Riot panel gives nod to Jadeja’s cross-examination

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.

PTI



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

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