Gujarat riots back in focus after apex court order against Modi (Second Lead)

April 27th, 2009 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Narendra Modi New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) The ghost of the 2002 Gujarat riots came to haunt the BJP midway through Elections 2009 with the Supreme Court Monday ordering a probe in
the role of state Chief Minster Narendra Modi along with 50 other politicians and government officials.

The news gave fresh ammunition to the Congress which was quick to demand Modi’s resignation, especially in the poll season which has witnessed continued slugfest between the two parties.

“It is a slap on the face of a constitutional functionary, we are not at all surprised. Modi will not be apologetic, he will not resign and nor will he start feeling that anything went wrong in his state,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.

Privately leaders were taken aback by the apex court’s strong order, but they tried to put up a brave face. “This has become a tradition that a Gujarat related issue is raised before the elections,” Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary Arun Jaitley said, a day after he plumped for Modi as the future prime minister.

A grim-faced Modi, however, refused to reply to persistent questions by a TV reporter on whether he had anything to say or would apologise. He tersely said that he has spoken on the issue before.

A bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Asok Kumar Ganguly directed the Special Investigation Team headed by former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director R.K. Raghavan to particularly look into allegations that Modi was involved in the killing of Congress MP Ehsan Jafri in Ahmedabad’s Gulbarga Society arson case.

The SIT was asked to file its report within three months. The decision came on a plea filed by the wife of Ehsan Jafri, who was killed and social activist Teesta Setalvad.

Continuing his tirade against Modi, Congress’ Singhvi asserted: “He should have resigned, not now but seven years ago. But he will not resign. Modi’s greed for power exceeds far more than any morals.”

“It is true that Modi is getting exposed by his conduct”, he said and added that “ultimately this is the true face which needs to be exposed before the public, the true intent of the party which calls itself a responsible opposition.”

The Supreme Court had constituted a five-member SIT to re-investigate as many as nine riots cases of Gujarat, including the killings in Ahmedabad’s Gulbarga Society, in the wake of allegations that the Gujarat Government was functioning in a partisan manner.

Almost 64 people were killed there while more than 1,180 persons died in the Gujarat riots.

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