New Delhi: After weeks of speculation, it's now finally official that the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigating Team (SIT) has given a clean chit to Narendra Modi in the Gujarat Riots. It's a reprieve for the Gujarat Chief Minister but activists campaigning for justice for riot victims say it's unfortunate and that they will continue their legal battle against Narendra Modi.
BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "Riots cannot be used for the national and international campaign to tarnish Narendra Modi's image." Activist Teesta Setalvad said, "Unfortunately the SIT has let us down."
Sharp opposing reactions that came out as soon as it became official that Narendra Modi has been given a clean chit by the Special Investigating Team appointed by the Supreme Court.
The question in front of the SIT was raised by Zakia Jafri, wife of Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri who was killed in the riots of 2002. She wanted Narendra Modi along with 61 others to be named in an FIR and be prosecuted for the 2002 Gujarat riots. But the SIT has finally concluded that there's not enough evidence to proceed against Modi and others named by Zakia, seeking a closure of the case.
While the court's decision on the report and case is yet to be delivered, it ordered that a copy of the report be given to Zakia Jafri.
In its order the court said, "The SIT has submitted a closure report against all the persons named by Zakia Jaffri in her complaint. According to the Supreme Court order this court directs the SIT to give a copy of the report to the petitioner within a period of one month."
The report itself is an important moment in a case that Zakai Jaffri started in 2008 when she moved the Supreme Court. And since it deals with the Gujarat riots as a whole and not just one specific incident, political observers point out that Narendra Modi and BJP will take maximum political mileage out of the report.