The Caravan has obtained a copy of an inquiry conducted by the government of the United Kingdom into the 2002 Gujarat violence, which was cited in a recent BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, titled India: The Modi Question. The report states that the violence was “planned, possibly in advance” by Vishva Hindu Parishad, a Hindu nationalist organisation. The report notes: “The attack on the train at Godhra on 27 February provided the pretext. If it had not occurred, another one would have been found.”

The report cites evidence for stating the violence was pre-planned: “Police contacts confirmed that rioters used computerised lists to target Muslim homes and businesses. The accuracy and detail of the lists, including businesses with minority Muslim share-holding, suggest that they were prepared in advance.”

It also indicts the Gujarat state government, stating, “Chief Minister Narendra Modi is directly responsible.” The report notes:

The VHP and its allies acted with the support of the state Government. They could not have inflicted so much damage without the climate of impunity created by the state Government. Chief Minister Narendra Modi is directly responsible. His actions have not just been guided by a cynical assessment of political advantage. As an architect of the BJP’s Hindu nationalist agenda which it has pursued since it came to power in 1995, he is a believer in the VHP’s ideological motivation.

The report also makes observations on the scale of the violence and points to the involvement of police in the rape of Muslim women. “A conservative estimate based on information from reliable human rights contacts puts the number of deaths at 2000 … The killing was accompanied in many areas by widespread and systemic rape of Muslim women, sometimes by police.” The reports states, “police contacts accept that implicit state Government pressure inhibited their response.”

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