Gujarat NGOs cry foul over delay in SIT probe report

Even as the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), it is still to submit its final report in the Zakiya Jafri complaint against Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Several Gujarat-based civil rights group are crying foul alleging that the team was contemplating filing a closure report.

Several prominent NGOs in Gujarat have written letters to the Chief Justice of India urging perpetrator of riots to be punished. Addressing a press conference on Monday, members of these NGOs, stated that media reports indicated that the SIT headed by former CBI Director, R K Raghavan, would file a closure report in the case.

Noted Gandhian Chunibhai Vaidya, who also attended the conference took a dig at the SIT claiming that “it was performing a pre-determined task rather than working with a diligent and an open mind”.

He claimed that SIT’s failure to identify the perpetrators in the face of clinching evidence will send a dangerous signal. “SIT has first and foremost, inexplicably delayed the filing of the charge  sheet as directed by the apex court in September last year, and now, there are reports that the team is planning to file a closure report. “It will be gross injustice to the riot victims,’’ said Vaidya.

Ila Pathak of AWAG, said, despite recommendations of the Amicus curiae Raju Ramchandran, the SIT has been planning to file a closure report. “It’ll be a blow to the mass indignity suffered by the victims, and would send a signal of grave threat to the faith in the rule of law,’’ she said.

The SIT has maintained that it is still to finalise the report. Sources said that the team has sent its preliminary report to the legal advisors for “final vetting”. “It’s only after the suggestions are received that the chairman of the SIT would give a go ahead for filing of the final report,” said a source.

The SIT in its preliminary report last year, had trashed claims of suspended IPS officer, Sanjiv Bhatt, and that he had attended a law and order meeting chaired by the chief minister in which he had directed to go slow on the rioters. However, Amicus curiae Ramchanadran in his contradictors’ report had stated otherwise that Bhatt’s claims cannot be outrightly rejected, rather it should be probed.

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