SIT gave false impression that SC mandate limited to Gulberg

Zakia Jafri told court that mandate given to SIT by SC was not restricted to probe massacre case only but the "larger conspiracy" behind 2002 riots.

Ahmedabad: Zakia Jafri, widow of 2001 Gulberg Society massacre victim Ehsan Jafri, on Wednesday told a local court that the mandate given to the SIT by the Supreme Court was not restricted to probe the massacre case only but the "larger conspiracy" behind the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

This was submitted by Zakia, who filed a petition challenging the SIT closure report giving clean chit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others for their alleged role in 2002 riots, in the court of metropolitan magistrate B J Ganatra.

"SIT played a mischief by clubbing Zakia Jafri`s 2008 complaint with Gulberg society massacre case and created an impression that the probe was only about the incident related to the Gulberg Society," advocate Sanjay Parikh said after SIT completed its arguments defending its final report it had submitted before the court in February 2012.

Parikh began submissions seeking rejection of the SIT report and filing of chargesheet against Modi and others.

The SIT, during the course of arguments, had claimed that Zakia in her petition included totally irrelevant material like incidents of all other riot cases whereas the Supreme Court had directed SIT to probe only the incidence related to the Gulberg society massacre case.

Contesting the SIT argument, Parikh cited all apex court orders related to the 2002 Gujarat riot cases, including the judgement ordering re-trial in the Best Bakery case of Vadodara, in chronological manner.

In January 2012, SIT had submitted its final report giving clean chit to Modi and others for their complicity in the 2002 post-Godhra riots as alleged by Zakia in her 2008 complaint before the apex court.

Zakia`s husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was among 70 people killed in the Gulberg society carnage on February 28, 2002.

Zakia in her protest petition demanded rejection of the
SIT report and requested court to order further investigation into her complaint by an independent agency other then SIT.

In his opening arguments, Parikh said, "Right from its order in the Best Bakery case till the final order in our petition, the apex court was conscious about the element of larger conspiracy behind the 2002 riots which were spread in 30 locations of 19 districts during February 28 to March 1, 2002.

"The supreme court was aware that these many incidents of communal non-harmony could not have taken place in isolation and some larger conspiracy taken place to send some kind of message which resulted in death and injuries to thousands of innocent people."

After ordering the constitution of SIT to investigate nine major cases related to 2002 riots, the apex court also directed SIT to probe Zakia`s complaint alleging a larger conspiracy behind the widespread riots.

"This was a clear mandate to SIT to probe the larger conspiracy and it was also vested with the power to examine all possible suspects and witnesses," he said.

"If you look at the orders of the Supreme Court directing Gujarat government to hand over all vital documents related to riots, to remove Geetha Johri and Shivanand Jha from SIT, to handover all reports of the SIT to Jafri, it all suggest that apex court was clear about the element of larger conspiracy," Parikh argued.

The hearing will continue tomorrow.


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