New Delhi: Hours after former Punjab DGP KPS Gill said that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi cannot be blamed for the riots that following the burning of a Sabarmati Express train bogie near Godhra station resulting in the death of several Hindu karsewaks, the Congress as well as riots victim Zakia Jafri lambasted the former security advisor to Modi for his remarks.
"If KPS Gill has given Modi a clean chit, does that mean he has taken legal authority in his hand," asked Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.
Zakia, the widow of former Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri who was killed during the 2002 post-Godhra riots, termed Gill's remarks as baseless. "An officer of this level should not make such baseless comments. He should think before speaking," she said.
Gill, a former top police officer credited with ending terrorism in Punjab had served as Modi's security advisor in 2002, had said that Modi cannot be blamed for post-Godhra riots as it is the job of the police leadership to respond to law and order situations.
"In law and order situations, it is the police leadership which has to respond and not the political leadership," Gill said about his assessment of Modi's handling of the riots. He was speaking at the launch of his biography- 'KPS Gill: The Paramount Cop' on Thursday night, which was attended by eminent personalities like Punjab Kesari Group Editor-in-Chief Vijay Kumar Chopra, Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta, former CBI Director PC Sharma and others.
In the book, Gill has lavished praise on Modi saying he had "sincere" intentions to end the violence and accused other parties of trying to defame him. "I realised that people of all political parties who were anti-Modi and anti-BJP were taking advantage of this mayhem and making all efforts to defame Modi one way or the other," he says.
He said that after taking charge as the Gujarat security advisor in 2002, he had visited all places where violence had taken place and policemen from top to bottom refuted having received any direction of the type being mentioned.
He also said a majority of the deaths in the riots had taken place in 5-6 incidents. Gill was appointed in May, 2002, as the security advisor to Modi to bolster efforts to effectively check communal violence in the state.
Meanwhile, Narendra Modi on Friday said that the Congress has no other job than to target him. "There hasn't been a single day where the Congress has not levelled an allegation against me. It is due to god's grace and people's blessings that I have been able to continue my work," said Modi in Pune.