Lucknow, 21 August. Rana Ayyub, author of the much acclaimed book ‘Gujarat Files’ which is based on the sting operation on several senior police and administrative officers of Gujarat, said here today that the country’s polity could change if the action is taken after a fair investigation on the claims made in the book.
The author was speaking here during a program of a discussion on ‘Gujarat Files’ which was organized by ‘Janchetna’ and ‘Anurag Trust’.
In an 8-month long investigation in 2010, young journalist Rana Ayyub had secretly recorded the statements of several senior police and administrative officials of Gujarat who occupied important posts between 2001 and 2010. She had carried out sting even on the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. On the basis of these statements Rana has claimed the connivance of Narendra Modi and his acolyte Amit Shah in the Gujarat riots,
Ishrat Jahan and other fake encounters and the murder of Home Minister Hiren Pandya.
According to Ayyub she had carried out this sting operation on behalf of ‘Tehelka’, but owing to fear of Modi, none of the magazines, newspapers or TV Channels were ready to do this story including her own Magazine. She termed it as seriously disturbing situation for the freedom of expression in the country. She said that many journalists are struggling to bring out the truth in the country and they have to face the pressure and repression of the state and powerful people.
This book brings out the fact that the Dalit oppression and discrimination is not new in Gujarat; rather it pervades through the society and administration from top to bottom. Many Dalit and backward caste officers complain of discrimination in the interviews included in the book and say that the government sidelined them after getting their misdeeds done through them.
Rana Ayyub also read out some passages from the book and shared her experiences of the sting. She also answered questions from the audience. She said that she wished to hand over all her audio and video recordings to some SIT formed for investigation so that right and wrong could be determined and justice is ensured. Rana said that the governments are not even serious about justice. She stated that what else could be the reason behind the fact that the work which she performed single handedly could not be performed even by a 70-member team of CBI? The initial 22 paragraphs of the Chargesheets of the people held on the charges of terrorism in Gujarat are exactly same, which clearly provide evidence of being fake, but why is it that all the investigating teams fail to see it?
It is to be noted that Rana Ayyub’s story on the fake encounters in Gujarat was included by the Outlook Magazine among the 20 most impactful Magazine Story of the world. It was due to the investigation being initiated on the basis of Rana Ayyub’s story that the then Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah was arrested and forcibly exiled from Gujarat.
Earlier Satyam, while introducing the author, said that one could raise question on the facts revealed in the books and while it is important to carry out fair investigation, we must salute Rana Ayyub’s courage and stubbornness to bring out the truth at any cost. In today’s time its necessity and importance is more than ever. This book not only narrates the black truth behind the incidents in Gujarat, but it also is a document of modus-operandi and thought process of the people who are the helm of the country today.
The program was presided over by senior story writer Ravindra Verma. He said that the country today needs many more journalists like Rana Ayyub who could being out the truth by taking risk. Several people from the audience including writer Ajay Singh, president of Lucknow University’s Urdu department Prof. Abdi, Naish Hasan, Sandeep Sharma, Anhad, Lata Kumari, Deepak Kabir, Sushila puri and Arvind Raj Swaroop asked questions from Rana Ayyub and appreciated her courage.
Earlier senior poet Naresh Saxena re-inaugurated the expanded Janchetna bookshop. He said that after the inauguration of Janchetna and Anurag Library, Luknow has got a much needed cultural centre. Various writers, intellectuals, cultural activists, student-youth and social activists including writer Shivmurty, Prof. Ramesh Dixit, Devendra, Sheela Rohekar, Katyayani,. Vijay Rai, Yadvendra, Anil Srivastav, Asgar Mehdi, Rafat Fatima, Rajeev Yadav, Ashish Singh, Arun Singh were present on this occasion.
Some clicks from the program