The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned hearing in Zakia Jafri’s petition challenging the clean chit given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in 2012, till July 2019. The SIT that gave the clean chit to Modi was headed by former CBI Director R.K. Raghavan and was tasked to investigate if there was any larger conspiracy in the post-Godhra riots, especially in the Gulbarg Society massacre. However, the SIT in 2012 filed a closure report saying that there was no evidence that PM Modi, who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat, was connected in the anti-muslim riots.
Zakia Jafri in her petition has challenged the Gujarat High Court’s order rejecting her protest petition against the SIT’s closer report.
WHO IS ZAKIA JAFRI?
Zakia Jafri is the widow of late Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, who was killed along with 68 others by a mob during the 2002 riots at Gulbarg society, a middle class and upper-middle-class society in north Ahmedabad. According to several investigative reports, Eshan Jafri was killed inside his bungalow along with others after the state machinery failed to respond to his distress calls. It’s reported in the Caravan, that Eshan Jafri made several appeals to then Chief Minister Narendra Modi for protection however the latter didn’t pay heed and Jafri was eventually killed by a mob.
In 2016, after 14 years of the massacre, a trial court convicted 24 persons, sentenced 11 to life, 10-year imprisonment to one accused and a 7-year sentence to 12. However, even the trial court in its judgement observed that the massacre was prompted by firing from Ehsan Jafri’s weapon from his bungalow, this is what Zakia says happened in self-defence after the authorities didn’t stop the rioters.
IS ANY EVIDENCE AGAINST MODI?
According to a BBC report, a senior police officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who was with Gujarat intelligence bureau in 2002, has on record made a statement in the Supreme Court that Narendra Modi allowed the riots to happen in the state. Bhatt has alleged that in a meeting in the night before the riots, Mr Modi told officials that the Muslim community needed to be taught a lesson following an attack on a train carrying Hindu pilgrims.