Gujarat riots: 'Hang me if I am guilty', says Narendra Modi
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In a sensational statement, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has thrown a challenge to all saying that if he is guilty of collusion in the Gujarat riots then he should be hanged - in 2002 thousands of minority community members were murdered by mobs that were not stopped by the administration or the police.
As then Chief Minister, Modi is widely blamed for his role during the riots - from collusion, to turning a blind eye. No one has yet been able to prove anything against Modi.
The Godhra train carnage (Sabarmati Express - 27 February, 2002) in which scores of Hindu kar sevaks were burned alive was the ostensible reason that led to the riots. The Hindu sevaks were returning from Ayodhya after a yagya in the wake of the destruction of the Babri masjid.
The rampage had lasted days, leading to the kind of rape, killings and pillage not seen since the days of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Modi said this in an interview with Shahid Siddiqui, editor of the Urdu weekly, Nai Dunyia.
According to Modi, "Agar main gunehgaar hoon toh mujhe phaansi par latka do".
Shahid Siddiqui is an MP of the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party from Lucknow.
Furthermore, Modi has demanded that if he was proved innocent, the media should apologise for tarnishing his image, while clearly stating that he was only concerned about Gujarat and its development, rather than becoming the next Prime Minister.
Modi, who had steadfastly declined to answer questions on his alleged role in the post-Godhra violence, has refused to apologise for the riots and instead would prefer to be hanged if found guilty.