Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi Facts

Information and analysis about Narendra Modi, India's prime minister since 2014, and the network of Hindu nationalist organisations around him.

How was Modi involved in the violence?

There is considerable evidence from independent sources (including perpetrators, victims and police) of Modi's complicity in Gujarat 2002 violence. At the time, Modi made several inflammatory, communal speeches, many of which are now available online. In a series of "stings" by Tehelka, perpetrators of the violence repeatedly testified how the violence would not have been possible if Narendra Modi had not sent out clear directives to the administration to look the other way. See, for example, the hidden camera interview with Bajrang Dal leader and convicted mass murderer Babu Bajrangi. This version of events is also supported by another Bajrang Dal leader, Haresh Bhatt who claimed that Narendra Modi gave the perpetrators of the violence in 2002 a free hand for three days: "Modi told me I'll give you three days. Do whatever you want, you will not be touched." Several of these interviews are collected here.

Some police officers serving in Gujarat at the time have provided evidence implicating Modi. In particular:

• Deputy Inspector General Sanjeev Bhatt claimed that he was present at a meeting where Modi told his officers to "let the Hindus vent their anger" after the Godhra incident. (Surprisingly, the SIT, deemed that giving such an instruction would not be an offence.) That Modi issued instructions to let Hindus vent their anger was confirmed by Haren Pandya, BJP leader and Home Minister of Gujarat. Pandya was murdered in 2003 following his deposition to the Concerned Citizens' Tribunal where he made this claim. Although 12 people were convicted of the murder in 2019, the circumstances of this verdict mean that confidence in the verdict is low.

• Former Gujarat State Director-General of Police, R.B. Sreekumar gave extensive testimony of state complicity in the violence, and stated that Modi and those acting for him issued "illegal and unconstitutional directives" and subsequently denied him promotion for refusing to act on them.

Presumably to avoid such details becoming public, in 2004 the Gujarat government's representative instructed police precisely how to respond to questions from the Shah-Nanavati commission (an initial, now discredited, investigation by the government of Gujarat into the 2002 violence), briefing them on every aspect of their likely testimony. This briefing was secretly recorded by R.B. Sreekumar.

One of the victims of the violence was a Congress MP, Ehsan Jafri, who was killed during the Gulbarg Society Massacre. Two victims of the violence, Rupa Mody and Imtiaz Pathan, testified that before his death Ehsan Jafri phoned Modi to ask for help while a mob outside surrounded his building, but was instead abused by Modi (see reports in DNA and on NDTV for example).

Gujarat 2002 violence in our news pages.
last updated: August 2019