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Ram Jethmalani is a senior politician and eminent lawyer.

Let truth be known about Modi

India was made to believe that Modi was complacent while riots seared Gujarat. Evidence indicates otherwise.

Gujarat CM Narendra Modi. REUTERS

he UPA government, on coming to power in 2004, put in place its most accomplished experts to meticulously draw up its corruption road map, which it succeeded in implementing with precision until the scams exploded in public space. Post-mortem reports of the 2G scam, the ISRO Devas deal, the Commonwealth Games fraud, to name a few, clearly establish this. I have no doubt that future historians will place the UPA in the same league as other plunderers of India, like Ghazni and the Pindaris.

Another road map uppermost in the Congress agenda was towards the political assassination of Narendra Modi, and banishing him from India's political firmament forever, using the unfortunate post Godhra riots as a handle. Congress think tanks worked overtime to draw up a comprehensive, multifaceted strategy of slander, false accusation, governmental and non-governmental disinformation, Goebellesian lies, aimed at converting falsehood into belief among the general population, opinion leaders and influential intellectuals. The lies were to be simple and crisp; they were to be repeated ad nauseam to embed them firmly as truth in the public mind, the media and internationally. Puppets were to be created and nurtured to keep the fiction of Modi's involvement in the Godhra riots alive in the courts, in the media and in the minds of the people, through any lie or deception. Now that the SIT has completed its investigation, and submitted its report to the Supreme Court, it is time the nation and the world knew about the travesty of slander and lies that has been disseminated against Modi by the Congress through hired and unethical civil society organisations, such as Citizens for Justice and Peace headed by Teesta Setalvad, disgruntled officers like Sanjiv Bhatt, who made futile attempts to start an aggressive campaign against Modi 10 long years after the riots, and certain sections of the media. Today, the lid over the entire political conspiracy has blown, and the false testimony and machinations of Teesta Setalvad and Sanjiv Bhatt have been exposed.

Let me inform the people of a few instances of deliberate disinformation against Modi, which gained huge currency during the last 10 years, backed by the malicious hate campaign, which the SIT investigation has proved to be completely false.

1. The country was made to believe that Modi sat complacent and inert while the riots were searing Gujarat. The evidence indicates otherwise. Immediately after the Godhra train burning, on the evening of 27 February 2002, the Gujarat Chief Minister summoned an emergency meeting of top ranking officials of the government, took steps to deploy the Rapid Action Force (RAF), State Reserve Police, local police at sensitive points. Since the army at Ahmedabad Cantonment had been called at the border in view of the attack on Parliament earlier, the Chief Minister requested the then Defence Minister telephonically on 28 February 2002 to immediately deploy army battalions to tackle the situation, which were deployed immediately.

2. The Congress, through its mouthpieces Teesta Setalvad and Sanjiv Bhatt maliciously fabricated a story, vigorously picked up by certain so called intellectuals and of course the anti national elements of our society, that Narendra Modi and the police administration conspired to carry out a pogrom by Hindus against Muslims and that the Gujarat riots were state sponsored. Undisputed statistics presented to the SIT show that in the first six days of the riots, 61 Hindus and 40 Muslims were killed in police firing. The death of any person in police firing is tragic. But does a police firing death toll with 60% casualties being Hindu indicate a pogrom by the state government against Muslims? The complaint of Zakia Jafri (filed at the behest of Teesta Setalvad) alleges that the riots that followed the Godhra train carnage were a conspiracy and a pogrom by the ruling party in Gujarat and its Chief Minister in which almost the entire administration was a co-conspirator. More particularly, they perpetrated a smear campaign that the Chief Minister had instructed the police officials not to interfere with or use force against the Hindus taking revenge against the Muslims. This allegation has not been supported by any evidence, except for the false testimony of Sanjiv Bhatt, which not only appeared suddenly after 10 years, but has also been demolished by positive evidence that he is lying.

Teesta Setalvad, under tutelage of the Congress government, propagated to the world at large that the Godhra train carnage was accidental and the riots were a conspiracy supported by the Gujarat government.

3. Another canard led by Teesta Setalvad and other vested interest groups globally was that the Gujarat government and its police did not investigate rape cases. Evidence before the SIT establishes that this was pure fiction, that all rape complaints were being investigated and some convictions had already taken place. It also proved that Setalvad fabricated a false rape case in Naroda, which she alleged was not investigated, with the alleged victim herself denying it and also the eyewitness. Another gruesome fabrication spread by Setalvad about the tearing of a pregnant woman's stomach and lifting the foetus on the tip of the sword has been disproved by the SIT as false. On post mortem the foetus was found intact within the unfortunate dead lady who succumbed to burns during the riots, and was identified by her relatives. This is corroborated by the statement of the doctor who performed the post mortem.

4. While investigating the Gulbarg case, the SIT came across nearly 20 witnesses who came with their readymade typed statements and refused to videotape their statements, to which the SIT objected. When they did give their statements, they did not match the readymade statements, and also admitted to the SIT that the typed statements were given to them by Teesta Setalvad.

5. The Gujarat police had found on investigation that the Godhra train carnage was a conspiracy and what followed was a violent reaction to it. Teesta Setalvad, under tutelage of the Congress government, propagated to the world at large that the Godhra train carnage was accidental and the riots were a conspiracy supported by the Gujarat government. The Justice Banerjee Committee report claiming the Godhra train burning to be an accident was held illegal by the High Court of Gujarat. The SIT also rejected the accident theory, and found on reinvestigation that the Godhra carnage was indeed a conspiracy to burn and bake the unwary passengers and the riots were a reaction. This fact is now judicially established in the trial of Godhra incident by the sessions judge appointed by the then Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court as directed by the Supreme Court. The very fact that one of the principal accused in the Godhra carnage is now a fugitive in Pakistan, with an Interpol Red Corner Notice, clearly reveals how the conspiracy originated. So, another evil myth to poison the minds of the people of our country against Modi has been disproved by a series of judicial findings.

6. It is now widely known that the entire anthology of false and gruesome stories brought to the notice of the Supreme Court by mainly Citizens of Justice and Peace, the NGO headed by Teesta Setalvad, on the basis of which the Supreme Court appointed the SIT itself, were found by the SIT to be false. Modi bashing, Modi defamation became a lucrative industry and a blood sport during the last 10 years. Appropriate recruitments were done, the Goebbelsian strategy that if you repeat a lie a thousand times it will become a truth was used to the hilt. The Congress and Teesta Setalvad must have basked in their success until the SIT findings revealed not only the real truth to the world, but also exposed the lies of Setalvad and Sanjiv Bhatt, in tutoring witnesses, pressurizing them to give false affidavits, and providing false information to the SIT and the Supreme Court. Though still trying their best to attack the SIT, there is little they can do, as all statements of all witnesses are recorded under videography.

7. The enemies of India desperately tried to turn the unfortunate Gujarat riots into a global issue and grievously tarnish Gujarat and Modi through their strategy of repeating lies. But the same Europeans who had succumbed to Teesta Setalvad's pogrom and state sponsored riot theory in 2002, appear to have realised their mistake, and are now graciously making amends, not to mention the overtures made to Modi by the UK and the US.

Well, the lengthy SIT process that involved thousands of witnesses and reams of evidence is over, and Modi has emerged unscathed. It is now time that the conspiracy against Modi and Gujarat should forcefully be informed to the general public, the "secular" intellectuals, the opinion makers and the media.

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