R.B. SREEKUMAR IPS (Retd.)
Former DGP, Gujarat
Plot No 193, Sector-8,
Tel ® 079-23247876
Sub: Request for directing Ministry of Defence(MOD) and Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) to submit documents and evidence relating to 2002 communal riots in Gujarat, to probe bodies.
I belonged to 1971 batch of Indian Police Service (IPS) of Gujarat State cadre. I retired from service on 28 February 2007 in the rank of Director General of Police(DGP). Since my retirement, I am residing in Gandhinagar, Gujarat and providing free legal aid to victims of 2002 communal violence and those affected by human rights violations, as a lawyer.
2) The riot victim survivors of 2002 communal riots in Gujarat often complained to me that the Union Govt., since May 2004, did not provide, so far, evidence and data, in its possession, regarding duties performed by Army and Central Para Military Forces(CPMF) in Gujarat, during 2002 mass violence for maintenance of law and order, to probe bodies like Justice Nanavati Commission(JNC) and the Special Investigation Team(SIT) headed by Dr. R.K. Raghavan, constituted by the Apex Court.
3) I had requested the JNC and SIT to collect relevant information and inputs about riots from functionaries of Army and CPMF, who were deployed in Gujarat during 2002 communal disturbances for assisting Gujarat state authorities, through an affidavit dated 03/09/2010. There is no information about these probe bodies procuring relevant data from MOD and MHA, till today. I was also not summoned by these bodies to collect additional information or clarification in this matter.
4) Therefore I had submitted representations to the Union Defence Minister Shri A. K. Antony and Union Home Minister Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde, requesting them to instruct the concerned authorities in MOD and MHA for presenting germane materials to the JNC and SIT vide my letter dated 27/01/2014. However, there is no response from the Ministers about any follow-up action on my letters. Copies of these letters are enclosed for your kind perusal.
5) In this respect I humbly request you to issue directions to MOD and MHA for presenting all evidence concerning 2002 Gujarat riots, particularly copies of all reports and extracts of registers and records in their possession, especially, situation reports received from field officers about operational duties performed by Army and CPMF, as part of their functions towards assistance to state police officers, during internal security crisis connected to communal carnage in Gujarat.
6) The riot victim survivors nurture bitter resentment and unfathomable frustration about Union Govt.’s seemingly inadequate commitment to get the planners and organizers(the Sangh Parivar leaders) and facilitators (those in political and administrative bureaucracy and police, who enabled rioters to perpetrate gruesome crimes on minorities-only two Police Inspectors were found guilty by SIT in its investigation so far), punished as per the imperatives of the Rule of Law.
7) The acute disillusionment of the riot affected about the failure of Union Govt., since May 2004, to rise to the level of their expectations, true to the letter and spirit of Article-355 of the Constitution of India, emanates out of following factors:-
A) Failure of the UPA Govt. to appoint a Judicial Commission to enquire into the role of Gujarat Chief Minister, and other seniors in the political and administrative bureaucracy and police in the genesis, course, and aftermath of the riots.(This aspect was not in the terms of reference formulated by the state Govt. for the JNC, as per its Notification dated 06/03/2002). Taking advantage of the lukewarm approach of the Central Govt., the state Govt. had widened the scope and period of probe by the JNC on 20/07/2004 through a notification., forestalling the creation of another probe body.
B) Delayed response to the Apex Courts’ suggestion regarding entrusting investigation of major mass violence cases to CBI, on the request of NHRC and NGOs.
C) Refusal to release copies of correspondence between Shri K. R. Narayanan, the President of India and Shri Atal Bihari Vajpai, the Prime Minister of India, on Gujarat riots and quality of governance by state Govt. to the JNC.
D) Refusal to provide copies of MHA’s letters of guidance and situation assessment reports to the state Govt. relating to 2002 riots to the JNC.
E) Failure to enact a comprehensive law relating to prevention and containment of communal riots, fixing command responsibility of functionaries, mandated to perform duties conscientiously, for achieving purposeful accountability. (Such a legislation was promised to the electorate on the eve of 2004 General Election by UPA).
F) Refusal to rebuilt even those Medieval Islamic monuments, under the protection of Archaeological Survey of India, demolished by brigands in 2002.
G) Failure to design and build self – sustaining and durable infrastructure facilities and amenities for comprehensive relief, rehabilitation and resettlement of riot victim survivors, resulting in many dwelling in sub-human habitats and ghettos, facilitating emergence of anti-national criminal and extremist gangs in those areas.
8) Presentation of evidence related to communal riots, in the reports by functionaries of Army and CPMF to their higher authorities in MOD and MHA, to the JNC would be of immense help to the JNC, in finalizing their exhaustive report on all terms of reference of inquiry, to the state Govt. Such a gesture from the Union Govt. would also largely reduce the sense of helplessness and disappointment felt by the riot victim survivors and activists struggling for justice delivery in Gujarat.
Praying for initiation of expeditious action.
Respected Dr.Manmohan Singhji, Yours Faithfully
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India,