Narendra Modi, often attacked over the 2002 Gujarat riots under his watch as Chief Minister, today said he feels "liberated and at peace" in the wake of the clean chit given by a local court to him, claiming he was "shattered" by the blame laid at his doors for those killings.
Narendra Modi, who had avoided media questioning on the issue for over a decade and had never said sorry or apologised for the riots, today came out with a long statement in a blog saying he was "shaken to the core".
"'Grief', 'Sadness', 'Misery', 'Pain', 'Anguish', 'Agony' - mere words could not capture the absolute emptiness one felt on witnessing such inhumanity," he said in the blog, in an apparent attempt at reaching out to the Muslim community ahead of next year's elections.
"This is the first time I am sharing the harrowing ordeal I had gone through in those words at a personal level," he said in the blog.
The 63-year-old BJP's prime ministerial candidate has consistently refused to refused to express regrets for the riots that killed nearly 1,000 people, most of them Muslims.
Yesterday, a Metropolitan Magistrate court here upheld an SIT clean chit given to Narendra Modi in the Gulberg Society massacre in which former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was among the 68 people burnt alive during the riots.
"The Gujarat government had responded to the violence more swiftly and decisively than ever done before in any previous riots in the country.
"Yesterday's judgement culminated a process of unprecedented scrutiny closely monitored by the highest court of land, the Honourable Supreme Court of India. Gujarat's 12 years of trial by the fire have finally drawn to an end. I feel liberated and at peace," he said.
Thanking the people who stood by him in these "trying times" through the "facade of lies and deceit", the chief minister said "with this cloud of misinformation firmly dispelled, I will now also hope that the many others out there trying to