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2002... when babus, cops 'followed' Modi's orders

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By Rajiv Shah
As days pass by, Gujarat's 2002 riots and the alleged role of chief minister Narendra Modi appear to become even more curious. What began with slain BJP leader Haren Pandya's "anonymous declaration" in front an NGO-sponsored "independent commission" that Modi had "directed" police officials to remain indifferent to the rioting crowd at a meeting on February 27, 2002 has by now become a full-blown legal tangle, being fought in India's top courts.
Despite Pandya's decision to remain anonymous, all knew what he had said and talked about, off the record. About a fortnight before he was mysteriously murdered in 2003, he told me, as he did to others, informally during a dinner at Gymkhana Club in Ahmedabad, that he had indeed made the statement in front of the commission – but on the condition that his name would not be made public. A known Modi rival, Pandya was sidelined for opposing Modi, yet his spirits looked strong.
Statemen…