Ex-HC judge: Pandya spoke of Modi role

In fresh problems for Narendra Modi, a former High Court judge on Friday said former state Home Minister Haren Pandya told him during his visit to Gujarat after 2002 riots as part of a fact-finding team that the Chief Minister allegedly directed the police to give Hindus a free hand to vent their anger during the riots.

Justice H Suresh, a retired Bombay High Court judge, also alleged that the Supreme Court-appointed SIT appears to have ignored the statements recorded by it of him and another member of the People's Tribunal Justice P B Sawant, a former Supreme Court judge.

Both the judges were members of the fact-finding team headed by veteran jurist and former Supreme Court judge Justice V R Krishna Iyer, which had gone to Gujarat in March-April 2002 after the post-Godhra riots.

Suresh said the evidence of the tribunal given to Special Investigation Team on alleged instructions given to the police by Modi to teach Muslims a lesson hours after the Godhra train attack was based on what was told to them by Pandya on May 13, 2002. Pandya was murdered on March 26, 2003.

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