2002 Gujarat Riots: HC rejects Zakia Jafri’s plea against SIT’s clean chit to PM Modi

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court on Thursday rejected Zakia Jafri’s plea challenging lower court order upholding SIT’s clean chit to the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and 59 others including senior police officers and bureaucrats in the 2002 riots.

The high court, however, allowed Zakia to approach higher forums for further investigation in the case.

Rejecting the petition filed by moved by Zakia Jafri and activist Teesta, the Gujarat High Court ruled that there was “not a larger conspiracy” in the riots.

Zakia Jafri is the widow of Ehsan Jafri, a former Congress MP, who was among 68 people killed when a mob set his house in Gulberg Society on fire on February 28, 2002, a day after the Godhra train burning incident.

Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat at the time.

Jafri and activist Teesta Setalvad‘s NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace, had filed the criminal review petition against a magistrate court’s order which upheld the closure report of the Special Investigation Team (SIT).

Zakia Jafri’s petition demanded to make Modi and 59 others accused of being party to “the larger criminal conspiracy” behind the post-Godhra riots of 2002. Hearing on the petition before Justice Sonia Gokani concluded on July 3.

The SIT, which probed Jafri’s complaint alleging a deeper conspiracy, submitted before the High Court that its investigation was monitored by the apex court, and its report was largely accepted by all.

The lower court looked into all aspects and held that there was no need to investigate the matter further from the angle of a larger conspiracy involving the state functionaries, it said.

(With PTI inputs)