2002 Gujarat Riots: High Court Begins Hearing On Zakia Jafri’s Petition

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday began hearing on a petition by former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri’s widow Zakia challenging the clean chit given by a lower court to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 58 others regarding their alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Justice Sonia Gokani will also continue the hearing today.

Petitioners’ lawyer Mihir Desai briefed the court about the background of the case and argued that it pertained to all the cases related to 2002 Gujarat riots.

The criminal review petition filed by Zakia and the NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace, run by Teesta Setalvad, demanded that Mr Modi, who was then the Chief Minister, and 58 others be made accused for being party to the criminal conspiracy behind the riots.

Zakia has also prayed for rejection of the closure report filed by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team on February 8, 2012, which gave clean chit to Mr Modi and others.

In December 2013, a metropolitan court here rejected Zakia’s plea to make Mr Modi and others accused, after which she moved the high court in 2014.

On February 28, 2002, following the Godhra train burning incident, 68 people including Ehsan were killed by a mob at Gulberg Society here as riots swept many parts of Gujarat.