In 2002, Lt General Zameer Uddin Shah, who had been dispatched to Gujarat to control the riots, had reached Ahmedabad on the intervening night of February 28 and March 1 and found that “vehicles and other logistical support” promised to them was not ready, and reaction of the civil administration was “tardy”.
In his recently published memoir, ‘The Sarkari Mussalman’, he writes that support for his 3,000 troops, which reached Ahmedabad on March 1, came in on March 2, and the Army lost “crucial hours” before soldiers could be deployed to control the violence.
The officer who received him at the airport, Shah writes, “shrugged his shoulders” when asked about the logistical support and said the “state government was making the necessary arrangements”. Shah writes that to “energise the state government”, he asked to be taken to then Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s residence.
On reaching the CM’s residence, he writes, he found then Defence Minister George Fernandes was with Modi. Shah gave them “a list of immediate requirements to enable the Army columns to fan out to restore law and order”. But when he returned to the…