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Narendra Modi did not settle for even tea in 9-hr questioning by Gujarat riots SIT, says RK Raghavan in e-book – India News , Firstpost


In his autobiography, ‘A Road Well Travelled’, the then head of the SIT mentioned that the Modi didn’t parry any questions and saved his cool all through

New Delhi: Without parrying a single query out of the 100-odd ones put to him by the 2002 Gujarat riots SIT, Narendra Modi because the then Gujarat chief minister “kept his cool” all through the marathon nine-hour questioning and didn’t settle for even a cup of tea from investigators, the probe crew’s chief at the moment RK Raghavan has mentioned in a brand new e-book.

Modi had additionally readily agreed to return to the SIT workplace in Gandhinagar for the questioning and introduced his personal bottle of water, Raghavan has written in his autobiography, ‘A Road Well Travelled’.

Before being requested to go the Supreme Court-appointed SIT that probed the 2002 Gujarat riots, Raghavan had additionally served as head of premier probe company CBI. He was additionally concerned in a number of different high-profile investigations over years, together with these referring to the Bofors rip-off, the 2000 South Africa cricket-match fixing case and the fodder rip-off.

Talking concerning the time the SIT had known as Modi for questioning because the then Gujarat chief minister, Raghavan writes within the e-book, “We had it conveyed to his staff that he had to come in person to the SIT office for this purpose and that meeting him elsewhere would be misconstrued as a favour.”

“He (Modi) understood the spirit of our stand and readily agreed to come to the SIT office within the government complex in Gandhinagar,” Raghvan mentioned.

The former police officer additional mentioned he took the “unusual step” of asking Ashok Malhotra, an SIT member, to do the questioning, primarily to keep away from any “mischievous allegation” later that Modi and he had struck a deal.

“This stand was endorsed months later by no less a person than amicus curiae Harish Salve. He told me that my presence would have vitiated Modi’s statement and would have robbed it of its credibility,” Raghavan mentioned, including that he had by no means consulted Salve previous to the occasion.

It was my private choice flowing from sheer instinct, mentioned the retired IPS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, who was additionally appointed as High Commissioner to Cyprus in 2017.

“Modi’s questioning lasted nine hours in my own chamber at the SIT office. Malhotra told me later that Modi kept his cool right through the marathon session which ended late at night,” Raghavan mentioned.

“He (Modi) never parried questions. Nor did he give the impression of padding up his responses. When Malhotra asked him whether he would like to break for lunch, he initially turned down the offer. He brought his own bottle of water and did not accept even a cup of tea from the SIT during the marathon questioning comprising a hundred- odd questions,” he mentioned.

Raghavan mentioned it required “tremendous persuasion” to make Modi conform to a brief recess. “This was possibly Modi’s concession to the need for a respite for Malhotra rather than for himself. Such was the energy of the man.”

In February 2012, the SIT filed a closure report, giving a clear chit to Modi and 63 others, together with senior authorities officers, saying there was “no prosecutable evidence” towards them.

In the e-book, the previous CBI Director additionally asserted that the probe into the Gujarat riots by the Supreme Court-mandated SIT beneath him was “clinical and professional” and the SIT’s “unequivocal stand” on the chief minister’s function was “unpalatable to his (Modi’s) adversaries” within the state and in Delhi.

“They engineered petitions against me, accusing me of favouring the chief minister. The grapevine had it that they misused central agencies to monitor my telephonic conversations. They were, however, disappointed not to find anything incriminating,” he mentioned.

Raghavan mentioned false costs have been aired towards him on the sly to begin with, and later overtly.

“Fortunately, the apex court stood by me and backed me to the hilt. I was found inconvenient because I refused to buy the argument that the state administration connived with the rioters who were targeting the Muslim community. Our investigation was clinical and professional,” he asserted.

“If I displayed a measure of professional acumen and objectivity, it was not a little due to the sterling assistance of Ashok Kumar Malhotra, whom I inducted into the SIT in 2009,” mentioned Raghvan praising Malhotra, who was requested to supervise the crew’s work after the apex courtroom allowed Raghavan to be relieved from the responsibility in 2017.

Without naming anybody, Raghavan mentioned it was unlucky that he was the goal of assault by these instigated by “highly placed persons at the helm of affairs in Delhi”.

Talking concerning the Ehsan Jafri case, he mentioned there was no document to ascertain that the Congress MP had tried to achieve the chief minister by cellphone.

“A few others, including Sanjeev Bhat, had also alleged that the chief minister, at a late-night official meeting on 28 February 2002, had directed senior police officers present at the meeting not to intervene if Hindu emotions overflowed. Here again, there was no corroboration to the charge,” Raghvan asserted.

None whose presence on the assembly was established past doubt instructed SIT that they noticed Sanjeev Bhat on the assembly, held primarily to evaluate the regulation and order scenario arising from the Godhra practice assault, he mentioned.

“In our report to the apex court we absolved the chief minister of the alleged illegal direction to the police,” he mentioned.

Raghavan assumed workplace as head of SIT in early 2008 and carried on for 9 years, till 30 April, 2017.

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