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2002 Gujarat riots: SIT report a blatant lie, reiterates Lt. General Shah

IANS  |  New Delhi 

(retd) reiterated on Saturday that the was delayed transport for over a day despite a request made to the then Minister during the 2002 riots. He was speaking at the launch of 'The Sarkari Mussalman', unveiled by former

Shah said he has written the 'Gospel truth', adding that the sequence of events has been recorded in the "war diaries" of the

"When the time comes, these diaries will be provided. What I have reported is the Gospel truth," he said.

The memoir is published by Konark Publishers and was unveiled at the International Centre (IIC) by former

The book has courted much controversy over its portions relating to the 2002 riots. Shah, who led the in quelling the riots, has said in his memoir that after about 3,000 troops landed at the by 7 am on March 1, they had to wait for over a day to receive transport and other logistical support from the in order to fan out to the cities and towns which were engulfed in violence.

This delay, according to him, happened despite a request by the to then Minister at 2 a.m. on March 1 in Ahmedabad, in the presence of

The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigative Team (SIT) report, that had cleared Modi's name, had concluded that there was no delay "in requisition and deployment of the Army", based on testimony of Ashok Narayan, Secretary (Home).

"I was not aware of the SIT report until a few days ago when this was pointed out to me. Let me say again, it is a blatant lie. I have told the truth. I don't think there's a better qualified person than me to talk about it," he said.

S. Padmanabhan, the then Chief of Army Staff, speaking to IANS earlier, had backed the assertions of Shah. Shah says he "could not be surer" about the events leading to the deployment of Army in as he had mentioned every detail in the After Action Report on Operation Aman.

The SIT never called the It looks apparent from its report that the SIT did not look at Shah's After Action Report submitted to Gen Padmanabhan, which was subsequently forwarded to the central government.

According to Shah, the Army put an end to the mayhem during the 2002 Gujarat riots within 48 hours (March 4) by "resolute, firm and fair action", but he holds the "bias" and "politicisation" of the police responsible for the uncontrolled violence.

Although Shah does not make any political statements and calls the delay in the deployment of the Army "an administrative failure", Ansari, during his brief address at the book launch, asked "where does the responsibility lie if the civil administration failed to respond?"

Ansari praised the book and pointed out portions that appealed to him personally. The evening also witnessed a brief reading about the life of wives of men in service.

The SIT was headed by former CBI (present to Cyprus). When contacted by IANS on the phone, Raghavan said he is "not prepared to talk".

Questions sent to him and his attache at the seeking his views on whether the Army or it's After Action Report was considered before reaching to the conclusion that there was "no delay in requisition and deployment of the Army" have not been answered.

A panel comprising former Indian to Saudi Arabia Talmiz Ahmad; Naseeruddin Shah; Jamia Hansard Vice Chancellor, Syed Ehtesham Hasnain; Seema Mustafa, and later participated in a panel discussion on the book.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, October 13 2018. 21:04 IST