Former DGP Gujarat, Mr R.B.Sreekumar is being actively maligned. As reported in Times of India of 20 June 2013, "The Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) submitted that Sreekumar became witness after he was denied any position post-retirement and that he came out in the open after he was superseded. "He cannot be called a whistleblower, since he has not come out with single evidence. All he has said is hearsay," the SIT submitted." [Source]
In this regard Mr Sreekumar has appealed to everyone to understand that he had been diligently performing his duties in compliance with his oath to the Constitution of India well before February 2005. I'm publishing his appeal.
This appeal is significant in light of recent attempts to water down the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat as a "clear-cut" case of "administrative failure" and "bad example of governance". Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parikkar said one cannot put the blame on one particular person. "You don't have to blame only the leader. And Modi probably at that time had just taken over the administration. He may not have had that kind of grip on the administration as he has now". [Source]
This is a new twist to the story. From unambigious evidence of direct connivance in retaliatory activities from the very top, we are now being told Modi was a nincompoop, unable to guide his administration in taking the right actions. In reality, a normal administrative machine is very agile and alert on communal riot matters, and there is evidence of 100s of warnings from the intelligence agencies to the state government about a severe communal situation. No one can argue that the highest levels were not fully aware about the severity of the situation.
For something as ghastly as the post-Godhra riots to have happened, despite abundance of advance warning and training of IAS,IPS and other administrative forces, is unlikely to have been the case of immaturity of Modi as administrator.
The matter of 2002 remains a gray area in which there was alomst certainly real fire (deliberate intent), not just smoke (incompetence). Modi's inability to manage the situation – being a new administrator and hence incompetent administrator at that time – does not add up.
Once again, let me add that if Modi delivers the kinds of total reforms I have been talking about, and does NOT inflame the religious divide in India, I might give him the benefit of doubt since there is none else in BJP who even remotely speaks the language of reform.
It is a very hard choice for India, but I'd argue that all investigations must continue to proceed, and the TRUTH MUST TRIUMPH. I am not "letting off" Modi, just continuing to give the benefit of doubt in the face of solid evidence against him/ his administration.
Let me publish Sreekumar's appeal below, which has already been widely published. Please read it. Says a lot about how Gujarat was being run in those early years of Modi.
APPEAL TO ALL BY R.B. SREEKUMAR
1. For enfeebling the validity and credibility of evidence presented by me to Judicial & Investigating bodies and to denigrate my image, the publicity managers of the Chief Minister of Gujarat State, Shri Narendra Modi and the Sangh Parivar, are widely propagating many lies about the motive and time frame of submission of evidence by me against authors of 2002 anti-minority bloodbath. A totally blatant falsehood spread about me is that I had brought out incriminating material against those responsible for 2002 carnage and subsequent subversion of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) ONLY after my super-cession in promotion to the rank of Director General of Police (DGP) in February, 2005. This contention is utterly baseless, false, malicious and misleading.
2. The real truth in this matter is given below:-
3. When targeted violence was started against the minorities in the afternoon of 27th February, 2002, I was working as Addl. DGP (ADGP) Armed Units (AU) – a post having no authority to intervene in policing functions relating to maintenance of public order.
4. I was posted as, ADGP (Intelligence) – In-charge of the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB), on 09/04/2002. Within a couple of days I had submitted reports, as per my charter of duties, under Rule-461 of the Gujarat Police Manual (GPM) Vol-III, to the State Government and DGP about involvement of the Sangh Parivar supporters in riots, manipulation of CJS to deny, derail and delay justice delivery to riot victim survivors, plan of communal elements – both Hindu & Muslim – to indulge in violence and so on.
5. A few illustrative cases of data in important reports sent by me about the then prevailing situation, containing analytical, preventive, prognostic advance real time intelligence are given below:
a) On 24/04/2002, an elaborate assessment report delineating maladies in the CJS and deviant actions of Police Officers and other Government Officials like Public Prosecutors, impeding justice delivery to the riot-affected was sent to the State Government and DGP Shri K. Chakravarti with specific suggestions for initiating remedial measures (see Appendix-24 of my First Affidavit dated 15/07/2002).
b) Another situation appraisal report was sent by me on 15/06/2002, to DGP & State Government, insisting upon implementing earlier suggested corrective measures immediately to curb the anti-minority posture of Government servants. (see Appendix-IV of my Second Affidavit dated 06/10/2004).
c) A note captioned “Actionable Points” – listing out corrective measures to counter anti-minority approach of Police was submitted by me to Shri K.P.S. Gill, IPS, Former DGP Punjab, the then Advisor to CM Gujarat on 10/05/2002 (see Appendix-III of my Second Affidavit). One suggestion about transfer of officers from Ahmedabad City in the Note was implemented and this action had accelerated the process of establishment of normalcy in Ahmedabad City.
d) Numerous pin-pointed advance real time preventive intelligence reports about plans of Hindu-Muslim militant elements were provided to DGP and field officers (see para-8 of my Second Affidavit).
e) Numerous proposals for initiating action against those circulating communally inciting literature and publishing similar media reports were sent to State Government through DGP for initiating action against them. But the Government did nothing in this matter so far (see para-36 of my First Affidavit and Exhibits No.5635 & 5636 of my deposition before Justice Nanavati Commission (hear-in-after referred to as JNC) on 31/08/2004).
6. On 15/07/2002, I submitted my First Affidavit to JNC in which I appended all important reports sent by me about anti-minority tactics of police officers and others, despite verbal instructions from superior officers for not including such reports in my Affidavit.
7. On 09/08/2002, I made a presentation to the full bench of the Central Election Commission (CEC) chaired by Shri J.M. Lyngdoh, the Chief Election Commissioner. I had disobeyed the illegal verbal instructions of higher officers to paint a picture of total normalcy in Gujarat State for misleading the CEC, so that, the Commission could order holding of early Assembly Election, perhaps for capitalising on the upswing of Hindu communal mobilisation, to obtain electoral dividends. In fact, I had presented data about tension prevailing in 154 out of 182 Assembly Constituencies and related facts. The CEC had accepted my version and acknowledged it in its order dated 16/08/2002 – para-20, 32, declaring that my presentation had falsified the information provided by the State Government (see Annexure-I to my Representation to the HE Governor of Gujarat on 09/12/2012, under the heading ‘Representation to other Authorities’).
8. From 16/08/2002, the day of issuance of CEC order postponing Gujarat Assembly Election, the State Home Department intensified its move to victimise me by asking explanations and launching enquiries on trivial administrative matters, against me. They are –
1) Seeking explanation on my “slackness”in supervision of SIB Control Room staff who sent a secret message through Fax to field officers (Control Room is manned by Head Constables),
2) Finding fault for my failure to report about an enquiry on an investigation of a spy case during my deputation posting with the Central IB, though officers are debarred from reporting such matters to the State Government as per Government of India, DPAR order No.5/21/52/AIS-III dated 04/12/1972,
3) Questioning my act of reporting to CP Ahmedabad, against the then Ahmedabad City Crime Branch DIG, Shri D.G. Vanjara, regarding his alleged planting of fire arms on Muslims on the Rath Yatra Day in July, 2002 and arresting them. (see for details my Third Affidavit Annexure-Ç’& ‘D’)
9. In September, 2002, during the Gaurav Yatra organised by BJP (to express pride and joy over mass killing of minorities!!!), the CM Shri Narendra Modi delivered speeches wounding feelings of Muslim community in Mehsana district. I had sent a report to DGP and Government in this matter as per Government regulations about hate speeches on 12/09/2002. I had cautioned the authorities in this report that the style of language used by the CM in his speeches would adversely affect the prevailing communal situation and vitiate the social ambience. Meanwhile, The National Commission of Minorities (NCM) asked the State Government for providing the full text of CM speech with English translation and audio recording. DGP then verbally asked me to report falsely that SIB was not having the relevant material on CM speech. I had asked for written orders from DGP as his verbal orders were contrary to regulations in this matter. On 13/09/2002, DGP had sent a vague written order indicating that ”we do not have to sent any report in this regard”. Nevertheless I did not comply with these illegal written orders as these were in violation of circulars on handling of communal situation issued by Govt. of India, Rules of GPM and booklet on containment of communalism by DGP K.V. Joseph. So I despatched a detailed report about the relevant CM speech with audio cassettes and English translation to DGP and Government on 16/09/2002. I was transferred to the post of ADGP (Police Reforms) – an assignment without any charter of duties on 17/09/2002 night by the Government. My transfer was in violation of the State Government resolution dated 26/02/2002 fixing 03 years as minimum tenure of IPS officers in SIB and I had completed only five months and ten days in SIB at that point of time.
10. In July, 2004, the State Government had enlarged the terms of reference to the JNS by bringing the role of the CM Gujarat, Ministers and Senior officers in the ambit of enquiry. Soon DGP Shri A.K. Bhargava had issued written orders directing all Police officers who filed the First Affidavit to file Second Affidavit in relation to extended terms of reference to JNC. However, in tune with the duplicity of the State Government, DGP verbally instructed all to ignore his written orders and avoid filing Affidavits. But I had complied with DGP’s written orders and filed my Second Affidavit to JNC on 06/10/2004 in which I presented further evidence on the failure of the State Government in not taking remedial measures to correct the anti-riot victim approach of the functionaries in the CJS (see copies of such reports as Appendix-II, IV, V & VII of my Second Affidavit).
11. In August, 2004, I was summoned by JNC for cross examining me on the data in my First Affidavit. Soon senior Police officers, two officials from Home Department – Shri Dinesh Kapadia, Under Secretary and Shri G.C. Murmu, IAS, Home Secretary along with Shri Arvind Pandiya, Advocate representing Government in JNC had persuaded, cajoled, tutored and even intimidated me for speaking in favour of the State Government during my cross examination by JNC on 31/08/2004(audio records of tutoring interaction is available). However, I did not comply with the illegal directions by Home Department officials. I provided addition information on undesirable and objectionable role of Government officials in the riots along with four documents as exhibits during my cross examination.
12. Submission of my Second Affidavit and non-compliance of instructions by Home Department officials against providing information about culpable actions of Government servants during riots to JNC had further annoyed the State Government. So the Home Department restarted an enquiry against me on the issue of reporting alleged illegal act of planting illicit fire arms on Muslims in Ahmedabad City on Rath Yatra day in July, 2002 by DIG, D.G. Vanjara. It is relevant to note that my report on this alleged deviant act of Vanjara is the only report against him in the Department at that juncture. Perhaps, had State Government taken notice of my report against Vanjara and taken action against him he would not have dared to indulge in the misadventure of staging fake encounter killings from October, 2002 to the time of his arrest in April, 2007. Considering his extra-hierarchal accessibility to and rapport with senior leaders in the political bureaucracy in the State Government even his senior officers avoided reporting against him and had always turned a Nelson’s eye to his alleged misconduct and illegal deeds. So my act of sending a report against Vanjara was deemed as “misconduct” by the State Government, though he was two ranks junior to me and Government restarted an enquiry against me.
13. I had submitted a detailed reply, on 30th November, 2004, to memo issued to me by the Principal Secretary, Home Department, Shri K.C. Kapoor, informing him that DGP had adjudged my act of sending a report against Vanjara as an action,” done in good faith as part of routine duties”. I also added that Government was victimizing me as I did not comply with illegal instructions regarding submission of Second Affidavit and deposition before JNC. I further submitted that if the State Government continued to persecute me I would be constrained to bring more information about illegal verbal orders given to me and evidence of tutoring and intimidation imposed on me by State Government Home Department officials.
14. The failure of the State Government to take remedial measures suggested in my situation reports had only resulted in the riot victims approaching the Apex Court for ordering corrective action to improve the maladies in CJS of Gujarat State. The Apex Court had passed serious strictures against the State Government since 2004 and issued orders for –
1) Transfer of trial of two cases to Maharashtra State.
2) Investigation of one mass rape case (Bilkis Bano case) by CBI
3) Re-investigation of 2000 odd cases closed by Gujarat Police
4) Entrusting investigation of nine major carnage cases to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) chaired by Dr. R.K. Raghavan, Former CBI Director.
5) Investigation of two fake encounter cases by CBI
6) Appointment of a Specail Task Force (STF), headed by Justice Bedi to probe into 17 alleged fake encounters cases in Gujarat from October, 2002 to February 2007.
15. In the judgement of Naroda Patia massacre case (96 killed), the Special Court (Judge Dr. Jyotsna Yagnik) severely criticized Gujarat Police for their anti-minority bias, faulty investigation and acts of favouritism towards Hindu accused persons. Such professional lapses would not have damaged the standard and quality of investigation of riot cases had the State Government implemented corrective measures proposed in my reports to the Government, submitted from April to August, 2002.
16. The State government had not so far questioned the veracity of material in my Nine Affidavits – four submitted while I was in service and five after my retirement in February, 2007.
17. A study of above narrated facts should convince anybody that the false propaganda against me by the Sangh Pariwar that I had come out against Modi Government’s culpable role in riots and subversion of CJS only after my supersession in promotion to the rank of DGP is totally false, baseless and fraudulently malevolent and was fabricated to damage my image and credibility.
18. The purpose of filing my Third Affidavit to JNC on 09/04/2005, as explained in its forwarding letter, was to bring to the notice of JNC, the back ground and reason behind the State Governments unwarranted acts of victimisation inflicted on me. I had expressed my apprehension about the ‘the possibility of the State Government initiating further tormenting action against me, in this Affidavit and requested the Commission to take suitable remedial action in this matter. Unfortunately, JNC did not take any action to protect me, even though all witnesses providing truthful evidence to the Judicial Commission is protected from any criminal or civil proceedings under section 6 of the Commission of Enquiry Act.
19. True to my apprehension the State Government had served me 9 point charge sheet in September, 2005 for dismissing me from service. I brought this to the notice of JNC with my explanation through my Fourth Affidavit.
20. Nevertheless, I could win my case against supersession in a prolonged legal battle up to the Apex Court, though I could get my regular pension and retirement benefits only after 18 months of my retirement. The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) Ahmedabad had quashed the charge sheet served on me and the Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat had refused to impose stay orders on CAT judgement.
21. Thus, it may be seen that my supersession in February, 2005 was an outcome of my refusal to comply with illegal verbal orders of the State Government authority and submission of a lot of incriminating evidence about the culpable role of functionaries in Modi Government in the riots and subversion of CJS, to Judicial bodies. Moreover, information and documents provided in my all four affidavits, submitted while I was in service was pertaining to a period from February, 2002 to September, 2002 and I was bypassed in promotion in February, 2005 only.
22. In the career of an IPS officer, the most decisive post of public order maintenance is the duty of Superintendent of Police (SP) of a district. I had served as SP in seven districts of Gujarat – Valsad, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad City, Mehsana, Kheda and Kutch. No prolonged disruption of public order or communal strife was reported during my tenure in these districts. Numerous commendation letters were received from authorities for my appreciable performance and I was also decorated with two President’s Police Medals.
23. In Kutch district, certain persons arrested for preventing escalation of communal disturbance, belonging to Hindus and Muslims, in 1986, had filed false cases against me and other police officers. However, the Court had discharged me and others following the due process of law in 2007. During my tenure in Kutch as SP, in a special drive 118 illegal Pakistani settlers were detected and deported. Five espionage cases were also made out in collaboration with Central IB and four of these cases were convicted. The then Director Intelligence Bureau, Shri H.A. Barari, (later Governor Haryana) had liberally rewarded Gujarat Police for this remarkable work and had taken me on deputation to IB from 1987 to 2000.
24. In January, 2001, I was deputed by the then Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Keshubhai Patel to supervise police work relating to relief and rescue operations, following a major earthquake on 26/01/2001 in Kutch district. Later the CM Shri Narendra Modi, inducted me in December, 2001 as a member in a committee headed by Shri R.C. Mehta, Former Special Director IB, to make proposals for revamping the State Intelligence Branch. So it is clear that I became a persona non grata to Modi Government only after I send reports against involvement of Government officials and Sangh Parivar supporters in the riots, being devoted to my oath of allegiance to the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India.
25. May I request those engaged in vilification campaigns against me, by spreading vicious rumours, to appreciate voluminous evidence against the planners, perpetrators and facilitators of 2002 anti-minority mass violence and on subsequent subversion CJS, marshalled by me in my Nine Affidavits to JNC (663 pages) and in numerous other reports to SIT, in the perspective of the Rule of Law, rectitude and truthfulness and acted as per the stipulations of the Article-51A of the Constitution of India.
26. The Father of the Nation – Mahatma Gandhi, started his spiritual odyssey on the maxim “God is Truth” and had progressively later realised that “Truth is God”. Speak Truth and move righteously-Satyam vada, Dharmam chara. (Upanishad)
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