GC Murmu – Principal Secretary to Narendra Modi – Coaching witnesses to subvert truth

Very rarely do people get to know about the inner workings of how Government functions to subvert truth. We could get this rare glimpse thanks to two police officers of Gujarat.

First one being Addl DGP R B Sreekumar, the then Chief of the State IB department had appeared before the Nanavati Commission but before he could depose, Mr. GC Murmu Principal Secretary to Modi and Arvind Pandya, official counsel to the commission tried to coach Sreekumar to twist the question whether the burning of the S6 coach of Sabarmati Express was a pre-planned conspiracy. The discussions were taped by Sreekumar. We are producing extracts of conversations between Sreekumar, Murmu and Arvind Pandya that would establish the attempt to twists the facts of Godhra.

Narendra Modi with his Principal Secretary GC Murmu
Narendra Modi with his Principal Secretary GC Murmu

The extract of the transcript of the audio tape of conversations between Sreekumar, Murmu and Arvind Pandya in relation to the Nanvati Commission: (the dates referred to as 22/2, 27/2 etc. are for the month of February, 2002 and the Coach got burnt on 27/2 at Godhra)

Murmu: They ask generally compound questions, specially Mukul Sinha, he will ask a very compounding question, in one question there will be three four questions, first, you should not get hasty, not very quick in answering questions, first you should understand each and every question quietly and then answer.

Arvind Pandya: See, I know Mukul Sinha for last two years, I studied him, he asks first, complicated question. He puts 3-4 questions in one question. See…

Murmu: First he put a compound question, question, long question it will have 3-4 questions and conveniently he will put questions to get something from you, as affirmative response.

Sreekumar: I will answer question by question.

Pandya: Presume that I am Mukul Sinha, I am asking you…being IB department…whether Godhra incident is a previous conspiracy, which affected activities of IB.
Murmu: What did IB know about Godhra carnage?

Pandya: From 20th to 22nd when kar sevaks were moving from Ahmedabad, did IB have the information?

Pandya: On 22/5 conspiracy was known. Then, had IB got the knowledge. IB should have that much knowledge, this they will ask you.

Sreekumar: No, I may say that… I don’t know because I was not in-charge at that time and was not dealing the case.

Pandya: They will ask what IB was doing?
Sreekumar: As far as I remember…no reports.

Murmu: They may ask why you had no information about the conspiracy.

Pandya: It is a serious incident, you did not have information about movement of kar sevaks?

Sreekumar: Whatever information we got, they have been shared with the concerned people.

Pandya: You did not do the investigation, this is the main information…that is your duty…entire atmosphere of Gujarat was affected.

Murmu: What he is asking, that the conspiracy came out…how IB in the State deals with that question? Police came out with a theory that there was conspiracy. How IB missed it there?

Murmu: …IB failure will be a question…second question…

Murmu: You agreed that IB failure, you will be asked like you are not having such information. Subsequently, in the investigation came out conspiracy. Will you admit IB failure? This is an IB failure.

Sreekumar: I don’t, I will explain…

Sreekumar: IB is to collect information, which has a bearing on the objectives of the department. The intelligence department is not conducting any investigation or post-mortem of incident.

Pandya: This question will certainly come whether IB had any information? What did IB do on 22/5, 27/2 to 22/5? First question will come, before the incident from 27/2 to 25/5 was failure, for this purpose only you are called.

Murmu: At least you have to say, we are saying that UP Government did not inform, they informed only after 28/2. Subsequently…on record it is not there.

Sreekumar: It’s not my duty, I have to comment upon from 9th onwards. Complication is already there. Central IB also did not give the information.

Murmu: At least you have to say, we are saying that UP Government did not inform, they informed only after 28/2. Subsequently…on record it is not there.

Sreekumar: It’s not my duty, I have to comment upon from 9th onwards. Complication is already there. Central IB also did not give the information.
Murmu: …Basically they will ask very very pertinent questions. They will ask you…IB has failed…IB has further failed…IB has reported. This report has warned the government, what happened to IB report. They will try to get from your mouth that there was pressure.

Sreekumar: I can explain…

Pandya: You should tell the commission that no more better steps can be taken by the government.
Sreekumar: I cannot comment upon government…

Pandya: Being annoyed, you are not understanding me properly. They are discussing with you and prompt you and make you confused.
Pandya: They will ask in a city like Godhra, conspiracy is hatched. Do you have a source there?

Sreekumar: Sure…I cannot comment upon. The source matter is a top secret matter, even we can refuse to comment.

Pandya: Quite right. The subject of informants are secret.

Sreekumar: Primarily…I don’t know about that.

Pandya: Are you feeling it so now, that it is a conspiracy?

Sreekumar: No.

Murmu: They want you to do two things…in the whole…intelligence failure.

Pandya: Intelligence failure … utilisation of intelligence and utilisation of government machinery.

Murmu: All these will come afterwards.

Pandya: The theory will be that for favouring Hindus, the whole machinery has been slanted.

Pandya: That will be the failure of government exclusively and that of yours.

Murmu: It will be tried, i.e. by the Advocate cross examining, whether your IB personnel made in any progress or not i.e. in detecting conspiracy.

Pandya: The government has a slanted attitude.

Murmu: No. 2, your duty is that not to go deep in to the veracity, i.e. whether there was government failure, etc. You are for processing the information, disseminating the same and thereby bring in to the notice of relevant persons.
Murmu: Specially advocate will put compound question and try to put something in your mouth. You should not reply very quickly and if you like to see some record do that aaram se…

Pandya: I am telling you, he will prompt a question, i.e., asking for a date, the answer will be here and there, this question will be for confusing you, and in confusion you will change the line, everywhere it happened like that.

Murmu: He will ask, this is true? you ask which one?…

Pandya: You as which report?

Sreekumar: I will be clear…

Pandya: Whatever brief we are giving you, we are telling every witness.

Shri GL Singal, an accused officer of the Ishrat Jahan case had taped the conversations in the office of the Advocate General’s office in November, 2011. Here also Murmu is present trying to persuade the AG to help out the accused officers of Ishrat encounter. A small extract of transcript of the audio tape is reproduced below:

ADVOCATE GENERAL: They want to do two things


ADVOCATE GENERAL: They want to do two things… Mukul Sinha is in league with Satish Verma


ADVOCATE GENERAL: They want to do the thing in the way that the second FIR is registered, these people get arrested and the investigation progresses..

PRAFUL PATEL, STATE MINISTER OF HOME: shall make every possible effort- shall make every possible effort…

ADVOCATE GENERAL: why….Why…. You have all… Home Minister, Law Minister……………………….

PRAFUL PATEL, STATE MINISTER OF HOME: I had taken the risk to tell your Verma, Satish Verma in my bungalow, if you want to write on my name, go ahead and write…


PRAFUL PATEL, STATE MINISTER OF HOME: Four hours.. I had sent him from my house

P.JADEGA: For these boys…nothing else can be done…in the police circle where I do not have any acquaintance.. but I wish that it is done through you….

PRAFUL PATEL, STATE MINISTER OF HOME: It is a record that as the Home Minister of the State, I continuously spoke to such a person for four hours…. (Referring to his talk with Satish Verma in his bungalow)

ADVOCATE GENERAL: It is.. it is..

PRAFUL PATEL, STATE MINISTER OF HOME: I did it by considering a part of the responsibility of the State Government..

ADVOCATE GENERAL: Amit bhai is constantly calling me

PRAFUL PATEL, STATE MINISTER OF HOME: Yes-Yes, I just spoke to him..

P.JADEGA: From the time he came to know, he started from Bharuch at quarter to two in the night..

A K SHARMA IPS: Messages were coming to speak to him but my phone call had come. You please contact him…