SIT summons VHP leader Togadia for questioning in Guj riots



Ahmedabad: The Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) has summoned Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) international general secretary Praveen Togadia to appear before it on April 19, for questioning in connection with the 2002 post-Godhra riot cases.

"Our international general secretary Togadia has been summoned by the SIT on April 19," VHP sources told a news agency.

Sources in the SIT said Togadia has been summoned with regard to the complaint of Zakia Jaffery, wife of slain ex-MP Ehsan Jaffery, who was among the 69 killed in the Gulburg society riots on February 28, 2002.

Zakia in her complaint has alleged that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others, including his cabinet colleagues, police officials and senior bureaucrats, aided and abetted post-Godhra riots in the state.

According to Zakia's complaint, Togadia "collaborated with the other accused in perpetration of violence in pursuance of the conspiracy."

SIT has also questioned Narendra Modi with regards to Zakia's complaint for over nine hours on March 27.

The Supreme Court on April 27, 2009, had asked the SIT to inquire into Zakia's complaint. She had approached the apex court after the Gujarat High Court refused on November 3, 2007 to give any direction and asked her to seek redressal before the Magistrate's Court.

She had alleged that between February and May 2002 there was a "deliberate and intentional failure" of the state government to protect the life and property of innocent.

SIT has already recorded statements of many people named in her complaint which include former minister of state for Home Gordhan Zadafia, BJP leader IK Jadeja, former BJP MLA from Lunawada Kalu Malivad, sitting MLA from Mehsana Anil Patel, ex-IPS officer RB Sreekumar, social activist Teesta Setalvad, and IG Shivanand Jha.

PTI