Modi refuses to apologise for post-Godhra riots
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who had steadfastly declined to answer questions on his alleged role in the post-Godhra violence, has refused to apologise for the riots and instead would prefer to be hanged if found guilty.
"Whatever I had said at that time you can check that. In 2004, I had given an interview in which I had said why should I apologise. If my government had done this, I should be hanged in public in such a way that it remains a lesson for the next 100 years so that nobody dares to do it (such a crime)," he has said in an interview published in Urdu weekly Nai Duniya.
Though much of what Modi has said had been said on earlier occasions, it is significant that he had given an interview to an Urdu weekly, edited by Shahid Siddiqui, a former MP who is now with Samajwadi Party.
He was asked whether he was prepared to apologise for the post-Godhra riots in which more than 1,000 people, majority of them Muslims, were killed -- like Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh apologised for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Siddiqui said today that it was free-wheeling chat by him with Modi. He said he told the Chief Minister's office before the interview that he should be allowed to put all questions related to the 2002 violence and he should not quit in the middle.
He said the thought of interviewing Modi came to him when "Salim Saab" (actor Salman Khan's father) suggested to him that there should always be a dialogue.
Siddiqui said that for him politics and his profession of journalism are separate and this interview has nothing to do with his party.
Modi said in the interview that those who were talking about his apology were fanning trouble. "If Modi had committed the crime then hang him. But if I am being accused because of political compulsion, then I have no answer."
Asked if he felt sad about what had happened and whether he felt like regretting or apologising, the Chief Minister said "what is the meaning of apology now. I took responsibility then, regretted what had happened and I apologised. You can see what I had said in 2002."
He accused the media of having done injustice to him for last 10 years and they should apologise to him.
Modi has been attempting an image make over and had conducted a Sadbhavana fast last year in Ahmedabad and replicated it in some other cities in Gujarat.
The Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team has given a clean chit to Modi regarding his role in riots.
However, petitioner Zakia Zafri, wife of ex-Congress MP Eshan Zafri killed in Gulburg society case has decided to file a protest petition against the clean chit given to Modi by the SIT.