Mahesh Langa, Hindustan Times Ahmedabad, December 26, 2013
A court in Ahmedabad is likely to deliver its verdict on Thursday on Zakia Jafri’s protest petition challenging the clean chit to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and others in the Gulbarg Society massacre case.
Zakia’s husband, former Congress leader Ehsan Jafri, was among the 69 people of Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad, killed by a mob on February 28, 2002.
The court will decide whether the clean chit granted by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) can be upheld as the SIT found no prosecutable evidence against those named in the Zakia’s complaint.
Zakia’s lawyers had argued that adequate evidence was available to initiate criminal proceedings against Modi and others, who had allegedly conspired to target the minority community after a Muslim mob torched the Sabarmati Express on 27 February 2002 near Godhra in which 59 kar sevaks were burnt to death.
In the subsequent riots across the state, more than 1,000 people were killed under the watch of Modi administration.
In her petition, Zakia has stated that “Modi instructed top officials to allow Hindus to vent their anger on Muslims after the Godhra train burning incident. IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s affidavit supports this allegation. Modi indulged in hate speeches that amounted to creating enmity between communities. Ministers were posted at police control rooms to interfere with effective police functioning.”
Following the September 2011 Supreme Court order, the SIT filed a closure report in the magisterial court in February 2012.
SIT lawyer RS Jamuvar had said that the investigative agency did not find any evidence against Modi and hence the closure report had been filed.
The SIT disregarded the affidavit of Sanjiv Bhatt against Modi.