The Nanavati Commission on Wednesday cleared then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, his government and Cabinet colleagues in the 2002 communal riots, in which more than 1,000 people were killed, PTI reported.
The report was tabled in the Assembly by Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja, five years after it was submitted to Anandiben Patel, who was chief minister at the time. The report by retired judges GT Nanavati and Akshay Mehta was withheld by the state government after it was submitted in 2014.
“There is no evidence to show that these attacks were either inspired or instigated or abated by any minister of the state,” the commission said in its report, which is in nine volumes and runs into more than 1,500 pages.
The commission said the police was ineffective in dealing with mobs during the riots because of their inadequate numbers or because they were not properly armed. About the riots in Ahmedabad, it observed: “The police had not shown their competence and eagerness which was necessary”.
It also questioned the credibility and role of two retired Indian Police Service officers RB Sreekumar and Rahul Sharma, adding that suspended officer Sanjiv Bhatt should be investigated for his role in allegedly spreading the communal riots, according to Hindustan Times.
The report recommended an inquiry and action against police officers accused of “not showing necessary competence and eagerness” to contain the violence that took place in the state.
Soon after the riots, Modi announced a one-man commission to inquire into the cause of the Godhra train burning incident and the subsequent communal violence that followed. The government later reconstituted the commission, with Justice Nanavati as its chairperson and former Gujarat High Court Justice KG Shah as a member. After Shah died, Justice AK Mehta, who is also a former High Court judge was appointed in his place. Additionally, the government expanded the terms of reference of the commission to investigate the conduct of the chief minister, ministers and police officers during the riots.