Gujarat riots: Modi gets clean chit

Jafri is the wife of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, who was among 69 people killed in the Gulbarg Society massacre here during the 2002 riots.

AHMEDABAD: A metropolitan court headed by Magistrate BJ Ganatra today rejected Zakia Jafri's petition challenging Supreme Court appointed SIT's clean chit to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in the Godhra riots in 2002.

Expressing disappointment over the ruling by Metropolitan Magistrate B.J. Ganatra, Zakia Jafri and her supporters, including activist Teesta Setalvad, said they would challenge it before a higher court.

The petition challenging the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team's closure report, was filed by Jafri, the widow of slain former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was among the 69 people killed in the Gulbarg Society massacre here Feb 28, 2002 during the bloody riots in the wake of the Godhra train incident.

In her petition, Jafri had alleged that the SIT had shielded Modi and others by discarding the statements of police officers and other available evidence.

She further accused the SIT of having done incomplete and frivolous investigations and playing the role of a court by adjudging the truth about the available evidence.

Before closing the matter, the SIT had said there was not sufficient evidence to prosecute Modi and the incident alleged (the Gulbarg massacre) was beyond the ambit of its probe.

The investigating agency further said that it could not find any prosecutable evidence against the accused regarding their involvement in the alleged larger riots conspiracy.

The SIT declined to consider Indian Police Service officers R.B. Sreekumar, Sanjiv Bhatt and Rahul Sharma as witnesses or treat their statements as evidence on grounds that these were "hearsay evidence".

In 2006, Jafri had sought to lodge a complaint about the alleged larger conspiratorial role of Modi and 62 others during the 2002 riots.

SIT had submitted its report on February 8 last year, clearing Modi's name in any conspiracy.

She had filed a petition against the SIT report in April seeking its rejection and an order to file chargesheet against Modi and others during the 2002 riots.