Gujarat riots: Court rejects Zakia’s plea against Modi

modiAhmedabad : In major relief for Narendra Modi, a Gujarat court today accepted a clean chit given to him in the 2002 communal violence in the state, rejecting a petition against the chief minister filed by Zakia Jafri, whose husband Ehsan Jafri was burnt alive during the riots.
Mrs Jafri had challenged the closure report of a Supreme-Court-appointed Special Investigation Team that said there was no prosecutable evidence against Mr Modi, who is the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate for national elections due by May.Here are the latest updates on this story:
The court said there was no evidence of a conspiracy on part of the chief minister and his cabinet, who had been accused of delaying calling in the army to check the riots. “There are enough checks and balances guaranteed by the Constitution so that the executive doesn’t subvert the judicial process,” the court said.Narendra Modi tweeted soon after the verdict, “Satyamev Jayate! Truth alone triumphs.”
His party the BJP has called the order “a moral victory for the BJP and Narendra Modi.” The party’s Arun Jaitley also said, “Modi has won three elections in this period. Today the court has said what we always believed in.” He had earlier tweeted, “Modi goes into the 2014 campaign untainted by propaganda. The verdict has proved that propaganda can never be a substitute for truth.” (Narendra Modi faced an adversity and emerged stronger says BJP)Zakia Jafri, 75, wept as the court pronounced its verdict. She told NDTV that she was saddened, but not disheartened. Her lawyer has said that they will contest the decision of the Ahmedabad court within a month. (“Mr Modi can rest easy for 20 days, not more,” says Zakia’s lawyer)
Mrs Jafri had alleged that Mr Modi colluded with senior ministers, bureaucrats and the police to fan the communal violence that tore through the state. These allegations were investigated by a Special Investigation Team or SIT appointed by the Supreme Court in March 2008.

The SIT said in February 2012 that there was no prosecutable evidence against Mr Modi and filed a closure report indicating its inquiry has ended. Mrs Jafri then filed her protest petition.Her husband Ehsan Jafri, a former Congress MP, was among 68 people of Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad killed by a mob on February 28, 2002. Mr Jafri’s frantic phone calls for help to the police and politicians were allegedly ignored. (Case timeline)

In April 2011, Sanjiv Bhatt, who was a senior police officer in 2002, said that at a meeting on February 27 that year, Mr Modi told him and other cops to allow Hindus in the state to exact revenge for the killing of 59 karsevaks on the Sabarmati Express near Godhra.The court has in its 440-page order today, concurred with the SIT that Mr Bhatt’s testimony is not reliable. It said that there is no relevant evidence that Mr Modi made the controversial statement that Mr Bhatt alleged he had. (Read: Sanjiv Bhatt’s testimony rejected)

Mr Modi was interrogated in 2010 by the SIT for over nine hours. In 2011, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case and said it would be handled by an Ahmedabad court.

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