Gujarat riots 2002: Nanavati panel submits final report to state govt

New Delhi(PTI): More than 12 years after it was constituted, the Justice Nanavati Commission submitted on Tuesday its final report on the 2002 Gujarat riots to state chief minister Anandiben Patel.

Gujarat riots 2002: Nanavati panel submits final report to state govt

“We have submitted the report, which runs into more than 2,000 pages,” Justice Nanavati told PTI, but refused to divulge any contents of the report.

The commission members – Retd Supreme Court Justice GT Nanavati and Retd high court Justice Akshay Mehta – drove to the residence of Patel and submitted the report to her, officials at the Chief Minister’s Office said.

The final report of the commission on the 2002 riots, in which more than 1,000 people – mostly of a minority community – were killed, comes after extensive investigation which ran over a period of more than 12 years.

Last month, Justice Nanavati had said that, “There is no need to seek 25th extension, as our final report is ready. It is now being printed and will come to us in coming days. We will submit the report to the government soon.”

In 2008, the inquiry panel had submitted one part of its finding with regard to the Godhra train burning incident, in which it had concluded that the burning of S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express near Godhra railway station was a “planned conspiracy.”

Initially, the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the commission were to inquire into the facts, circumstances and course of events that led to the burning of the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express.

The panel had been constituted by the state government on March 3, 2002, under the Commission of Inquiry Act, comprising Justice KG Shah in the wake of the Godhra train carnage on February 27, 2002, and the subsequent communal riots across the state.

In May 2002, the state government appointed retired Supreme Court Justice GT Nanavati as the chairman of the commission and the TOR were further amended in June 2002, as per which the panel was also asked to inquire the incidents of violence that took place after the Godhra incident.

In 2008, after the death of Justice KG Shah, retd high court Justice Akshay Mehta was appointed to the panel.

The commission was given 24 extensions of around six months each to complete its investigations.

The commission investigated roles of then chief minister Narendra Modi, as per the TOR, his Cabinet colleagues of that time, senior government and police officers along with functionaries of some right wing organisations during the period of 2002 riots.