Riot panel gives nod to Jadeja’s cross-examination
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Last Updated: Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 16:48
Ahmedabad: The Nanavati Commission on Wednesday in principal agreed to cross examination IK Jadeja, a former minister in Narendra Modi government, in connection with the Godhra train burning incident and the communal violence that followed across Gujarat.

It however decided to pass final order in the last week of November after hearing the state government which objected to Jadeja's cross examination and sought time to file reply.

The Commission comprising of retd Justice GT Nanavati and Retd Justice Akshay Mehta was hearing the applications of NGO Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM) representing some of the 2002 riot victims and Congress party, seeking permission for cross-examination of Jadeja, who was questioned by the riot panel on November 8.

It asked state government advocate Bomi Sethna, to file objections by last week of November when the next hearing is scheduled.

The Commission said it would be summoning Jadeja on the day when the government's objections are to be heard, and if the objections are overruled, Jadeja would be cross examined on the same day by JSM and Congress party.

Appearing for JSM, senior counsel Mukul Sinha told the Commission that since Jadeja was Minister of Urban development at time of 2002 riots, and was also present at the meeting called by Modi on night of February 27, 2002, hence his cross examination was required.

Jadeja was the second minister of the then Narendra Modi led BJP government, who was questioned as witness by the Commission. It had last year questioned the then Minister of State for Home Gordhan Zadafia on the same issue.

Zadafia has now parted ways with the BJP and has floated his own party Mahagujarat Janta Party (MJP).

After his questioning by the Commission on November 8, Jadeja had said he was called by the riot panel to question him with regard to Godhra incident and the riots that took place after that.

When asked if he was questioned about presence of suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in the meeting called by Modi on February 27, 2002, Jadeja had declined to comment.

Jadeja, spokesperson of the state BJP, was present in that meeting, where, according to Bhatt, Modi had instructed officers to allow Hindus "to vent out their anger" during the clashes and wanted Muslims to be "taught a lesson".

He was also present in the state control room during the riots, along with late state Assembly Speaker Ashok Bhatt who was health minister in 2002.

Jadeja is presently the Executive Chairman of Swarnim Gujarat Committee and enjoys status of a cabinet rank minister.


First Published: Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 16:46

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