Lethal ammo in riot report

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Delhi
  • Published 19.03.05
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New Delhi, March 19: The National Human Rights Commission report, which America cited to justify the visa action against Narendra Modi, had evaluated the Gujarat government?s response to the post-Godhra riots and dubbed it ?abysmal? or ?non-existent?.

The facts pointed to ?gross negligence in certain instances?, the commission held in its final report, or, ?worse still, as was widely believed, to a complicity that was tacit, if not explicit?.

The report finalised by the commission after hearing out the Modi government had indicted the government on every count, from intelligence failure to ?extraneous influences? that were alleged to have resulted in distorted FIRs.

The commission had gone to the extent of recommending to the central government that all significant cases be referred to the CBI.

?The commission would like to underline that it is a central principle in the administration of criminal justice that those against whom allegations are made should not themselves be entrusted with the investigation of those allegations.... To depart from that principle would, therefore, be to invite a failure of justice,? the report, made public in June 2002, said.

The then NDA government had refused to accept this recommendation, prompting the commission to move the Supreme Court for directives to at least shift the trial of important cases out of Gujarat.

In observations that establish the complicity of the Modi government, the NHRC had referred to reports that spoke of interference from the political leadership of the state.

However, NHRC chief A.S. Anand today declined to comment on the denial of the US visa to Modi, saying appropriate authorities were already looking into the matter.