew, imposed in Godhra town after the attack on the train on Wednesday, continued on Thursday without any relaxation.
No untoward incident was reported during the curfew so far, police said.
The situation had remained peaceful and under control in other parts of the state during the night, police said.”
The link is- http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/feb/28train1.htm
On the 2nd day of the riots, Shoot-at-sight orders were extended to Ahmedabad as well. The report of rediff.com on 1st March 2002 was-
“Alarmed by the unabated incidents of violence in the city, the Gujarat government on Friday issued shoot-at-sight orders to the police against those indulging in arson and violence.
The announcement was made by Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad, official sources said. Modi has issued directives to the police to deal ‘strictly with arsonists and if need be shoot-at-sight any person indulging in rioting’, they added.
Meanwhile, the army staged flag marches in the violence-hit areas of Ahmedabad – Daraipur, Shahpur, Shahibaug and Naroda – to instill confidence among the people as unabated violence has claimed 111 lives in the city alone so far.
The army personnel were out in different areas like Daraipur, Shahpur, Shahibaug and Naroda, police said.”
In chapter 2 we have already seen the reports of The Hindu and The Indian Express to know the steps taken by the Gujarat government to curb the violence. The Telegraph-published from Kolkata also reported on 1st March 2002-
“ (On Feb 28) The Vajpayee government, alarmed that law and order were spiralling out of control, ordered deployment of the army in the state. The army has already begun pre-deployment drills in violence-scarred areas and will be out latest by tomorrow morning. Defence minister George Fernandes is travelling to Gujarat tomorrow…Curfew was clamped in 26 towns… “There is a fire inside us. Our blood is boiling,” Mangalben, a woman from Dariapur, said. “What is the fault of those children who died? There is a volcano of anger.”
In other words, there was a volcano of anger among the masses- whose blood was boiling after the Muslims brutally roasted 59 kar sewaks including 15 children in Godhra. On the events of 1st March 2002, The Telegraph reported in its issue dated 2nd March:
“A funeral procession cast away its veil of mourning and exploded into a mob of killers, torching houses inside which the pursued were huddled. Official sources said eight people died in the incident, but unofficial estimates put the toll at above 30.
An agency report suggested vengeance for the death of three persons earlier in the day as the motive for the attack at Pandarwada, 70 km from Godhra….
Despite the presence of the army — some 3,500 soldiers have arrived in the state — in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot, the rioting has not stopped.”
And they say that Narendra Modi gave 3 days to the rioters to kill! They demand that the BJP and Narendra Modi should ‘apologize’ for the Gujarat riots. They should realize and so also the BJP spokespersons who come on TV and miserably fail to point out the truth- that it is not Narendra Modi who should apologize- but the entire media- for lying and lying, exaggerating, defaming Narendra Modi. The media can be tried under Section 153-A (Creating enmity between two groups)- because of its one-sided reporting- and Section 500 of IPC- (Defaming)- for needlessly defaming BJP, Sangh Parivar and Narendra Modi- and also tarnishing the image of India.
This tale of lies and myths is unending. It can go on and on and on. An enterprising writer would do well to compile an encyclopedia of these media lies on the entire Gujarat scenario. He can start with media lies on Godhra, on concocting imaginary ‘provocations’ for Godhra, the lies concocted on the post-Godhra riots-such as the extent of the riots, the number of people killed, the imaginary tales and stories of unnamed victims, the rapes and murders of innocent people, etc etc. And he can conclude with the media’s malicious reporting during the Gujarat Assembly elections of December 2002 when the media was the Congress’ pillar and tried to defeat the BJP. The BJP, which suffers the maximum damage from these lies, has unwisely allowed the media to escape the courts for one-sided, malicious lies.