Tuesday, March 28, 2023
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Gujarat Assembly to discuss motion seeking action against BBC over 2002 riots documentary

Ahmedabad: A BJP MLA has moved a private member’s motion seeking strict action against the BBC, which had aired a documentary questioning the state government’s actions during the 2002 Gujarat riots when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was heading the state as the chief minister, for attempting to malign then state ministry.

The motion will come up for discussion on Friday in the Gujarat State Assembly. The motion, moved by BJP MLA Vipul Patel of Sojitra constituency, seeks recommendation to the Centre for action against the media house.

“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,” states the summary of the proposed motion shared by the Assembly secretariat.

The two-part BBC documentary, “India: The Modi Question”, has claimed that it had investigated certain aspects relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The motion states that the documentary was aired with an ulterior motive to malign the image of Modi at the international level. The documentary blamed Modi for his role, which is against the findings of the Supreme Court-appointed commission, which gave a clean chit to Modi and his government.

“If someone behaves or acts like this (BBC), then that cannot be taken lightly. BBC is losing its credibility and seems to be working with some hidden agenda against India and its 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 motion moved by Patel.

An inquiry commission headed by retd Justice G T Nanavati had concluded that the burning of the S6 coach in Godhra was pre-planned and the riots that broke out later were spontaneous. It found no role of the government, religious institutions, or political parties in the riots. The Supreme Court also ruled out negligence on the part of the state government, the motion stated.