BJP to propose resolution against BBC's 2002 riots documentary in Gujarat Assembly

The proposed resolution will likely say the BBC documentary was a "low-level attempt" to tarnish India's global image.
BBC logo at the entrance of the BBC headquarters at Broadcasting House in London. (File Photo | AFP)
BBC logo at the entrance of the BBC headquarters at Broadcasting House in London. (File Photo | AFP)

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Vipul Patel will on Friday move a resolution in the Assembly seeking "strong action" against the "concocted" findings shown in a BBC documentary, which he alleged "once again attempts to blame the then-state government" for the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

The proposed resolution will likely say the BBC documentary was a "low-level attempt" to tarnish India's global image.

"India is a democratic country and freedom of expression is at the core of its Constitution, but that does not mean that a news media can abuse such freedom," according to a summary of the proposed resolution shared by the Assembly secretariat on Tuesday.

The two-part BBC documentary, titled "India: The Modi Question", claimed it investigated certain aspects relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister of the state.

"If someone behaves or acts like this (BBC), then he cannot be taken lightly. BBC is losing its credibility and seems to be working with some hidden agenda against India and the Indian government. Hence, this House requests the Central Government to take strict action against the mind-boggling findings shown in the BBC documentary," said a note on the resolution to be moved by Patel.

The controversial documentary again "attempts to blame the then-state government for the 2002 Godhra riots and subsequent communal riots in Gujarat," said the note.

The BBC documentary misrepresents the events of 2002 and is a malicious and low-level attempt to tarnish India's global image, it said.

Through the documentary, deliberate attempts have been made to tarnish the image and popularity of Prime Minister Modi with an agenda to affect India's goal to be in a top place in the world, said the note.

This, despite the fact that the Nanavati-Shah inquiry commission concluded after a thorough investigation that burning of the Sabarmati Express near Godhra railway station on February 27, 2002, was a premeditated conspiracy, and the riots that followed were spontaneous, it said.

The commission found no evidence that the state government or any religious organization or political party played any role in the riots, stated the note.

The Assembly, which is having its Budget session, will meet on Friday after a two-day break.

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