07 March, 2014

R.B. Sreekumar's lies in the 2002 Gujarat riots exposed through his 3 affidavits to the Nanavati-Shah Commission

R.B. Sreekumar, filed the above three affidavits before the “Justice Nanavati & Justice Shah Commission of Inquiry” at Ahmedabad:

a) First affidavit dated 06.07.2002 running into 10 pages, filed along with covering letter dated 15.07.2002. 

b) Second affidavit dated 06.10.2004 running into 11 pages, filed along with covering letter dated 06.10.2004.

c) Third affidavit dated 09.04.2005 running into 30 pages, filed along with covering letter dated 09.04.2005. 

1. R.B. Sreekumar in his first affidavit dated 06.07.2002 stated following:

In para no. 6 to 17, Sreekumar has informed the commission as to how the Intelligence Bureau (IB) gathered information from various sources about the movements of 3000 Karsevaks from Gujarat to Ayodhya and how the local IB of Gujarat, promptly informed the concerned authorities i.e. Railways, U P Police etc. about the movement of Karsevaks and requested them to take adequate measures for the safety of the Karsevaks.

In para no. 18, he has categorically stated that UP Police and Central IB has not provided any intimation about the return journey of these Ramsevaks and there was also no input from the Central IB about possible attack by fundamentalists and militant elements among the minority community, or by  any other anti-social elements, on Ramsevaks returning from the Ayodhya. 

From para no. 21 to 26, he states that SIB had an input about likely repercussion of Godhra incident on 27.02.2002. Accordingly SIB sufficiently alerted all the Police Commissioners and SPs in Gujarat.

In para no. 30, he blamed the media, print & electronic, for showing charred bodies which inflamed the passion of the people of Gujarat to a very high pitch.

In para no. 32, he stated that incident at Godhra took place in a short spell of time that even before the nearest Police-re-enforcement could reach the spot the coach had been engulfed with flames.   

In para no. 33, he categorically states “the response of the state Govt. to Godhra incident was immediate and prompt. The rescue and rehabilitation efforts commences instantaneously. The Chief Minister, Senior Ministers and other officials visited the scene and District Magistrate imposed curfew in Godhra town immediately as a precautionary measure.” 

In para no. 35, he stated that  “the impact of the sensational publicity about Godhra incident in print as well as in electronic media, an extensive communal carnage on an unprecedented scale, should be understood in the perspective of methodical communalization of a large junk of the population”

In para no 36, he, while blaming the media once again stated that “it may also be appreciated that this was the first communal riot situation which was covered extensively by the electronic media. The advent of the cable/satellite television in living rooms of ordinary citizens with effective biting and chilling, live reportage by various news channels had deleterious effect on the overall law and order situation. Also the print media, particularly the Vernacular press had published the news on communal riots grossly in irresponsible manner. This factor had played a decisive role in keeping up the communal tension.”

In para 37, of his affidavit, he finally appreciated the Gujarat Police and mentioned that “It is appreciable that despite being heavily outnumbered, Police took effective and decisive action, which is evident by the fact that 2200 persons were arrested in the first few days of whom 1800 were Hindus. The Police firing in the first few days resulted in the death of nearly 100 people of whom 60 were Hindus. It is evident, therefore, that the Police did not hesitate to use force to suppress the communal violence.”   

2. R.B. Sreekumar in his second affidavit dated 06.10.2004 stated following:

In para 4, he stated that the communal violence in whole State had shown a trend of marked decline. In April 2002, there were 403 incidents in which 105 persons died as against 271 incidents in May, 2002 in which only 59 persons died.

In para 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9, he has stated about his meetings with Shri K P S Gill, Advisor to Chief Minister, his suggestions about handling of communal incidents and investigations of riot affected cases.

In para 10, he stated about the instant exigency towards qualitative upgradation of field officers, threat from foreign aided militants and terrorists on well-known religious institution in Gujarat State etc.

In para 11, 12, 13 & 14, he has stated about the review meetings called by Addl. Secretary, Law & Order, implementation of recommendations & directions given by NHRC and further stated that “Godhra arson incident could not be prevented / contained ... for want of immediate and faster response from interventionist Police / rescue units reaching the spot ... The local law enforcing agencies were unaware of the journey details and profile of the group of passengers, who became victims of violence in the ill-fated boggy". He also gave some suggestions to prevent such incidents.

Finally in para 15, he emphasized on the need for issuing comprehensive instruction by revising, updating and embellishing the circulars / instructions in Police manuals and in compilations like communal peace. He suggested a brochure i.e. orange book in the line of Blue book on VIP security. 

Note: It is noteworthy that Sreekumar in his above mentioned two affidavits not even once mentioned about the involvement of State Government in the riots or about his victimization / harassment by the State Government or was he ever prevented by the State from stating the truth before the commission. 

3. R.B. Sreekumar in his third affidavit dated 09.04.2005 states the following:

In para 3, he states that it is filed by him to bring to the kind notice of the commission, instances of harassment and victimization perpetrated on him by the Higher authorities in the Government, he states that his assessment about the Law and order situation and related matters are neither in tune with the perception of the higher formations, nor favourable to the ruling party in the State.  

In para 4,he mentions a call made on him by Shri Dinesh Kapadia, Under Secretary of Home Department on 21.08.2004, about pursuing him to be favorable to the Government in his deposition before the commission. He also states that Shri G C Murmu, secretary Law & Order, Home Department, also called him on 24.08.2004 and tried to tutor him. He also states that he was threatened by these officials.

In para 5, he states that the briefing / directive given by Shri G C Murmu and Shri Pandya was in total violation of the letter and spirit of the terms of references of the Commission. He also makes direct allegations and states that “My deposition to the commission was therefore a major irritant to the Government and particularly the Hon’ble Chief Minister.” He also made direct allegation that Shri G C Murmu was authorized and entrusted with the task of tutoring and briefing Government officials deposing before the Commission. He has also mentioned that “It may kindly be noted that the Ministry of Home affairs has exonerated me in the pending DE and at present no departmental action is pending against me” 

In the remaining paragraphs running into 30 pages he repeatedly makes direct allegations against Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi, State Government functionaries and narrates irrelevant stories citing Bhagavat Geeta and Upanishads. 

Note: It is noteworthy that R.B. Sreekumar made several direct allegations against the Chief Minister in this affidavit for fanning the violence. He claimed harassment / victimization by the State and mentioned about two meetings dated 21.08.2004 & 24.08.2004 with Shri Dinesh Kapadia & Shri G C Murmu respectively. The question is; if he was truly threatened or briefed / tutored by these officials in August, 2004 to depose in favour of the state, why has he not brought these facts before the commission in his affidavit of 06.10.2004 instead has raised these issues much later in his April, 2005 affidavit. 

It is further noteworthy that seven charges against Sreekumar in the infamous ISRO espionage case were dropped by the MHA (UPA Government) on 13th December, 2004 and later the remaining two charges were also dropped. He was totally exonerated from all charges by MHA on 24th January, 2005.  

Sreekumar who in his earlier two affidavits praised the State Government, including the Chief Minister filed this third affidavit on 9th April 2005 i.e after two months from his exoneration from ISRO espionage cases by the UPA Govt. 

It is also noteworthy that from 13 December, 2004 to 24th January, 2005 i.e. in about one and half months’ time the UPA Government completed the entire process of appointing the presenting officer, enquiry officer, conducting and completing the enquiry, preparing and submitting the enquiry report, consideration of the enquiry report at various levels and issuing the final order, dropping all the charges against Sreekumar.

Is it not clear now that the third affidavit of Sreekumar was a part of quid- pro-quo to launch a tirade full of lies and untruth against the State Government of Gujarat? 

Sreekumar apparently honoured his part of the deal with his political masters in the Congress Party led Central Government and continues to do the same even today by joining hands with Teesta Setalvad.

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