gujarat riots 2002: 2002 gujarat riot sit to supreme court news today : No one defended in 2002 riots, SIT informed Supreme Court on Gujarat riots
- Hearing on the case of Zakia, wife of late Congress leader Ehsan Jafri
- SIT said – “Very extensive investigation” was done, 275 people were questioned
- In the Supreme Court, the Gujarat High Court’s order of October 5, 2017 was challenged
The Special Investigation Team (SIT), which probed cases related to the 2002 Gujarat riots, told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it was “not defending anyone”. The SIT said that it investigated Zakia Jafri’s complaint “deeply and efficiently”. Zakia has alleged that there was a big conspiracy during the 2002 Gujarat riots. The Special Investigation Team said a “very extensive investigation” was conducted. It questioned 275 people and there was no material to conclude that it was a bigger conspiracy, as alleged by Zakia Jafri.
Zakia is the wife of late Congress leader Ehsan Jafri who was murdered on 28 February 2002 at Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad during communal violence. Zakia has challenged the clean chit given by the Special Investigation Team to 64 people, including the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, during the riots. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the SIT, told a three-member bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and C T Ravikumar that it would be “very unfair” to say that the SIT had not done its job.
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On the allegation that the state officials did not take appropriate steps to stop the riots during that period, Rohatgi said the violence started on February 28 and the then chief minister called a meeting on the same day and it was decided to call the army. “We (SIT) were not saving anyone,” Rohatgi told the bench.
The former attorney general said there were allegations of the presence of two ministers in the control room during the violence. The SIT scrutinized every person and found that one minister had visited when the other was not there. Rohatgi said the ministers who went there were sitting in a separate room. Rohatgi said, “The SIT did not find anything wrong in the minister going there for half an hour… The presence of the minister would help the police. This would boost the morale of the police that the minister is not hiding in his house.”
At the beginning of the hearing, the senior advocate said that he would try to show that the SIT had done its job “very well and efficiently and examined all the concerned people, all the relevant materials”. A coach of the Sabarmati Express was torched in Godhra in which 59 people were killed. The violence started a day later on February 28, he said.
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“On February 28, the chief minister called a meeting and it was decided to call the army,” he said. He said a fax message was also sent to the Union Home Ministry and there was no delay in the process. On Zakia’s contention that the SIT did not investigate several aspects, Rohatgi said the SIT was assigned a task by the Supreme Court and it conducted a “very comprehensive investigation” and questioned 275 people.
Regarding the allegation that the SIT did not go through the tapes of a sting operation, he said that there was no material in support of the statements made in them. He said there were nine cases related to the riots in which the state police had filed charge sheets and several supplementary charge sheets. After the SIT took over the investigation, several supplementary charge sheets were filed.
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On Zakia Jafri’s contention that the SIT did not examine the Call Detail Records (CDRs) during that period, Rohatgi said that by the time the SIT took over the investigation, nearly eight years had elapsed and the companies had been doing so for such a long time. Do not maintain CDR till date. The SIT had on February 8, 2012, given a clean chit to Modi (now the prime minister) and 63 others, including senior government officials, filed a ‘closure report’ to close the case, saying there was “no prosecutable evidence” against them. was not.
Zakia Jafri had filed a petition in the Supreme Court in 2018 challenging the order of the Gujarat High Court on October 5, 2017. The High Court had dismissed his petition against the SIT’s decision. The High Court, in its October 2017 judgment, had held that the SIT probe was supervised by the Supreme Court. However, the High Court partly allowed Zakia Jafri’s plea seeking further investigation in the matter.
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