Thursday, April 18, 2013

Riots panel orders inquiry

Probe Initiated Into Destruction Of Papers

Ahmedabad: The Nanavati commission, which is probing the 2002 post-Godhra riots, on Wednesday ordered a highlevel inquiry into the alleged destruction of documents.
    Heeding the demand by suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, the commission ordered the setting up of a committee comprising Home Secretary M D Antani and Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), State Arms Unit, Tirthraj. The committee has been asked to report back within three weeks. Bhatt has been demanding 47-odd documents from the state intelligence bureau (SIB), where he was posted during the time of the 2002 riots. He maintains that he should be provided these documents, and on the basis of them, he could portray a clear picture on how the government machinery abetted the riots.
    The government did not respond to Bhatt. After Gujarat high court’s intervention, the inquiry commission headed by Justice (retd) G T Nanavati asked the government to furnish the documents Bhatt demanded for the purpose of inquiry.
    However, the government came up with afew documents and claimed that it had destroyed some documents in routine course, while it cannot part with some others. Bhatt demanded an inquiry into this issue. The commission ordered an inquiry with consent from the state government.
    The commission has asked the committee to find out whether eight documents, including Pink Envelope Reports sent to chief minister Narendra Modi by the SIB during the riots, were destroyed. The committee will look into the circumstances under which five documents were destroyed by authorities. These documents include daily summaries of intelligence sent by SIB and the department’s incoming message register.
    The committee will verify the status of documents related to the State Control Bureau. These include logbooks of vehicles, dispatch registers, outgoing message registers, outgoing telephone message registers and details on staff present for duty.
    Besides, the committee has been asked to verify whether Bhatt had actually submitted ‘Godhra Incident of 27/2/2002 – An Intelligence Analysis’ to the SIB, which is treated as an internal document.
    In 2011, Bhatt had accused Modi of telling the police force to go slow on rioters and also accused the SIT of shielding the state government. Last year, he was summoned by the panel. He now wants to depose with all available records from the SIB.