‘Break silence on clean chit to Modi reports’

Ahmedabad: Any clean chit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in 2002 riot cases would be a "big worry" for democracy and criminal justice system of the country, former CM Suresh Mehta said on Thursday.

In a letter to R K Raghavan, Chairman of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing some of the post-Godhra riot cases, he said a clean chit to the BJP stalwart will also be a critical reflection on the agency.

Mehta appealed to SIT to break its silence on recent media reports that Modi had been absolved with regards to the large-scale communal violence, triggered by Godhra train carnage in February 2002.

"If the media reports are true, then it would be a big worry for democracy and criminal justice system of the country," the former Chief Minister maintained.

"SIT's silence on the issue is likely to shake the trust people have in an investigating agency like them," Mehta said and described the media reports as selective leaks.

He said SIT was not a judicial court and it was improper for the agency to make any judgemental statements, especially when investigations are yet to complete.

In the letter, the former BJP leader provided a list of points on which SIT needs to investigate and "apply mind". He said if SIT completely ignores riot victim Zakia Jaffery's complaint implicating Modi and 63 others in riots, it would be a shameful event in the history of Gujarat.

"My letter to you becomes relevant as it has been nearly two months since the media reports appeared and over three months have passed since the Supreme Court ruling on Zakia's complaint (which has been referred to the lower court in Ahmedabad)."