Britain spills beans over Gujarat Muslim bloodbath inquiry

ISLAMABAD: Days after the BBC aired a documentary on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi titled ‘India: The Modi Query’, former British overseas secretary Jack Straw testified about his authorities conducting an investigation by itself into the 2002 Gujarat riots in India after the large-scale violence created ripples in the UK.

The British politician stated the investigation was carried out after residents of Gujarati Muslim origin within the UK have been nervous about their family members in India and have been making representations to that impact to then-prime minister Tony Blair’s authorities.

Commenting on an ongoing discourse concerning the BBC documentary in regards to the 2002 Gujarat riots, the previous British diplomat stated that in Britain, together with in his constituency, there have been lots of of hundreds of individuals from the Indian State of Gujarat, primarily Muslims.

There was a variety of concern and there have been additionally folks whose households have been affected by the inter-communal riots immediately and have been making representations to them, he added throughout an interview with an Indian information outlet.

Straw additional elaborated that ripples of the Gujarat riots have been felt within the UK and in consequence, the then British Excessive Commissioner Sir Rob Younger ordered an investigation.

The 29-minute interview with Straw got here after the BBC documentary revealed about British authorities ordering an inquiry into the riots, as they discovered the extent of the violence alarming.

Indian rioters wave sticks as they stand next to a bonfire on the streets of Ahmedabad, the main city of the Western state of Gujarat February 28, 2002. — Reuters/File
Indian rioters wave sticks as they stand subsequent to a bonfire on the streets of Ahmedabad, the principle metropolis of the Western state of Gujarat February 28, 2002. — Reuters/File

Based on the documentary, a report given to the UK authorities by the inquiry staff talked about that the “extent of the violence was a lot better than reported” and there was a “widespread and systematic rape of Muslim ladies” because the violence was “politically motivated”.

It additional said that the riots aimed to “purge Muslims from Hindu areas.” “That undoubtedly got here from Modi,” as mirrored within the documentary.

Within the BBC documentary, a former British diplomat, who stays nameless stated, “Not less than 2,000 folks have been murdered throughout the violence the place the overwhelming majority have been Muslims. We described it as a pogrom — a deliberate, and politically-driven effort focused on the Muslim group.”

The previous UK overseas secretary stated he had conversations with Indian officers, together with the then exterior affairs minister Jaswant Singh and prime minister concerning the riots.

He additional defended that there was nothing post-colonial. It was all the pieces to do with the constituents, justifying the investigation.

“What we did was to determine an inquiry and have a staff go to Gujarat to seek out out for themselves what had occurred. And so they produced a really thorough report,” the Indian media quoted the previous diplomat as saying.

The BBC documentary checked out “the tensions between Indian PM Modi and the nation’s Muslim minority”, in addition to “investigating claims” regarding his function within the large-scale communal violence that erupted in Gujarat within the months of February and March, in 2002 that left “over a thousand useless.”

The violence adopted the burning of a practice at Godhra on February 27, 2002, which led to 59 deaths. Parliament in 2005 was knowledgeable that in subsequent violence, 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus have been killed, 223 extra folks have been reported lacking and one other 2,500 have been injured.

The documentary had a collection of photographs of the textual content of the report, and in a single assertion, the inquiry report claimed that Narendra Modi was immediately accountable.

It referred to the chain of occasions as a “systematic marketing campaign of violence” which has “all of the hallmarks of ethnic cleaning.”

Warning: Graphic content. Smoke pours from the carriage of a train on fire in Godhra, in the western Indian state of Gujarat, February 27, 2002. Fifty-nine died after a train carrying Hindu activists from the controversial site of a razed mosque was set on fire in western India. — Reuters/File
Warning: Graphic content material. Smoke pours from the carriage of a practice on fireplace in Godhra, within the western Indian state of Gujarat, February 27, 2002. Fifty-nine died after a practice carrying Hindu activists from the controversial web site of a razed mosque was set on fireplace in western India. — Reuters/File

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), was additionally talked about within the report.

“The violence was extensively reported to have been organiSed by an extremist Hindu nationalist group – the VHP.” The VHP and its allies couldn’t have performed a lot harm with out the local weather of impunity created by the state authorities,” the report maintained.

“These have been very critical claims — that Chief Minister Modi performed a reasonably lively half in pulling again the police and in tacitly encouraging the Hindu extremists,” former British overseas secretary Straw had advised the BBC.

He additional confessed that he was left with “pretty restricted” choices as a minister. “We have been by no means going to interrupt diplomatic relations with India, however it’s clearly a stain on his repute.”

Following the 2002 Gujarat riots, the British authorities slapped a diplomatic boycott on Modi for his claimed failure to place an finish to the bloodshed.

Throughout the identical time, in accordance with BBC, an inquiry staff was additionally arrange by the European Union, which additionally carried out an investigation.

It reportedly discovered that “ministers took an lively half within the violence and the senior cops have been instructed to not intervene within the rioting.”

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