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Modi quizzed by SIT for over 9 hours, says it is over

Last Updated: Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 23:11

Gandhinagar: Chief Minister Narendra Modi,
who submitted himself to marathon questioning by the Supreme
Court-appointed SIT in a Gujarat riots case, has claimed his
quizzing, the first since the communal violence eight years
ago, has concluded.

"I have been told by SIT that your work is over", 59-year-old Modi said at 0100 hours today emerging from the second round of his questioning at the SIT office at the old
secretariat building.

Modi claimed he had answered all questions put by the SIT and that he had recalled to the extent possible the sequence of events that had taken place eight years ago.

The Chief Minister said his statement was recorded by the
SIT investigators after which he signed it.

Asked what sort of questions he was asked, Modi said, "I
cannot share that with you because the SIT has to submit its
report to the Supreme Court."

Though there was no official word on the questioning,
Modi is said to have replied to 62 of the 68 questions put to
him in the five-hour-long first session that had begun at noon

Modi returned to the SIT office at 9 PM and faced a
second round of questioning for four hours as he was keen that
the entire exercise be completed in one day.

The controversial BJP leader is facing allegations of
omission and commission with regard to the mob attack on a
housing society in which a former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri and
68 others were killed. He was questioned by a team of officers
headed by AK Malhotra, a former CBI DIG.

When pointed out that he had been in the dock for the
last eight years over the riots, a smiling Modi said, "You
have still kept me in the dock."

"Vistaar se batcheet ki (we spoke in detail)," he said,
adding, "Under the Indian Constitution, the law is supreme. As
a common man, CM, I am bound by the Indian Constitution and
the law. No one can be above the law."

SIT Chief R K Raghavan was not present in his office
when Modi appeared in the first session in response to the
panel`s summons.

"This was the first time in eight years that someone
wanted to speak to me on the issue and I attended that", Modi

Taking a dig at his critics, he said, "God give good
sense to those who said I have not spoken for eight years.

"I hope that today`s happening will give good sense
to those who are keen to spread misinformation and those who
spread lies", the Chief Minister said.

Asked if the questions put to him related to Gulburg
Society riot case, Modi said, "Questions ranged from February
27 (2002) till the elections".

On number of questions asked by SIT, he said, "I have not
counted them".

Asked if he was satisfied with the SIT investigations,
Modi said, "The Supreme Court has to be satisfied."

The Chief Minister repeatedly said the SIT was
appointed by the apex court and it did not have a single
officer from Gujarat.

"I have fulfilled my words given to the people of the
country. Nobody is above the Indian Constitution and the law",
he said.

Modi said, "We should create a conducive atmosphere to
work within the ambit of law, so that law can take its own

Modi has become the first chief minister of any state to
be questioned in connection with a criminal complaint of mass
murder after he and his administration were accused of aiding
and abetting riots in one area in Ahmedabad in 2002. He was
summoned for questioning following a complaint of Zakia Jafry,
widow of Eshan Jafry.

The complaint filed by Zakia, among other things, alleged
there was a wider conspiracy by Modi and his administration
and that he had instructed officers not to take action.

"My appearance here is a "karara jawab" (fitting reply)
to my detractors. I have given a resounding reply to those who
doubted my intentions. I hope such talks by vested interests
will stop," Modi said.


First Published: Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 23:11
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