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Have closely seen PM Narendra Modi endure pain of allegations levelled against him in connection with Gujarat riots: Amit Shah

New Delhi, June 25

Home Minister Amit Shah today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi “endured false allegations” linked to the 2002 Gujarat riots “silently for 19 years” and he had been a witness to his “pain”.

A day after the Supreme Court confirmed the then Chief Minister’s exoneration, Shah told news agency ANI: “Modi ji endured false charges in silence for 19 years. I have closely seen Modi ji enduring this pain, facing the allegations despite being on the side of truth…because the judicial process was underway he did not speak. Only a man with a strong heart can do this,” he said.

Shah said a triad of “political parties opposing the BJP, some journalists and some NGOsndash;nursed by Opposition political parties” created an ecosystem to spread falsehoods, blowing up lies so much so that “everyone was under its influence”.

“The SC has said that Zakia Jafri used to work at someone else’s instructions. Many victims’ affidavits were signed by the NGO. Everyone knew Teesta Setalvad’s NGO was doing all this. The UPA government helped Teesta Setalvad’s NGO a lot; the whole of Lutyens Delhi knows it. This was solely done to target Modi ji, to tarnish his image, but truth triumphs,” he said.

He also attacked Congress over anti-Sikh riots in 1984, saying “When so many Sikhs were killed, nothing was done for three days. How many SITs were set up? After our government came to power, an SIT (on the anti-Sikh riots) was set up.”

Shah said the way 60 persons were burnt to death in Godhra, there was anger in society. “Until the riots happened, no one criticised it (the Sabarmati Express carnage at Godhra), except for the BJP. The Congress did not make a single statement. No one expressed sorrow, and a Parliament session was on.”

Shah said PM Modi presented an ideal example of how in a democracy the Constitution should be respected by all political persons. “Modi ji was also questioned, but nobody protested, and (BJP) workers from across the country did not gather in solidarity with Modi ji. We cooperated with the law. I was also arrested. There was no protest or demonstration,” he said in an obvious jibe at Rahul Gandhi and Congress party.

Shah also denied any delay by the Gujarat government in calling in the army to deal with riots, saying that Punjab Police chief KPS Gill had also termed the state government’s action “prompt and neutral”. “When the Gujarat Bandh was declared, we called the Army. The Army needs some time to reach. There was not even a day’s delay by the Gujarat government and this was also appreciated by the court,” he said.

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