In a six-month-long sting operation, investigative magazine Tehelka.com has royally screwed Gujarat Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Narendra Modi over the 2002 communal riots that led to a wholesale massacre of Muslims in the state.
According to the Tehelka story, ModiÂ blessed the violence that led to mass killing of the Muslims in Gujarat after the Godhra train burning incident in which some Hindus lost their lives.
The sting included interviews with Hindu activists using hidden cameras.
According to the Tehelka transcripts, the Hindu activists boast on tape of having engaged in violence against Muslims with connivance of the police and the state administration.
In the bold expose, Tehelka blames the Gujarat administration headed by Modi as well as the state police for the massacre of many Muslims.
In the introduction to the elaborate sting account of the lage-scale violence against Muslims, Tehelka Editor-in-Chief Tarun Tejpal writes:
Of the many things that are uniquely appalling about Gujarat 2002, three are particularly disturbing. The first that the genocidal killings took place in the heart of urban India in an era of saturation media coverage â€” television, print, web â€” and not under the cloak of secrecy in an unreachable place. The second that the men who presided over the carnage were soon after elected to power not despite their crimes but seemingly precisely because of them (making a mockery of the idea of the inevitable morality of the collective). And finally â€” as TEHELKAâ€™s investigation shows â€” the fact that there continues to be no trace of remorse, no sign of penitence for the blood-on-the-hands that â€” if Shakespeare and Dostoyevsky are to be believed â€” is supposed to haunt men to their very graves.
Responding to the Tehelka sting, the BJP blames it on its rival Congress party and charges Tehelka with acting as the CIA,Â an abbreviation forÂ Congress Investigating Agency.
For its part, the Congress party lost no time in blasting Modi. Congress party spokeswoman Jayanti Natarajan said:
If the constitution of India is to be upheld, if we still call ourselves as a civilised society, if the right to life has any meaning at all, if human rights are to be upheld, Narendra Modi should immediately step down from public office.
Over the last few years, Tehelka has established a fearless reputation for doing investigative stories targeted at the political establishment using hidden cameras.