A class 12 textbook in Assam has allegedly said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had remained silent during the 2002 Gujarat riots when he was the chief minister of Gujarat. The authors of the book have been arrested and Assam Police have filed an FIR.
The Godhra incident was the massacre in Gujarat after Sabarmati Express carrying 58 pilgrims was burned down.
The authors are Durga Kanta Sharma (former head of the department of Arya Vidyapeeth College), Rafiq Jaman (former head of the department, Goalpara College) and Manash Protim Baruah (former head of the department of South Kamrup College). Sharma had passed away a few years back.
An India Today report claims that a complaint was lodged by Soumitra Goswami and Manav Jyoti Bora who demanded the book be withdrawn from circulation. It was published in 2011.
The report goes on to say that the two complainants claimed that the content in the books tried to 'mislead' the students and give them 'false information'.
On the other hand, the authors justified their book saying that there is no objectionable content and that they haven't written anything criticising the Prime Minister.
"The book is written based on an NCERT textbook and was first published seven years ago. We have not written anything, which is not in the public domain. There are several other books, including ones prescribed by the NCERT that have the same content regarding the Gujarat riots." Manish Potim Barua, one of the authors told India Today.
The cases against the authors have been registered under two sections.
- Section 153(a) – promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony).
- Section 505 – statements conducing to public mischief.