Photo courtesy: Nayi Dunia (Shahid Siddiqui interviews Narendra Modi)
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has said that he should be hanged if he is found guilty of complicity in the communal riots in his state in 2002.
In an interview to an Urdu newspaper, Nai Duniya, Mr Modi has discussed the riots in which 1200 people were killed, most of them Muslims. The newspaper is edited by Shahid Siddiqui, an MP of the Samajwadi Party from Lucknow.
Mr Siddiqui explains, "I asked him, 'Why don't you apologise as Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh apologised, even Rajiv Gandhi had apologised to the nation. So why don't you apologise to the nation? Don't apologise to Muslims, apologise to the nation.' He said, 'There is no question of apologising because if I have committed this crime, then I should not be forgiven, I should be hanged. And I should be hanged in such a way that people should learn a lesson for 100 years that nothing like this should happen'." (Watch
"He also said 'If I have not committed the crime, then the nation and the media especially should seek my forgiveness'," Mr Siddiqui added.
Detailing how the interview with Mr Modi was set up, the MP said," A friend approached Modi's office ... my condition was that there should not be any preconditions and that I will ask all kind of questions, specially about the Gujarat riots," said Mr Siddiqui.