Ex-prez replies to Nanavati panel

Himalayan News Service

Ahmedabad, April 25:

Former president KR Narayanan has reiterated in a letter to the Nanavati Commission, probing the Gujarat communal violence of 2002, that early deployment of the army might have saved many lives. Sources said Narayanan has detailed his views on the sectarian strife that claimed at least 2,000 lives in his written reply to the commission, headed by retired judges GT Nanavati and KG Shah. He has repeated his earlier stance that the spread of communal violence could have been contained had the army been deployed in time and orders given to shoot at violent mobs. The former president has reportedly added that his statement was based on his personal understanding. The commission had requested him to appear before it in connection with his media interview and had given him time till May 4 to reply. In an interview to Malayalam magazine Manava Samskrithi, Narayanan had said he wrote to then prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee several times asking him to intervene and control the riots.