Gujarat: 2002 riots
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No govt role in 2002 riots: Godhra panel
Commission Submits Final Report To Guj
More than 12 years and 25 extensions later, the Nanavati commission on Tuesday submitted its final report on the post-Godhra riots, including 4,160 cases of violence between February 27 and May 31, 2002, to the Gujarat government.
“The commission has concluded there was no direct involvement of the state government in cases of rioting, but it felt there was a scope for improvement in the police department to control the violence,“ a source close to the panel said. The panel comprises retired Supreme Court Justice GT Nanavati and retired high court Justice Akshay Mehta. They handed over the report, running into more than 2,000 pages, to Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel. “It's up to the state government to make it public,“ said Justice Nanavati, who refused to comment on the contents of the report.
About the delay in completing the inquiry , he said, “We would have submitted the report earlier. There was a delay of more than two years because the SIT refused to share investigation papers with us. Also, because of (IPS officer) Sanjiv Bhatt, who frequently moved the HC.“ The panel had submitted its first report on the burning of the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express in Godhra in September 2008, where it said the attack, in which 59 people had died, was a planned conspiracy . For inquiry into the postGodhra riots, the commission went through 46,464 affidavits submitted by riot victims. It also examined 4,000 witnesses, including former home minister Gordhan Zadafia and IPS officers Bhatt, PC Pande, RB Sreekumar and Rahul Sharma.
Despite ample scope for examining ministers and then CM Narendra Modi, the panel did not question him, which indicates that there is no indictment of him in this inquiry . Asked about this on Tuesday , the judges said, “No comments, please.“
Nanavati: More cops could've checked riots .Former SC judge Justice G T Nanavati on Tuesday said that he strongly feels that the incidents of rioting in Gujarat in 2002 could be controlled only by strengthening the police force in numbers because, at present, the strength is much below the requirement. When asked about the prolonged rioting in 2002, he said that the police were short of staff as it always has been in order to quell violence.
Relief for riot victims
Bilkis Yakub Rasool
The Supreme Court ordered the Gujarat government to provide Rs 50 lakh, a job and a house to Bilkis Yakub Rasool as compensation for the ordeal she suffered as a 21-year-old in the 2002 riots when a mob gang-raped her and killed her threeand-a-half-year-old daughter.
Advocate Shobha, representing Bilkis pro bono since 2003 in the SC, and who had successfully got the trial transferred to Mumbai from Gujarat, narrated her 17 long years of suffering. “She has been stripped of every vestige of dignity, has no means to support herself and leads a nomadic life with small assistance offered by two NGOs. A compensation of Rs 1 crore would be just and proper,” she pleaded.
On March 29, Shobha had rejected Rs 5 lakh interim compensation offered by the Gujarat government to her client.
Visibly moved by the plight of Bilkis, whose dreams of a normal life were shattered by the riots when mobs ran amok in the aftermath of the burning of the Sabarmati Express in Godhra which killed 59 kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya, a bench of Chief Justice Of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna said Rs 50 lakh would be just compensation. They also ordered the state to provide Bilkis with a government job and accommodation at a place of her choice.
Repairs of damaged religious structures
The Supreme Court set aside the Gujarat High Court order asking the state government to pay for the reconstruction and repair work of religious structures damaged during the 2002 post-Godhra riots.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice P C Pant allowed the Gujarat government's appeal challenging the High Court verdict that it should pay for reconstruction and repair works of religious structures damaged during riots.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who had represented the state government, said that "our plea has been allowed" and moreover the state government had told the court that it was willing to pay from ex-gratia amount for repair and reconstruction works of various structures, shops and houses which were damaged.
The court was hearing an appeal filed by the Gujarat government against an order of the high court directing it to pay compensation to over 500 shrines damaged during the 2002 riots, triggered after the Godhra incident.