Published On: Mon, Oct 26th, 2020

Former CBI chief R K Raghavan recalls Modi’s questioning in Gujarat riots, says he kept cool

New Delhi [India], October 26 (ANI): Former CBI director R K Raghavan, who was the chairman of the Special Investigative Team constituted to probe Gujarat riots, revealed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, then chief minister of Gujarat kept his cool right through the marathon session of questioning and never parried questions.

Former CBI chief R K Raghavan

In his autobiography “RK Raghavan: A Road Well Travelled”, Raghavan said the SIT’s unequivocal stand on the chief minister’s role was “unpalatable” to his adversaries in the state and in Delhi and they engineered petitions against him and accused him of favouring Modi.

The former CBI director asked SIT member Ashok Malhotra to do the questioning. He revealed that Modi was asked to come to the SIT office within the government complex in Gandhinagar and said that the Gujarat Chief Minister understood the spirit of SIT’s stand.

“The SIT’s unequivocal stand on the chief minister’s role was unpalatable to his adversaries in 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,” read excerpts from Raghavan’s book.

“There was one more significant event during the SIT investigation. At one point of time, we had to question chief minister Narendra Modi on the various allegations made against the state administration. 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 understood the spirit of our stand and readily agreed to come to the SIT office within the government complex in Gandhinagar,” it said.

Raghavan said that Modi never gave the impression of padding up his responses and was reluctant to take a break during a marathon session of questioning.

“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. He 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,” the former CBI director wrote in his autobiography.

“He brought his own bottle for water and did not accept even a cup of tea from the SIT during the marathon questioning comprising a hundred-odd questions. It required tremendous persuasion to make him agree to a short 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,” he added further.

Raghavan said that his decision to stay away from questioning “intrigued” a lot of people and he said that he took the decision to “avoid any mischievous allegation later that Modi and I had struck a deal”.

He was heading the SIT which was probing the riots that took place in Gujarat on February 28, 2002, following Godhra train burning of February 27, 2002, in which 58 pilgrims were burnt alive.


Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by The Sen Times staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: ANI


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