Gujarat riots: SIT grills Togadia for four hours



Gujarat riots: SIT grills Togadia for four hours Gandhinagar: VHP leader Pravin Togadia was questioned by Supreme Court-constituted Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is probing some cases of 2002 riots, for more than four hours here on Monday.

The VHP leader, who had come along with his supporters to SIT office, was questioned in connection with a complaint by Zakia Jaffery, wife of former MP Ehsan Jaffery who was killed in Gulburg Society riot of 2002.

Togadia was questioned by former CBI DIG AK Malhotra for more than four hours, SIT sources said.

"SIT has been formed to hang Pravin Togadia. If my name was Hussain I would not have been called by them," Togadia said after coming out of SIT office.

"SIT has called me because I am a Hindu; no Hindu in Gujarat is safe. In this country Hindu saints, temples, organisations are targets of jehadis," he further said.

Referring to the Godhra train carnage incident, Togadia said no SIT has been formed to find out truth about the deaths of 57 karsevaks in Godhra.

When asked about what kind of questions he was asked, he said, "They asked me what kind of speech I had given one year before riots. They also asked, why was I in Gujarat at the time of riots and whom did I talk to".

"I replied, I am a Hindu, I have right to be in Gujarat and with regard to whom I contacted, I know 82 crore Hindus in the country whom should I name," Togadia said.

Togadia reached the SIT office in block number 11 of Old Secretariat campus around 11:00 hours along with several VHP activists who shouted 'Jai Shree Ram' slogans.

After the VHP leader went inside, nearly 100 activists including some sadhus gathered in the lawn outside the office and started singing bhajans.

Before reaching the SIT office, Togadia visited Mahalakshmi temple in Ahmedabad and Panchdev temple in Gandhinagar.

Togadia was called for questioning by SIT on April 19, but he had failed to appear before it then.

The SIT has already questioned Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi with regard to the complaint of Zakia.

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 to give any direction and asked her to seek redressal before the Magistrate's Court on November 3, 2007.

Besides Modi, the SIT has recorded statements of number of persons named in Zakia's complaint which include, former minister of state for home Gordhan Zadafia, BJP leader I K Jadeja, former BJP MLA from Lunawada Kalu Malivad and sitting MLA from Mehsana Anil Patel, ex-IPS officer R B Sreekumar, social activist Teesta Setalvad, IG Shivanand Jha, some senior police officers and political leaders.

PTI