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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Gulbarg Society massacre | SIT gives clean chit to Narendra Modi

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, accused by slain former Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri's wife Zakia of not acting against rioters, has been given a clean chit by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the Gulbarg Society massacre case which took place during the 2002 riots in the state. The SIT filed its closure report in the Gulbarg Society massacre case on Tuesday, saying that no evidence had been found against any accused named in Zakia's complaint.

The SIT told the court of Metropolitan Magistrate MS Bhatt that no offence had been established against any of the 58 accused including Modi named by Zakia.

"According to SIT, no offence has been established against any of the 58 persons listed in Zakia's complaint, Therefore, as per the Supreme Court's order and principle of natural justice the complainant has to be given copy of the report and related documents," the court said.

The closure report would come as a big relief for Modi, who has been accused of letting the rioters have a free run in the state following the burning of the S6 bogie of the Sabarmati Express train near Godhra station on February 27, 2002 in which at least 59 karsewaks returning from Ayodhya were burnt to death.

Zakia's son Tanveer Jafri said their fight to get justice would continue as Modi had not yet been cleared by the court.

"The SIT report has given the closure report not the court. In fact now the case will start in court. The SIT report has given a clean chit to Narendra Modi and not the court. We don't know whether (amicus curiae) Raju Ramachandran's report has been submitted or not," said Tanvir Zafri.

"We are very happy and thankful to everyone that today I have the report based on my mother's complaint. After 10 years we have received the report. Now we can study the report and decide the future course of action. We will see the report. Now issues can be tackled in court," he said after magistrate Bhatt directed the SIT to provide a copy of the Gulbarg Society massacre report to Zakia.

Ehsan's daughter Nishrin Hussain, who lives in the USA, also said that it was too early to say Narendra Modi had been given a clean chit. "We need to interpret the order. We have been fighting for 10 years and this fight will go on," she said.

Zakia Jafri and Teesta Setalvad-led Citizens for Justice and Peace had filed an application in the Metropolitan Court in Ahmedabad stating that they were apprehensive that the SIT had not filed the complete report in the Gulbarg Society massacre case as directed by the Supreme Court and asked the magistrate to direct the SIT to provide them a copy of the report. They wanted to know whether they would be allowed to read the SIT report in the courtroom or not.

Reacting to the SIT exonerating Modi in the Gulbarg Society massacre case, Setalvad said that it was a huge disappointment. "We were certainly expecting more from the report. The entire exercise has been carried out from 2002 and now the judiciary has failed," said Setalvad.

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