Zakia’s charges false, frivolous: Modi told SIT

Gujarat CM had in his deposition before SIT in March, 2010 dismissed the allegations of criminal conspiracy by Zakia Jaffery.

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra
Modi had in his deposition before Special Investigation Team
(SIT) in March, 2010, dismissed the allegations of criminal
conspiracy and subversion of rule of law by Zakia Jaffery,
wife of Congress leader Ehsan Jaffrey slain in 2002 riots, as
"vexatious, false, frivolous".

Refuting all allegations of complicity in the post-Godhra
riots, Modi had said he was doing his Constitutional duty and
functioning lawfully like a CM.

He described the allegations that he was protecting
the criminals and accused in riots cases as "frivolous" and
said that in Gujarat, which has a history of communal riots,
this was the first time that so many offenses were registered
and as of now comparatively a large number of cases have led
to conviction.

The Chief Minister had also denied presences of suspended
IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in the meeting called by him at his
residence on night of February 27, 2002.

Modi was interrogated by AK Malhotra of Supreme Court-
appointed SIT on March 28-29, 2010, for over nine hours at the
agency`s office in Gujarat capital Gandhinagar.

"As a CM, I have been performing my
functions with utmost respect to the Constitution and rule of
law. The meeting to take stock of the situation and review the
law and order situation on February 27, 2002, with high-level
officials of the state was my constitutional duty," Modi had
said when asked to comment on allegations levelled against
him in Zakia`s complaint.

"On the contrary, for doing my constitutional duty to
hold an emergency review meeting, the complainants are
levelling wild allegations of criminal conspiracy and
subversion of rule of law, which is nothing but, vexatious
allegations having no basis," Modi had added.

Modi had told the SIT that he had repeatedly made
appeals to people to maintain peace and harmony, asked
officers to keep in touch with the Army officials for faster
deployment, held a series of meetings for review of law and
order and addressed the press too.

"I had issued a press statement appealing to people to
maintain peace and harmony. My appeal to public was aired on
the Doordarshan. I requested the Union Home Minister and
Defence Minister to expedite deployment of Army. Relief and
rehabilitation measures were put to operations immediately.
All packages were declared and implemented," Modi stated.

He said it was perhaps for the first time in the country
that a committee was constituted under the chairmanship of the
Governor of Gujarat, to review the rehabilitation effort of
the government.

Asked if during the meeting of February 27, 2002, he had
asked he officers present to allow `Hindus vent out their
anger`, Modi said these were baseless allegations.

"On the contrary I had given a categorical and clear-cut
instruction to maintain peace and harmony at any cost".

Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt had in a affidavit
in the Supreme Court claimed that he was present in the
meeting held at residence of the Chief Minister on February
27, 2002, night in which Modi had instructed police to allow
Hindus to vent their anger.

However, Modi in his deposition before the SIT had
denied Bhatt`s presence in the meeting.

Modi also denied the charge that he had rewarded the
bureaucrats who toed the government line with lucrative
positions and post-retirement jobs and those who had fallen
out were never considered for such benefits.

"The allegation is vague, false and without any basis.
It appears that a serious attempt has been made by the
complaint to attribute all the movements in the government to
the Chief Minister," Modi stated.

Modi also denied having said that every action has an
equal and opposite reaction. He said the government had issued
a denial to media reports on the so-called action-reaction
theory statement of his.

"It has been my constant opinion that violence cannot
be a reply to violence and I had appealed for peace. I had not
and would never justify any action or reaction by a mob
against innocents. Hence, I deny all allegations in this
regard," Modi said.

In reply to a question based on his statement to a
television channel where he had allegedly talked about
criminal tendencies of people of Godhra, Modi said that he did
not recollect the exact words of the interview.

He further said Gujarat has had a long history of
communal violence which dated back to 1714 AD.