Apex court SIT submits report on Gulbarg Society massacre

May 14th, 2010 - 11:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Narendra Modi New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigating Team (SIT) Friday submitted to the apex court registry its report on the Gulbarg Society massacre in which 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jaffri, were killed during the 2002 Gujarat communal riots.
The panel, headed by former Central Bureau of Investiogation (CBI) director R.K. Raghvan, probed the allegation of inaction by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, his cabinet colleagues and several senior officers of the state to prevent or tackle the carnage.

In all, 63 people were named in the complaint by Zakia Jaffri, widow of Ehsan Jaffri.

Raghvan submitted the report to the registry in a sealed cover as directed by the apex court bench of Justice D.K. Jain, Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Aftab Alam.

On April 27, 2009, the bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat (since retired) had asked the SIT to “look into” the complaint of Zakia alleging involvement of 63 people for their inaction in the incident.

It may be recalled that the Gulbarg Society situated in the Chamanpura locality of Ahmedabad was attacked by a frenzied mob Feb 28, 2002. The mob set the society on fire in which at least 37 people were burnt alive. The rest were reported missing and were later declared dead. In the rioting, at least 85 people were injured.

During the hearing of the case May 6, 2010, the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice D.K. Jain gave the SIT time till May 15, 2010, to file its final report.

The SIT had sought more time as it wanted to complete the questioning of Vishwa Hindu Parishad general secretary Praveen Togadia, who was eventually questioned for three hours on Monday last.

Prior to Togadia, Chief Minister Modi was grilled March 27, 2010, to ascertain his alleged inaction against the massacre. It is alleged that Jafri made frantic calls to Modi when he was under seige and calls went unanswered.

After submitting to the questioning of SIT, the Gujarat government has now challenged the powers of the SIT to investigate them.

Senior counsel Ram Jethmalani, who is appearing for one of the 63 people named by Zakia in her complaint, has challenged the April 27, 2009, order of the apex court itself, saying that it amounted to changing the law of the land.

He told the court that no orders of investigation could be passed without affording an opportunity to the person named in the complaint.

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