2002 Gujarat Riots: SC to Hear Zakia Jafri’s Plea Against Clean Chit to Modi

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Activist Teesta Setalvad with Zakia Jafri whose husband Ehsan Jafri, a former MP and Congress leader, who was hacked and burnt alive during the 2002 pogrom.

Caravan News

NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court of India on Monday agreed to look into a plea to make civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad co-petitioner in the Zakia Jafri case. Last week, Zakia, widow of slain former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, had challenged the Gujarat SIT’s clean chit to then chief minister Narendra Modi and others in the 2002 riots case.

On Monday, the SIT objected to social activist Teesta Setalvad being the second petitioner in the Zakia Jafri’s plea, says news agency PTI. The apex court said it will look into the application for making Setalvad as co-petitioner in the case, tweeted @LiveLawIndia quoting PTI.

The SC deferred the hearing till Nov 26.

On 13th November, Zakia had filed a petition in the top court challenging the Gujarat High court order upholding the clean chit to the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others for the alleged larger conspiracy in the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

Setalvad has been working for justice to Gujarat riots victims for last 16 years.

Zakia Ehsan Jafri is the widow of late Congress leader Ehsan Jafri who was killed in mob violence on Gulberg Housing Society during 2002 Gujarat riots. Jafri was former member of parliament. Along with him, more than 60 people were killed by rioters in the Gulbarg

Society in Ahmedabad on 28th Feb 2002.

The bench of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Deepak Gupta had said they would hear the plea by Zakia Jafri on Monday (19th Nov).

Jafri has challenged the October 5, 2017 order of Gujarat High Court upholding the Magistrate court order rejecting Jafri’s protest petition challenging the SIT report giving clean chit to top political leaders and state functionaries for the alleged larger conspiracy.

The SIT was set up by the top court, and it had come to the conclusion that no case was made out and the same was accepted by the Magistrate and the finding was “erroneously” reiterated by the High Court, says the petition by Jafri.

The petition further says that the High Court refused to interfere with the Magistrate court order “despite large amount of documentation and contemporaneous evidence that existed which made out a triable case against all the accused.”

The petition by Jafri says she in her case had levelled allegations against various bureaucrats, police officers and political leaders for alleged “conspiracy, abetment and hate speech” culminating in 2002 violence.

Petitioner Jafri referred to the burning of the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002 resulting in the death of 59 kar sevaks at Godhra railway station. She said this was “presumed to be communal attack against the Hindus and this culminated into a reprisal against the Muslim community leading to orchestrated violence and targeted killings.”

Jafri says in her petition that “as contemporaneous official data began to be released, including the intelligence collected by the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB), it transpired that the SIB had information about systematic movements of kar sevaks and accumulation of arms, which was ignored and facilitated by inaction.”

— With Inputs From IANS

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