Amicus curiae report on Gulberg points at Modi, Congress attacks BJP
In fresh trouble for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, a Supreme Court-appointed amicus curiae's report on the Gulberg Society carnage said that Modi's role in the 2002 carnage needs to be probed.
The Congress attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for allowing Modi to continue in office despite his alleged complicity in the riots, while the BJP stoutly defended the chief minister.
The report by amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran in the case was handed over to complainant, Zakia Jafri, whose husband Ehsan Jafri, a former Congress MP, was among 69 people killed in the Gulberg society carnage.
The SIT report was also handed over to Jafri in a local court in Ahmedabad.
Ramachandran has said in his report, there was a need for examining Modi's role in the wake of the Godhra train burning to find out whether a message was conveyed that the state machinery would not step in to prevent the communal riots that followed.
Ramachandran says the chairman of the Supreme Court-appointed SIT had found that a meeting had indeed taken place at Modi's residence at 11 p.m. on Feb 27, 2002 that was attended by senior bureaucrats and police officers.
The report terms as incorrect the claim of Indian Police Service Officer Sanjiv Bhatt, the then Deputy Commissioner of Police (Intelligence), that he was present at the meeting.
Ramachandran's report was handed over to Jafri almost a month after the SIT found no prosecutable evidence against Modi and had sought a closure in the probe.
Modi was among the persons accused by Zakia of alleged criminal conspiracy in the riots.
The court has asked Jafri to file an application on May 10 if she feels there are discrepancies in the report or that documents are incomplete. Jafri has asked for two months' time before arguments can begin in the case.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari Monday attacked the BJP over its morality in letting Modi continue in office.
"If it (BJP) had morality, they would have taken corrective steps ten years back," Tewari said.
He said any right minded person would not have doubts about the responsibility of Modi in the post-Godhra riots of 2002.
"The whole nation knows who was responsible for the riots, no more inquiry is needed," Tewari said.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar rejected Congress allegations about Modi's complicity in the Gulberg carnage case and said matters related to the report filed by Ramachandran had been dealt with by the SIT in its "closure report".
He said the SIT report had put everything on record.
Javadekar said the SIT had prepared its report after months of investigation.
"Ultimately, truth has prevailed," Javadekar said.
Javadekar said Modi was not guilty. "Whoever is responsible is getting punished," he said.
Talking to mediapersons after getting the report, Jafri said she will go through it.
"I have got the report today. I will go through it," she said.
Activist Teesta Setalvad said the report was voluminous and they would verify if all documents were there.
"We will ask for time in July to file protest and argue," she said.
BJP leader Aruj Jaitley said the SIT has very clearly said that Modi had absolutely no role in the riots and even the allegations raised by one police officer against him have been found to be incorrect.
"SIT's report is final. It is categorical. It is only subject to what the court was eventually saying. As far as amicus curiae views were concerned, the SIT was directed to take them into consideration and express its final opinion on that. They have said so," he said.
Jaitley said the chargesheet or the trial is going to be on what the SIT says. "It is SIT and not the amicus which is final," he said.