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Jun 03, 2013 at 08:53am IST

Gujarat riots: HC to hear Zakia's plea against Narendra Modi

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court will on Monday continue hearing Zakia Jafri's case, where she has challenged the clean chit given by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 61 others. She continues to claim that they were conspirators in the 2002 Gujarat riots in which her husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was one of those killed in the Gulburg Society massacre in Ahmedabad.

The lawyer of the Supreme Court-appointed SIT, which has given a clean chit to Modi in 2002 post-Godhra riots case after investigating complaint filed by Zakia Jafri, in April had said, "Modi has never said that go and kill people". Opposing the protest petition filed by Jafri against SIT's closure report, its lawyer RS Jamuar said, "(social activist) Teesta Setalvad and others have falsified the complaint targeting Chief Minister who had never said that go and kill people."

During the second day of arguments, SIT lawyer targeted Setalvad, who has taken up the cause of riot victims, and who is helping Zakia, whose husband, Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, was killed in the riots. Dubbing Setalvad as the sole "writer" of "fictitious" complaint against Modi and others, advocate Jamuar said: "The so-called incident of CM giving instructions to high-level police officers not to take action against the rioters is a sole creation of Teesta Setalvad. There is no evidence."

Gujarat riots: HC to hear Zakia's plea against Modi

Zakia Jafri claims that Modi was a conspirator in the 2002 Gujarat riots in which her husband Ehsan Jafri was killed.

Zakia's petition demands filing of chargesheet against Modi and others who she had named in her complaint filed before the Supreme Court. She has also sought further investigations by an independent agency other than SIT. "On Teesta's instruction a citizens' tribunal was formed under the leadership of Justice (retired) VR Krishna Iyyer...after collecting evidence (it) published a report in which it was claimed that Modi has, in a meeting at his residence on February 27, 2002, gave so-called instructions," said Jamuar.

"When SIT member AK Malhotra examined the members of tribunal, they said the then state minister Haren Pandya told them. But they never had any evidence, no recording of testimony, nothing and still they came up with such conclusion," Jamuar said. "As per the tribunal's report...in that meeting apart from CM three ministers were also present, whereas Zakai's own witness, (suspended IPS officer) Sanjiv Bhatt, later claimed that except Modi no politician was present," the SIT lawyer argued.

"How can they implicate Narendra Modi? Did CM say go on a rampage, go on a carnage, kill people? Tribunal's report is one of the ugliest inquiry report I have ever seen." Advocate Jamuar also contended that Zakia's complaint alleges larger conspiracy hatched by Modi, "but Modi came to Gujarat in 2001 and this all happened within almost three months after he became Chief Minister. How can he hatch a larger conspiracy within that short time?".

"Complaint takes objections to CM's statement terming Godhra incidence as a conspiracy hatched by ISI during his visit to Godhra on February 27, 2002. But what's wrong in it?" he asked. "Whenever there is such an incident, politicians of our country tend to blame it as ISI conspiracy. There is nothing wrong in it. Every time, every politician does that," Jamuar argued. The SIT lawyer also said that Zakia had herself admitted during her deposition before the court in the Gulburg Society massacre trial that she and other witnesses were telling whatever Teesta Setalvad and (former IPS officer) RB Sreekumar asked them to.

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