European Union investigated Gujarat riots but did not release its findings: Report

Interestingly, the BBC documentary does not refer to the European Union's report

Representative Image
Representative Image

NH National Bureau

Days after the Modi government banned the BBC documentary on the Gujarat riots, which is based on investigation carried out by the United Kingdom, it has come to the fore that the European Union had also carried out an investigation into the Gujarat riots.

However, fearing “disclosing the document in full might ‘prejudice’ relations with India” the block of 27 powerful European countries had refused to release the findings of the investigation, the website Scroll has claimed in a report published on Sunday.

Scroll’s report is based on correspondence between Netherlands-based activist Gerard Oonk and the European External Action Service.

“Disclosure of this document to the public would harm relations between the EU and India by undermining the confidence and trust in EU-India partnership, thus prejudicing EU’s capacity to protect and promote its interests in this context,” an official of the European Union wrote in response to Dutch activist Gerard Oonk’s request for access to the EU’s inquiry report, claimed Scroll.

“The full disclosure of the two identified documents to the public would hamper the on-going cooperation with India, both at a political and operational level,” replied the European Union when Oonk requested access to the report.

“It would also harm maintaining an environment of mutual trust in future diplomatic dialogues and ultimately damage the EU’s and its Member States' interests in relation with this country,” said the EU.

Oonk, the Dutch activist, is the director of the India Committee of Netherlands, formed in 1980 to work with “independent social movements and NGOs fighting for the rights of the poor and oppressed.”

Oonk, while talking to Scroll, claimed that he was banned from entering India in 2002.

“Oonk told Scroll that he had sought access to the European Union’s report after he was approached by a BBC journalist who was looking for it. The journalist had seen a reference to the report in a 2003 article on a website run by Oonk,” reads the news report published by Scroll.

Interestingly, the BBC documentary does not refer to the European Union's report.

Scroll’s report can be read here.

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