A tiny reality check: From Atal push to shunting cops who stood up

Narendra ModiThe state government was also accused of bias in dealing with those blamed for the violence. (AP)

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has claimed in his blog post Friday that he and his state government had strived to ensure peace, deliver justice and punish all those guilty of violence in the immediate aftermath of the 2002 riots in the state.

He also claimed that the state government responded to the violence more swiftly and decisively than during riots in the past.

But a relook at some of the events of February-March 2002 could open this to questioning.

For instance, in March 2002, the Gujarat government had been reluctant to set up a panel to oversee relief and rehabilitation and did not also take kindly to IPS officers who had come down on hate-mongers during the riots.

It had taken the intervention of then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to get the Gujarat government moving.

"I have directed the Gujarat government to set up a broad based committee, under the chairmanship of the Governor of the state to plan and implement rehabilitation measures on war-footing," Vajpayee had written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on March 23, a week after he had given a public assurance about the same.

"This effort, I have added, should be patterned after the largescale relief and rehabilitation exercise that was mounted in Gujarat after the devastating earthquake on January 26, 2001," Vajpayee wrote.

The state government's order to set up a 13-member panel to "monitor operational running of relief camps" came a day after Vajpayee's letter to Sonia.

Later that month, the then Gujarat DGP A K Chakravarty had protested against the transfer of several IPS officers - SPs of Kutch, Bhavnagar and Banaskantha - for taking firm measures to maintain law and order in their jurisdiction. The DGP had objected to this in a letter to Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Ashok Narayan.

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