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Jun 27 18 tweets 10 min read
🪡 While upholding the findings of the Special Investigation Team that gave a clean chit to @narendramodi in the #ZakiaJafri case, SC added that SIT had “come out with flying colours”.

Q: When exactly did Modi learn of the massacre on 28 Feb 2002—and how well did SIT quiz him?
2️⃣ In his reply to SIT in 2010, Modi claimed he learnt of the #GulbergSociety massacre only at a meeting that evening, at 8.30 pm.


While a mob of thousands attacked a Muslim pocket in #Ahmedabad, the CM—who *also* held the home portfolio—was unaware for 5 full hours?
3️⃣ The implausibility of Modi’s defence is brought out by former @IndianExpress and @timesofindia legal affairs editor Manoj Mitta.

In his 2014 book, ‘The Fiction of Fact-Finding: Modi and Godhra’, Mitta reveals how #SIT bought into Modi’s claim with barely any challenge.
4️⃣ Zakia Jafri’s complaint named #NarendraModi as accused no.1 along with 62 others for the carnage in 14 of Gujarat’s 25 districts.

SIT conducted a probe into Jafri’s complaint *without* fulfilling the precondition of registering an FIR.

No FIR even after preliminary enquiry.
5️⃣ SIT chairman R.K. Raghavan, a former CBI director, did *not* interrogate @narendramodi although he was in Ahmedabad that day, 27 March 2010.

His explanation was that in keeping with CBI practice, he left it to the Investigating Officer to examine the accused person.
6️⃣ Modi’s statement before the SIT was *not* recorded under Section 161 CrPC, a provision invoked to question any person “supposed to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case”.

However, SIT’s closure report—the clean chit—relied implicitly on Modi’s testimony.
7️⃣ Retired CBI officer A.K. Malhotra, who interrogated Modi, studiously refrained from challenging any of his replies.

Writes Manoj Mitta: “It seemed as if Malhotra’s brief was more to place Modi’s defence on record rather than to ferret out any inconsistency or wrongdoing.”
8️⃣ Malhotra’s feeble questioning allowed Modi to wriggle out of his bid to magnify the post-Godhra arson as a “terror attack”.

An official press release on 27 Feb 2002 had quoted him as saying the #Godhra incident was a “preplanned inhuman collective violent act of terrorism”.
9️⃣ SIT also let Modi off the hook on the precise time he said he learnt of the Gulberg Society massacre.

By SIT’s own findings, Gulberg Society had been set ablaze and lives lost (including that of Ehsan Jafri) by 3.45 pm.

But Modi claims he was “informed” of it at 8.30 pm?
Modi had held a law and order review meeting at 1 pm, when things were coming to a boil.

Joint Commissioner M.K. Tandon had already visited Gulberg Society around 11.30 am and ordered a ‘striking force’ to burst tear gas shells to disperse “a mob of around 1,000 Hindu rioters”.
In the sequence of events reconstructed by SIT, at 12.20 pm, the police control room received a message from the Meghaninagar police station asking for reinforcements.

The mob, which had regrouped at Gulberg and grown to 10,000-strong, was indulging in stone-pelting and arson.
SIT records that at 2.05 pm, 2.14 pm and 2.45 pm there were more messages for reinforcements.

On the instructions of Ahmedabad’s police chief P.C. Pande at 3.16 pm, another police officer P.B. Gondia had reached Gulberg Society at 4.05 pm.

But Modi didn’t know till 8.30 pm?
At 4 pm, Modi held a review meeting, 3 km from Gulberg.

Between 4.30 pm and 5.45 pm, he announced the decision to call in the Army.

But he learnt of a massacre that killed former MP #EhsanJafri only at 8.30 pm?

SIT did *not* contest these seemingly obvious contradictions.
1️⃣0️⃣ Modi might have feigned ignorance to distance himself from the failure of police to prevent the massacre despite their presence during the prolonged siege of Gulberg Society and all the related communications and actions evident from SIT records.

But why did SIT not ask?
On the other hand, assume for a moment that Modi’s claim of being out of the loop on the Gulberg Society massacre till 8.30 pm is true.

Why did SIT make no attempt to inquire if the officials briefing him in those meetings had conspired to withhold all information from him?
1️⃣1️⃣ SIT got away with such shoddy investigation despite this observation from the SC’s amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran in his interim report in January 2011:

“There is nothing to show that the CM intervened on 28.02.2002 when the riots were taking place.”
1️⃣2️⃣ Although it could be just the tip of the iceberg, the mystery about Narendra Modi’s handling of the Gulberg Society massacre has remained unresolved.

And it will remain so in view of the Supreme Court’s unqualified praise for SIT and exoneration of Modi and his officials.
1️⃣3️⃣ “Under R.K. Raghavan, the SIT succeeded in securing convictions in almost every case it took to trial,” reported ‘The Telegraph’.

All, except the case in which Modi appeared before it in 2010.

In 2017, Raghavan was named ambassador to Cyprus.

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More from @churumuri

Jun 19
🪡@narendramodi will take part in the International Yoga Day show in #Mysore on June 21.

In a nation that buys ‘The Daily Spectacle’, this is just another dot in @PMOIndia’s diary.

But what goes into an event like this—for hashtags to trend for a few hours on Tuesday? #YogaDay
2️⃣ Modi doing #Yoga in #Mysuru is a big deal.

All three great gurus of the 20th century—T.Krishnamacharya, B.K.S. Iyengar, K. Pattabhi Jois—grew under the patronage of the Maharajas of Mysore.

UN designated June 21 as #InternationalDayofYoga only after Modi became PM in 2014.
3️⃣ Still, a one-hour show led by the PM at Mysore Palace takes some doing.

Coverage in Mysore’s local dailies #StarOfMysore and #Andolana gives a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes.

It is a sobering lesson of how a partipatory democracy can be a made-for-TV spectacle.
Read 20 tweets
May 11
🪡 Taunting and tormenting Muslims has become India’s national bloodsport, post-2014. Barely a day passes without #Muslims being hectored by bigots on how they should live, love, eat, dress, pray, work, marry and procreate.

How would the 24th Maharaja of Mysore have viewed this?
2️⃣ ‘Nalvadi’ Krishnaraja Wadiyar was the Maharaja of Mysore for 39 years. He presided over a golden period of progress in health, education, industry, infrastructure, arts, culture, literature—i.e. vikas.

Gandhi called him ‘Raja Rishi’ (sage king).

3️⃣ In 1902, when he formally ascended the throne at the age of 18, he committed himself to “social care without discrimination”.

Like his parents before him, he said he would “continue to promote the welfare of all classes and creeds among my subjects.”…
Read 9 tweets
Mar 12
“Not now North Korea and India”

On the front page of the British tabloid @dailystar, India’s schoolboy claim of a supersonic missile being “accidentally” fired 124 km into Pakistan, gets equated with the epitome of nuclear madness: Kim Jong-Un. Image
“Asian nuts’ weapons games ‘will start a World War’”

British tabloid @dailystar’s strapline may be aimed at Page 3 gawkers eyeing a playmate. Still, India’s mind-boggling missile “cock-up” is not half as small an issue as a pliant media would have us believe. ImageImage
“The missile incident has exposed the grave weakness in India’s technology and its safety systems. For a nuclear-armed country to be so shoddy with its technology and so weak with its command and control systems is cause for serious alarm across the world”: ‘Dawn’ edit. @dawn_com Image
Read 5 tweets
Feb 21
Has India become a corruption-free country already? Or, are the crooks getting smarter? Just one dot from Madhya Bharat in the @guardian expose of “criminals, fraudsters and corrupt politicians” holding £80 billion worth accounts in the notorious Swiss bank @CreditSuisse.
“We can reveal today how #CreditSuisse repeatedly either opened or maintained bank accounts for a panoramic array of high-risk clients across the world”: How the @guardian showcases its expose of “criminals, fraudsters and corrupt politicians” over 7 pages.
On 9 Jan 2014, four months before he became PM, @narendramodi promised to bring back money “stolen” from India and deposited in foreign banks: “If we bring that back, each poor Indian will get Rs 15-20 lakh just like that.” @PMOIndia #CreditSuisse

Read 7 tweets
Feb 9
🪡 A cute question on the #HijabRow in #Karnataka is: “Why can’t the CM stop it when it’s ruining the State’s image?”

Answer: “Have you seen @BSBommai’s record?”

He was home minister for 23 months from Aug 2019. It was because he met all the KPIs that he was made @CMofKarnataka
2️⃣ @BSBommai was home minister when school children in #Bidar were charged with sedition, for a line in a play that “insulted” @narendramodi during the anti-CAA protests. Bommai had the temerity to say: “It is a very serious and sensitive case.”

3️⃣ @BSBommai is an “educated” politician, an engineer. In #Bidar, the school children charged with sedition were between 9 and 12 years of age. Najumunissa, 35, a single mother, spent a week in jail because police under Bommai’s watch charged her Class V daughter. @IndianExpress
Read 14 tweets
Feb 8
🪡 Much of the outrage on the #HijabRow asks the naive question: “Why is it happening in #Karnataka?”

Answer: “Why are you surprised?”

The startup state was an early-stage investor in #Hindutva. Its reputation as a #Hindutva laboratory precedes #Gujarat and #UttarPradesh.
2️⃣ #BJP’s political quest for the Babri Masjid only began in the late 1980s. In #Karnataka, the ground to reclaim Baba Budangiri, a Sufi shrine in #Chikamagalur district, had been laid a decade before #Ayodhya became common parlance, in 1978.

3️⃣ In 1990, when L.K. Advani’s ‘Rath Yatra’ passed through #Karnataka, seven people died in Bidar in communal riots. But 600 km away, in and around #Bangalore, at least another 33 people died in clashes in 5 locations. It was not an accident.

Map: courtesy Prof Mushirul Hasan
Read 16 tweets

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