Court accepts SIT report on 2002 Gujarat riots
Ahmedabad: In a huge relief to Narendra Modi ahead of the general elections, an Ahmedabad court on Thursday accepted the SIT’s closure report giving clean chit to him in the 2002 Gujarat riots while rejecting a protest petition, the only lawsuit which accused the BJP’s prime ministerial nominee of complicity in the riots.
The verdict on the protest petition filed by Zakia Jafri, wife of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, who was among 68 people killed in the Gulbarg society massacre, is expected to give a major political boost to BJP and Modi, fighting hard to erase the taint of the riots that had claimed over 1000 lives, mostly Muslims.
“SIT closure report is accepted and prayers made in the protest petition are rejected,” Metropolitan Magistrate B J Ganatra said, pronouncing the verdict.
“No conspiracy can be proved against Chief Minister Modi and his cabinet as they showed alacrity in requisitioning the Army and took necessary steps to control the situation,” he said.
The magistrate said there was no evidence to suggest that Modi had made a statement at a meeting with top officials following the Sabarmati Express burning incident at Godhra where he was claimed to have said Hindus should be allowed to vent their anger, a charge levelled by suspended IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt.
“There is no evidence that Modi made the controversial statement (To let Hindus vent their ire) in the meeting of February 27, 2002. The court agrees with SIT conclusions on Narendra Modi and rejects the demand that he be charged for conspiracy and abetment of crime,” the order said.
It further said, “The court finds it difficult to say that Modi deliberately ignored his duty during the riots.” Zakia had filed her protest petition on April 15 challenging the Supreme Court-appointed SIT’s closure report absolving Modi of complicity in the conspiracy behind the riots.
74-year-old Zakia, who was present at the court, broke down after the verdict was out and said she will appeal against it in the higher court in a month.
Reacting to the verdict, a relieved Modi took to microblogging site Twitter to say, “Satyamev Jayete! truth alone triumphs.” (PTI)