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BJP cites govt statistics to defend Modi

Press Trust of India

Posted: May 12, 2005 at 1812 hrs IST

The BJP on Thursday sought to defend the Narendra Modi government against charges of ‘genocide’ and said the killing of 254 Hindus, mostly in police firing, showed how the state authorities took ‘effective steps’ to check the violence.

In a written reply, Minister of State for Home Affairs Sriprakash Jaiswal had informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that 254 Hindus and 790 Muslims were killed in Gujarat in the 2002 riots.

"Congress president Sonia Gandhi in her poll campaigns had repeatedly termed the violence as a genocide. While any casualty is unfortunate, the figures given by the government in Parliament does not constitute any genocide, like the manner in which millions of Jews were killed", BJP parliamentary party spokesman V.K. Malhotra said.

He said most of the 254 Hindus were killed in police firing and "this showed how effectively the state government had dealt with the situation. It exposes the baseless allegations that the BJP government did not act".

The BJP deputy leader in Lok Sabha claimed that not a single person was killed in police firings in riots which occurred during earlier Congress regimes including the Bhagalpur violence and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Malhotra, however, took exception to the government naming communities with regard to violence and alleged that the question was ‘deliberately asked and answered’.

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