SIT obsessed with discrediting Bhatt, Sreekumar: Jafri`s lawyer

Zakia Jafri has accused Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi of complicity in conspiracy behind the 2002 communal riots.

Ahmedabad: The lawyer of Zakia Jafri, who has accused Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi of complicity in conspiracy behind the 2002 communal riots, on Friday said the special investigation team which probed her complaint was obsessed with discrediting former IPS officers Sanjeev Bhatt and RB Sreekumar.

The two officers have accused the Modi government of failing to act to prevent the violence at the time.

"SIT is so obsessed with proving Sanjeev Bhatt and RB Sreekumar wrong that it has ignored all other important aspects of the case. Our case is not solely based on (statements of) Bhatt and Sreekumar but our assertion is there is enough evidence for the prosecution of all those who didn`t follow the Constitutional mandate," said advocate Mihir Desai, Jafri`s lawyer.

Jafri`s husband, Congress leader and former MP Ehsan Jafri, was killed during the riots. The SIT, constituted by the Supreme Court upon Jafri`s complaint, has given a clean chit to Modi and 57 others in its report, which Jafri has challenged before the court of Metropolitan Magistrate BJ Ganatra.

In the over two hours long argument, advocate Desai also said that SIT completely ignored the report of National Human Rights Commission about situation in Gujarat during and after the riots.

"I am not saying that SIT is bound to accept what NHRC has said...But those observations were made by judicial luminaries like retired Chief Justice of India JS Verma, Justice Anand, Justice Sujata Manohar, Justice Ramaswamy and still SIT has not even written a single paragraph on what NHRC has found in its bulky report," advocate Desai said.

Stating that concept of human rights evolved in the recent past, advocate Desai said nobody raised the issue of violation of human rights at the time of Partition, when riots engulfed many parts of the country.

"Did we make a mistake? Yes, we made a mistake. But at that time we didn`t have Commission for National Women`s Rights or Commission for Children," he said.

"We, as a society, didn`t raise the issue of human rights violation during 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi. Did we make a mistake? Yes, we did. But at that time NHRC was not set up."

"So it is a wrong argument that as nobody cried for human rights violation during `84 riots, why everyone is raising it for 2002 communal riots. Does this mean that we should keep on ignoring it?" he said.

NHRC, in its annual reports after 2002 riots, had severely criticised Gujarat Government, and observed that it was a comprehensive failure on the part of the state to protect the Constitutional rights of its citizens.


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