NEW DELHI: On the tenth anniversary of Gujarat riots, BJP today alleged the media has ignored the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in which convictions were "negligble" but continues to highlight the 2002 riots despite strong police action and the state's growth under Narendra Modi.
In an article, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley defended the role of the Modi government during the riots and maintained that not only have no riots taken place in Gujarat since 2002, the state, including its Muslim population, has seen "remarkable" development.
"Gujarat for a long time had an unfortunate history of such riots, small or big. It was men and events which triggered such conflicts, the last of such major riots being in the year 2002. As a section of the media re-visits the Gujarat riots of 2002, it is equally important to look at Gujarat ten years after the riots," Jaitley said.
He hoped the "unfortunate events of 2002" will never be repeated. He maintains Gujarat "has moved on and its agenda is no longer a social divide".
"The memories of 2002 are not revived by the Gujaratis.
They are revived by elements within the society whose relevance exists in reviving the sad memories of past," Jaitley said.
Describing the Godhra train burning incident as a "barbaric act" which was planned by "mischievous elements" with the intention of creating communal trouble, Jaitley said it had "stunned" the society.
He maintained hundreds died in police firing in the riots that followed, which is in complete contrast to anti-Sikh riots where not one person died in police firing.