Narendra Modi lied to SIT during his interrogation – Part 1 – Godhra Train Burning pre-planned or not?

Narendra Modi was asked 71 Questions (PDF Copy) by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) as part of their investigation in the Gujarat genocide. We will analyze Narendra Modi’s answers over several posts and show how Narendra Modi blatantly lied to the investigating officers of SIT and how the SIT completely ignored his lies.

We will start with the statement which laid the foundation of Modi’s political career – Gujarat Government and Narendra Modi had repeatedly claimed that the Godhra Train Burning was a pre-planned act of terrorism right from the day 1. This was the basis of the violent backlash from the majority community as the Chief Minister himself was announcing from the roof top that the train burning act was pre-planned before any investigation was done. However when asked by SIT, Narendra Modi completely denied having said so.

Narendra-Modi-Godhra-Pre-Planned

Q.10 Did you declare the Godhra incident as pre-planned and that Pakistan/ISI hands were behind the Godhra incident? If so, on what basis?

Ans. I did not utter any such words in the Assembly. Of course, the media had put some questions to me about it, but I had told that nothing could be said till the investigation was complete.

So Narendra Modi claimed before the SIT that he never expressed before the media that Godhra was pre-planned and that ‘nothing could be said till the investigation was complete‘. Now lets look at some of the interviews Narendra Modi gave to various media-outlets. These interviews cannot be denied since they were also published verbatim on Narendra Modi’s old website.

1. Interview to Tribune on March 9, 2002 also published on Narendra Modi’s website.

Q: The state government is giving compensation of Rs 2 lakh to next of kin of the victims of the Godhra carnage and Rs 1 lakh for those killed in the communal flare-up afterwards?

A: The Godhra incident was not communal violence but terrorism. It was a Congress MLA who in 1992 moved a resolution in the state assembly for giving Rs 1 lakh compensation to the victims of communal violence. The compensation is being given according to the law.

On March 9, 2002, when Modi gave this interview to Tribune, the investigation was far from over as the first charge-sheet in the Godhra Train Burning case was not filed till May 22, 2002. Narendra Modi claimed that the Godhra Train Burning incident was an act of terrorism more than 2 and half months before the first charge-sheet by DySP KC Bawa. However, this is not the only interview in which Narendra Modi claimed that the train burning act was pre-planned before the official investigation was complete.

2. Interview to Times of India on March 29, 2002, and also published on Narendra Modi’s website.

Q:In your view, was the burning of 58 kar sevaks in the Sabarmati Express at Godhra a planned attacked or a spontaneous one? Was there an untoward incident on the station platform which sparked the attack?

A: If one looks at the nature of the heinous attack on the Sabarmati Express and the manner in which 58 innocent kar sevaks were burnt alive in a compartment of the ill-fated train, it would be apparent that it was a deep rooted conspiracy and a pre-planned, cold-blooded attack.

Again, on March 29, 2002, Narendra Modi claimed that the Godhra Train Burning incident was a ‘pre-planned, cold-blooded attack’ much before the first-chargesheet was filed on May 22, 2002. From the above two interviews, it can be easily seen how Narendra Modi lied to the SIT by denying his statements claiming that Godhra was a pre-planned act of terrorism. The truth, in fact, is that the Gujarat Government had announced on February 27, 2002, the same day as the burning of train, that the act was pre-planned. In an official press-note, a copy of which was submitted by Gujarat Government to Nanavati Commission and is reproduced below, Gujarat Government had stated:

The Minister said that the Government suspect that the heinous act was pre-planned in view of the Central and State Governments action to combat terrorist activities.

So on February 27th itself, Gujarat Government had announced that the Godhra train burning act was pre-planned and the most horrific genocide in recent times ensued the very next day.

Press-Note-Godhra-Pre-Planned

Thus it is evident that Narendra Modi shamelessly lied before the interrogating officers of SIT. But it should also be noted that SIT took everything that Modi said on face value and never counter-questioned him with real facts. SIT’s investigation in the post Godhra riots is one of the shoddiest investigations in a criminal case in recent times.

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