‘IGNORED EVIDENCE’, ZAKIA JAFRI CHALLENGES CLEAN CHIT TO PM MODI ON GUJARAT MASSACRE

The Supreme Court today witnessed some strong statements related to the Special Investigation Team probe into PM Narendra Modi’s involvement in the Gujarat massacre in 2002. Zakia Jafri, wife of MP Ehsaan Jafri who was brutally killed in 2002 outside his home challenged the clean chit given to Modi in the case. Her lawyer, Kapil Sibal said the SIT ignored a large amount of evidence and drew conclusions without any proper investigation, they did not record statements, seize phones, check how bombs were manufactured and straightaway filed reports of closure, contested the 81 year old widow in the top court. Zakia has been continuing her fight for justice for the past 20 years. Her husband, Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri was one among the 68 people killed by a Hindu nationalist mob in Gulberg Society on February 28, 2002. 

 

Representing Jafri, was senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, who highlighted that he too was a victim of communal violence and lost his maternal grandparents in the violence during the partition in 1947. He was speaking before a three-member bench that consisted of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar. Sibal said there was a body of 23,000 pages as evidence that nobody has cared to look into. “People were massacred because of police inaction… I just want the matter to be investigated… This is all about law and order and rights of individuals,” he said. There was a larger conspiracy at play in Gujarat, including “complicity of bureaucratic officials, deliberate hate speeches and unleashing of violence,” he said. “There were people who were massacred because of police inaction. Where will people go if none of the Courts look into the issue? The republic stands or falls based on what the Court does… This republic is too great to look the other way,” he added. 

 

Sibal pointed out that the most disconcerting evidence was the sting operation and that it was treated as extra-judicial confession, but was never even looked at by the SIT. Justice Khanwilker said that the SIT was to investigate on the basis of the preliminary report and look into Jafri’s complaint and decide on further action. “Communal violence is like lava from a volcano, no matter by one community or by another. Wherever it touches earth, it scars earth and never goes away. It is fertile ground for future events…I don’t want to accuse a or b. But you must send a message to the world. This is unacceptable. This should not be tolerated”, Sibal said, concerned about the case and the failure of the systems to protect the rights and lives of people.

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