A special panel probing the 2002 Gujarat riots has given a clean to Chief Minister Narendra Modi, absolving the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader of the accusation that he had a role in a case related to the communal carnage.
Metropolitan magistrate M.S. Bhatt, who received the closure report of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in February, in his order said the investigators have found no evidence against any of the accused, including Modi, in the 2002 Gulberg Society massacre, one of the cases related to the widespread riots 10 years ago.
Zakia Jafri, wife of the slain Congress leader Ehsaan Jafri who was killed by a rioting mob, had accused Modi and other senior government officers of being conspirators in the riots.
The former Congress MP was among 69 people burnt alive by a rioting mob Feb 28, 2002 at the Gulberg Housing Society in Ahmedabad. “No offence” has been established against any of the persons listed in Zakia’s complaint as per the SIT report, judge Bhatt said in his order.
This is the first official confirmation about the SIT report on finding no proof against the chief minister. The court also asked the probe panel to give a copy of the report to Zakia Jafri within 30 days which is when the SIT report will become fully public.
“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. Zakia will be given copies of the investigation report, statements of witnesses and all related documents within 30 days of this order,” said the court.
Zakia in her first reaction told Times Now channel that she was “disappointed” with the closure report and vowed to continue her fight for justice till she was alive.
“I am saddened but confident I will get justice. I will fight for the justice till I am alive,” said Zakia, who claims that her husband had made frantic calls to police and the chief minister’s office seeking help, but to no avail.
The probe panel had submitted its final findings on Zakia’s plea to the court in February in a sealed cover and had left it to the court to take a decision on sharing it with the main petitioner.