Bhatt demands action against Modi on Tehelka expose

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Mumbai, Oct 31 (UNI) Coming down heavily on the UPA government at the Centre for its ''inaction'' on the recent Tehelka expose pertaining to the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat, noted filmmaker and civil liberty activist Mahesh Bhatt today said the government should refrain from thinking in terms of political gains or losses.

''A section of the Congress feels that any action against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at this juncture, could benefit the latter in the Assembly elections,'' Mr Bhatt said while addressing a press conference, organised by the Muslim Intellectual Forum, here today. Eminent legal expert Majeed Memon and Maharashtra State Minority Commission vice chairman Abraham Mathai were also present on the occasion.

''What is socially wrong, is wrong -- politically as well. You should not have double standards. There can be no hope for civilisation if we remain silent on such issues,'' Mr Bhatt said.

Stating that the expose had brought the monster out in the open with its fangs spread wide, Mr Bhatt said the country was at danger from Hindu fundamentalists and not from Islamic aggression as claimed by certain quarters.

''There is greater danger to the country from the majority fundamentalism than from Islamic fundamentalism. If you cannot give justice, you should not hope for peace. The time has come to take charge of our lives,'' he added.

Mr Memon, speaking on the occasion, said the rule of the law must prevail in this case too, and Mr Modi should be interrogated like a commoner.

''We must ensure that sufficient pressure is mounted on the government to act on the issue. I will appeal to the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Justice of High Court to suo moto take cognizance and order an independent investigation,'' he said.

Mr Memon said even the Government could direct an independent agency to investigate and, on the basis of its outcome, can take suitable action.

Stating that there is nothing wrong in the demand that Mr Modi be barred from contesting the forthcoming Assembly elections, Mr Memon cited the case of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray who had been barred by the apex Court from voting on the rounds that he had made certain ''inflammatory'' remarks against one particular community.

Mr Mathai stressed that since the perpetrators of the post-Godhra carnage have ''confessed'' their crime on camera, they have no right to roam free.

''We need to create a kind of public opinion to ensure Mr Modi is barred from contesting elections,' he added.

UNI

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