The Conspiracy of Falsehood stands exposed

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arunjaitley{Arun Jaitley**}
There is a fundamental difference between truth and falsehood. Truth holds together. Falsehood is full of contradictions. It falls apart. This is exactly what has happened to a conspiracy of falsehood hatched by Narendra Modi’s opponents in relation to the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The Gujarat riots of 2002 are a painful chapter in recent Indian history. The burning of the Sabarmati Express and the subsequent riots have cost us many valuable lives, injured many and led to a large scale loss of property.
Regrettably, a charge has been made against the State Government led by Shri Narendra Modi that it was responsible for the conspiracy behind the riots. The truth is otherwise. The total number of persons arrested both for preventive and punitive actions are 1,00,488. This is more than the number of persons arrested in any other caste or religious tension in India. More people died in police firing during disturbances than in any other riot. This negates the allegation of police connivance. 4272 cases were registered. 1168 of these cases have been decided and hundreds of accused have been convicted. Most of these actions have been taken by the Gujarat Police.
For the first time in 2006 i.e. four years after the riots it was alleged that the Gujarat Police was conspiring with the accused. Nine major cases were referred to a Special Investigating Team (SIT) constituted by the Supreme Court. This Team was headed by Dr. R.K. Raghavan, a former CBI Director and comprised of officers who did not belong to Gujarat Cadre. The SIT investigated the cases, arrested some more accused and partly amended the charge-sheet filed by the Gujarat Police. The Supreme Court accepted the charge sheets filed by the SIT and complimented it for its fairness.
Since there was no evidence of involvement of Shri Narendra Modi or his Government in any of the SIT reports, a fresh complaint was filed by Mrs. Zakia Jaffrey on 8/6/2006. She alleged that the Chief Minister and 63 others had conspired for a constitutional break-down as a result of which there was a larger conspiracy to engineer riots in the State. None of these allegations were present in her statement to the Nanavati Commission three years earlier in 2003. A large number of averments in her complaint were factually false. The crux of her complaint was that Late Shri Harin Pandya and the then Superintendent of Police Shri Sanjeev Bhat were present in a meeting in Chief Minister House on 27/2/2002 at Gandhinagar wherein the CM had signaled to the officers that the Hindu community should be allowed an outburst for its anger. Realizing that the phone records of Late Harin Pandya showed his presence at Ahmadabad and not Gandhinagar, she did not press this allegation any further. All eight senior officers present in the meeting were examined by the SIT. They were clear that Sanjeev Bhat was not present in the meeting nor had the Chief Minister made any such statement. Records are available to indicate that Sanjeev Bhat was present at that time in Ahmadabad and years later was conspiring with a few persons to concoct evidence to show his possible presence in Gandhinagar. The Supreme Court on 27/11/2007 directed the SIT to look into this matter also. The SIT examined all the 63 alleged conspirators. They examined the Chief Minister for over nine hours. Every relevant witness was examined and a report submitted to the Supreme Court on 24/4/2011 that the complaint did not make out any case against Shri Narendra Modi. Not being satisfied with the report of the SIT, she pressed to appoint an amicus curiae who gave his opinion on 25/4/2011 It was on 12/4/2011 that the SIT was asked to file its report under section 173 of the CRPC before the Magistrate. It was at liberty to obtain the report of the amicus curiae. Since then the Magistrate has examined all the evidences, protest petitions of the complainant, heard arguments in detail and finally accepted the closure of the case against Shri Narendra Modi. Truth has prevailed. The conspiracy of falsehood to implicate the Chief Minister in an offence stands exposed.
The above facts lead to certain irresistible conclusions. The Congress Party and its sponsored NGOs are unable to fight Shri Narendra Modi politically. They have attempted to use the CBI, the SIT, petitioning before courts and a media campaign of vilification against him. None of these appears to have succeeded. There were too many loopholes in the falsehood which was propounded. A small group of officers had guided this political strategy of the Congress and the NGOs. They fabricated evidences. Some websites conducted sting operations to substitute falsehood for truth.
Politically, Shri Narendra Modi emerges stronger in this adversity. He faced a lynch mob, a hostile group in the media and some motivated NGOs. He did not allow his own focus to be disturbed. He concentrated on his primary task of working for Gujarat’s development and succeeded in communicating directly with the people. This enabled him to succeed in the State elections of 2002, 2007 and 2012. At the end of the day, his popular sanction has been buttressed by a judicial verdict which accepts the SIT exoneration of Shri Narendra Modi and blames those who were concocting the evidence against him. He goes into the 2014 campaign untainted by propaganda. Propaganda can never be a substitute for legally admissible evidence.
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 ** Arun Jaitley  Leader of Opposition (Rajya Sabha )
* Disclaimer: The writer is a freelance journalist and the views expressed by the author in this feature are entirely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of INVC.

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