Narendra Modi was directly responsible for violence in Gujarat: UK’s ex foreign secretary

Jack Straw, who was Britain’s foreign secretary in 2002 when the Gujarat killings happened, has confirmed that the British High Commissioner in India sent a report to the Foreign Office in London which said, “Narendra Modi is directly responsible” for the killings in 2002 in Gujarat. “That was the feeling of those on the ground,” he said.

Jack Straw in a media interview said, “The allegation and belief at the time (2002)” was, as the British High Commission report put it, “Narendra Modi met senior police officers on the 27th of February and ordered them not to intervene in the rioting.”

Straw has also confirmed that the report he received said the killings in Gujarat “has all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing”. He said he was “very concerned indeed about that”.

He said after receiving the High Commission report, “I did talk to the Vajpayee government and the foreign minister (Jaswant Singh) … I’m certain I did.” However, 21 years later he could not recall their response.

Straw, who knows India well, said he is aware of India’s history of communal troubles and was, therefore, “dismayed but not particularly surprised” by the 2002 troubles in Gujarat.