Home / News / India /  Did Ahmed Patel pay Teesta to destabilize Gujarat govt in 2002? Congress refutes SIT charges

Did Ahmed Patel pay Teesta to destabilize Gujarat govt in 2002? Congress refutes SIT charges

Congress made the allegation a day after the Gujarat police's Special Investigation Team (SIT) submitted an affidavit in a court here stating that arrested activist Teesta Setalvad was part of a ‘larger conspiracy’.Premium
Congress made the allegation a day after the Gujarat police's Special Investigation Team (SIT) submitted an affidavit in a court here stating that arrested activist Teesta Setalvad was part of a ‘larger conspiracy’.

  • Charges against Ahmed Patel part of PM Modi's strategy 'to absolve himself of responsibility for 2002 communal carnage', Congress said in a statement

The Indian National Congress on Saturday alleged that the charges levelled by the Gujarat government against late party leader Ahmed Patel were part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "systematic strategy to absolve himself of any responsibility for the communal carnage" in 2002. A statement issued by Jairam Ramesh, Congress general secretary in-charge of the party's communication, media and publicity department said, it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "unwillingness and incapacity" as the then Gujarat chief minister "to control the carnage" that had led the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to remind him of his "rajdharma."

This allegation comes a day after the Gujarat police's Special Investigation Team (SIT) submitted an affidavit in a court here stating that arrested activist Teesta Setalvad was part of a "larger conspiracy" carried out at the behest of Ahmed Patel to dismiss the BJP dispensation in the state after the 2002 riots.

"The charges against Ahmed Patel are part of Prime Minister's systematic strategy to absolve himself of any responsibility for the communal carnage unleashed when he was the chief minister of Gujarat in 2002," the statement said. "It was his unwillingness and incapacity as the then chief minister to control the carnage that had led the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to remind the chief minister of his 'rajdharma'," it said. 

"The Indian National Congress categorically refutes the mischievous charges manufactured against late Shri Ahmed Patel," the statement said. Notably, Setalvad, along with former Director General of Police (DGP) R B Sreekumar and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, were arrested by the city crime branch for allegedly fabricating evidence to implicate innocent persons in the 2002 riots cases. Setalvad, along with Sreekumar and Bhatt, was booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 468 (forgery) and 194 (giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction for capital offence), among other offences, according to news agency PTI report. 

The PTI report citing the statements of a witness, the SIT, while opposing Setalvad's bail plea, said to the court on Friday that the conspiracy was carried out at the behest of late Ahmed Patel. At Patel's behest, Setalvad received 30 lakh after post-Godhra riots in 2002, it alleged. Setalvad used to meet the leaders of a "prominent national party in power at that time in Delhi to implicate names of senior leaders of the BJP government in riot cases", the SIT further claimed. 

Additionally, it cited another witness to claim that in 2006 Setalvad had asked a Congress leader why the party was giving "chance to only Shabana and Javed" and not making her a member of the Rajya Sabha. Last month, the Supreme Court had dismissed the plea filed by Zakia Jafri, whose husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was killed during the riots. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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