Sunday, January 8, 2012

‘I am not here to protect or trap anyone,’ says Zadaphia

DNA Correspondent | Ahmedabad

Gordhan Zadaphia, who was junior home minister during the 2002 riots, appeared before the Nanavati-Mehta commission on Tuesday. Earlier, he had appeared before the panel in November 2010.

After his in-camera questioning by the panel on Tuesday, he told mediapersons: “I have not come here to protect or ensnare anyone.” He said this when asked about his stand on chief minister Narendra Modi’s role in the communal riots.

Zadaphia was minister of state for home (MoS) in the Modi government in 2002. Later, he quit the BJP to protest against Modi’s ‘autocratic way’ of functioning and formed his own party, Mahagujarat Janata Party (MJP).

This is for the second time that Zadaphia appeared before the riot inquiry commission. Earlier, he had appeared before the panel in November 2010. At that time, during the in-camera questioning, he had backed the state government by saying that it had taken all necessary steps and issued instructions to control the riots. He had also denied allegations that the Modi government had given the rioters 24 hours to avenge the Sabarmati train carnage.

“I did not come here to protect or ensnare anybody,” said Zadaphia, when asked why he had not said anything about Modi’s role in the riots during last year’s questioning and if his silence meant he supported the chief minister. He refused to divulge anything else about his Tuesday’s questioning which was held in-camera by justices Nanavati and Mehta. Zadaphia will have to again appear before the commission for his cross-examination to be conducted by the NGOs, Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM) and Central Relief Committee (CRC), on January 13.

Mukul Sinha, convenor for JSM, said: “The commission agreed to our demand to conduct cross-examination of Zadaphia and he will be called on January 13.”

The NGOs wanted to question him about the conversation he had with some of the accused in the Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam case during the riots on February 28, 2002.


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