Gujarat HC rejects Zakia Jafri's plea against clean chit to Modi

Gujarat HC rejects Zakia Jafri's plea against clean chit to Modi

Gujarat High Court on Thursday rejected the plea by Zakia Jafri challenging a lower court order giving a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by a Special Investigation Team in connection with the post-Godhra riots of 2002 in Gujarat.

The Supreme Court-monitored SIT in its report on February 8, 2012, had concluded that Modi, then chief minister of Gujarat, had made enough efforts after Godhra train burning to see that law and order situation in the state did not deteriorate.

Activist Teesta Setalvad, meanwhile, has stated that the High Court had party allowed criminal revision of Zakia Jafri. The High Court has allowed Zakia Jafri to challenge lower court’s decision that it did not have powers to direct SIT to investigate the case further.

“Matter can now go before either magistrate or other forums,” she said in her social media message.

Zakia, wife of deceased Parliamentarian Ehsan Jafri, who was killed in 2002 communal riots in Ahmedabad. Ehsan Jafri was among 68 people who were killed at the Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad, when a mob attacked the society on February 28, 2002, a day after burning of Sabarmati Express near Godhra killing 59 kar sevaks and leading to state-wide riots that killed about 1000 persons.

Zakia, along with activist Teesta Setalvad’s NGO Chitzen for Justice and Peace, had moved a criminal review petition in HC alleging a ‘larger criminal conspiracy’ behind the riots.

Their petition sought that Modi and 59 others, including senior police officers and bureaucrats, be made accused and being part of a larger conspiracy that facilitated the riots. It also sought High Court’s direction for a fresh investigation into the matter.

A special court in Ahmedabad had convicted 24 for the massacre that it described as “darkest day in the history of civil society”.

Ehsan Jafri and 68 others were apparently dragged out of their homes and burnt alive by the rioting mob. The court had acquitted 36 others and stated that it did not see any larger conspiracy.

The Gulberg Massacre, as it had come to be known as, was one of the 10 major riot cases of 2002 that were re-investigated by SIT.

Zakia moved to HC in 2014, after the metropolitan court rejected her plea in December 2013.

Teesta, meanwhile, has stated that Zakia Jafri “will now begin again her struggle for justice. In Babri case, it took 25 years. How long will this take us now?” she stated.

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