Monday, April 04, 2011

Indian army general praises instigator of 2002 Gujarat pogrom

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, wsws.org, April 1, 2011

A senior officer in the Indian Army, Major-General I.S. Singha, has lavished praise on Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief minister of Gujarat, in an incident that, according to the Times of India, has “sent ripples across India’s armed forces.”

Modi, who is known to harbor national political ambitions, was instrumental in instigating the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat. In an orgy of violence during which state security forces largely “stood down,” more than 1,400 people, most of them Muslims, were killed, according to government figures. Other estimates put the death toll at 2,000 or more. To this day, tens of thousand of Muslims who were chased from their homes during the pogrom languish in squalid refugee camps.

Speaking alongside Modi at the March 14 opening of a “Know Your Army” exhibition in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s capital, Singha praised Modi for his “vision of development for the state and nation.”

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