Home / Politics / Policy /  2002 riots: Zakia Jafri appeals against clean chit to Modi

Ahmedabad: The widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri on Tuesday moved the Gujarat high court challenging a lower court order giving a clean chit to chief minister Narendra Modi and others in connection with the 2002 riots.

Zakia Jafri, whose husband was killed by a mob during the riot at Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad, along with an NGO, filed a criminal review petition in the high court demanding that Modi and 59 others be charged with criminal conspiracy with regards to the post-Godhra communal violence.

The NGO, Citizen for Justice and Peace (CPJ), is run by social activist Teesta Setalvad. Zakia also prayed for rejection of the closure report of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) submitted to the Ahmedabad Metropolitan Court.

The petition, running into about 540 pages, demanded rejection of the order of Metropolitan Magistrate B.J. Ganatra, who had accepted the report giving a clean chit to Modi and others, which included ministers and bureaucrats, named in a complaint filed by Zakia.

The petition, coming just before the Lok Sabha polls, does not augur well for BJP as Modi, its Prime Ministerial candidate, once again comes under the scrutiny of courts for allegations he faces in relation to the 2002 riots.

“The Metropolitan judge has accepted the contentions in the closure report of SIT without considering substantive arguments of the applicant (Zakia)," the petition said.

On 26 December last year, Ganatra had rejected Zakia’s protest petition challenging the SIT clean chit to Modi. The SIT had filed the closure report on 8 February 2012.

The high court is likely to hear the review petition on 20 March.

“SIT has not conducted a free and fair investigation against those named in the complaint," she has alleged.

Ehsan was among 68 people, who were killed when a rioting mob attacked Gulbarg Society, a locality dominated by members of a minority community, on 28 February, 2002, a day after the Godhra train carnage.

“Make Narendra Modi and 59 others accused in charges of criminal conspiracy to commit mass murder, arson, rape and also tampering with evidence and destroying valuable records of the Gujarat home department," the petition demanded. “The Magistrate committed a fundamental error by not dealing with the substantive arguments laid down by Zakia Jafri in written and oral submissions."

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