IK Jadeja cross-examined before Nanavati panel

Ahmedabad: Former minister in the Narendra Modi government, I K Jadeja, admitted before the Nanavati commission today that he had spent about three hours in the office of director general of police on February 28, 2002; but he had not interfered in police`s work while there.

The commission, comprising Justices G T Nanavati and Akshay Mehta, is probing the 2002 Gujarat riots. During the cross-examination, Jadeja conceded that he had gone to the DGP office in Gandhingar on February 28, the day the rioting was most intense in the state.

Jadeja, then a cabinet minister in charge of urban development ministry, said he was in the DGP office from about 11 am to 2 pm on the instructions of the then minister of state for home, Gordhan Zadafia. Jadeja has been accused of being at the DGP office and interfering in the police`s work.

He told the commission that Zadafia had asked him to be at the DGP office, so as to avoid "communication gap" between the police and the state government.

Jadeja was asked whether he gave any instruction to the DGP to control the riots. He said "no". "I was not there to interfere in the work of the home department but just to ensure that there was no communication gap," he said.

When asked whether he had got any information from the DGP during the period which he could have passed on to the government, he said "no".

The cross-examination was conducted by advocate Mukul Sinha who represents some of the riot victims through his NGO Jan Sangarsh Manch, and Congress`s lawyer Hiralal Gupta.

Zadafia has now left BJP to form his own outfit, Maha-Gujarat Janata Party.