Zakia Jafri, wife of 2002 post-Godhra riots victim and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, on Monday filed a protest petition in a local court seeking rejection of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) report giving a clean chit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others in the Gulburg Society riot case.
The petition also sought further investigations into the case by an independent agency other than the Supreme Court-appointed SIT and filing of charge sheet against Mr. Modi and others.
The court of Metropolitan Magistrate B. J. Ganatra will hear Ms. Zakia’s petition on daily basis from April 24.
“The petition seeks rejection into the SIT Closure Report filed in the same court on February 8, 2012 and requested filing of charge sheet against all the 59 accused, including Mr. Modi, named in Ms. Jafri’s complaint filed on June 8, 2006 before the Supreme Court,” said Ms. Zakia’s counsel S.M. Vora.
The petition requested that the probe be assigned to an independent agency and not to the SIT, headed by former CBI director R.K. Raghavan.
“The petition says that the Gulberg Society massacre was a cold-blooded conspiracy to manipulate the post-Godhra riot incidents, and was planned and executed by Mr. Modi with his cabinet colleagues and other co-accused including VHP leaders,” Mr. Vora said.
The 514-page petition was submitted before the court in three volumes of annexure and 10 CDs. “The petitioner argues that the SIT had adequate documents and statements to come to a conclusion against all the accused, however, it decided to cover up the crimes and misled the court by giving clean chit to them,” Mr. Vora said.
After the SIT submitted its final report to the Supreme Court, monitoring the investigations, it directed the SIT to file the closure report before a local court in the city and provide all papers to Ms. Jafri to enable her to file a protest petition.
Ms. Zakia, along with her son Tanvir, activist Teesta Setalvad and many of the victim witnesses of the Gulberg Society massacre, were present during filing of the plea at the Metropolitan court.
The Supreme Court, in its order on February 7, 2013, had allowed Zakia to file a fresh protest petition and also directed that she be given the entire report of the SIT inquiry.
Ms. Zakia had challenged the trial court’s order rejecting her plea seeking some of the documents related to the investigation in the case, including the interim report filed by SIT member A. K. Malhotra.
She had sought the documents to file the protest petition against the SIT’s closure report in the case, which was rejected by the trial court.
However, following the apex court order, the SIT handed her over the copy of Malhotra report.
The court of the metropolitan magistrate B J Ganatra granted Ms. Zakia time to file her protest petition by April 15, 2013.
On February 8, 2012, the investigating officer of the case Himanshu Shukla had filed his report on Ms. Zakia’s complaint, concluding that as per the evidence gathered no criminal offence has been made out against the accused.
Ms. Zakia had sought prosecution of Mr. Modi, along with 58 others, for aiding and abetting 2002 post-Godhra communal riots in which more then 1,200 people had lost their lives.