PM Speaks of Pain over Pogroms; Vajpayee Hints at Modi’s Removal

June 14, 2004 | Comments Off on PM Speaks of Pain over Pogroms; Vajpayee Hints at Modi’s Removal

In a visit over the weekend to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib in Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke of the 1984 pogroms against Sikhs and the 2002 Gujarat pogroms against Muslims as “painful:”

After paying obeisance at the shrine, Singh told the devotees in Punjabi: “I understand the pain and anguish of Sikhs. Painful incidents like this and (the) Gujarat riots should never happen again.”

“An atmosphere should be created wherein such incidents do not take place again,” he said, urging people to usher in a “new dawn of prosperity” by maintaining peace and harmony.

Despite this speech, Manmohan Singh did not offer any concrete steps that would guarantee non-repetition, such as the removal of perpetrators like Jagdish Tytler from ministerial positions.  Manmohan Singh also did not take a step towards acknowledging the survivors’ rights to knowledge, justice and reparation.

Former Prime Minister Vajpayee made similar statements, adding that the party would consider the removal of Gujarat Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose party organization was charged by survivors and activists with organizing the pogroms against Muslims.  Vajpayee stated that he himself favored the removal of Modi.  Modi, however, emphasized his determination to fight to maintain his power:

During meetings with close allies, Modi is learnt to have expressed fears that once out of power, he might be confronted with legal complications in the post-Godhra riot cases. “He is dead scared that once he ceases to be chief minister, he might lose control over the administrative apparatus which otherwise may support him in an effort to hide facts that point the finger of suspicion at him,” confirmed a Modi aide.


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