Supreme Court to Reopen Gujarat Riots Case of Narendra Modi

Zakia Jafri Case of Gujarat Riots
Zakia Jafri Case of Gujarat Riots

While about 2,000 Muslims were killed in the Gujarat riots, there were incidents of rape, robbery, and widespread destruction of property affecting Muslims.

By Rakesh Raman

The Supreme Court of India has decided to hold hearing in the case of Gujarat riots that took place in 2002 when Narendra Modi was the chief minister in the state.

The Court said Monday it will hold the hearing on November 26 on a plea filed by Zakia Jafri whose husband Ehsan Jafri was killed in the riots.

In her petition, Zakia Jafri has challenged the clean chit given by the Special Investigating Team (SIT) to Narendra Modi in connection with 2002 riots in Gujarat.

Earlier, the SIT had exonerated Modi of all charges in the Gujarat pogrom against Muslims. In a “summary closure report,” the SIT had said there was no “prosecutable evidence” against Modi, who was among 62 persons named in the complaint filed by Ms. Jafri and the humanitarian organization Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP).

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While about 2,000 Muslims were killed in the Gujarat riots, there were incidents of rape, robbery, and widespread destruction of property affecting Muslims. It was alleged that the killings were executed at the behest of Modi. Although Indian courts had almost exonerated Modi in this case, most Muslims in India still believe that Modi was responsible for Gujarat massacre.

According to Human Rights Watch, the attacks against Muslims in Gujarat were actively supported by state government officials and the police. Police told Muslims, “We don’t have any orders to save you.”

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As a result, the U.S. administration had denied visa to Modi in view of the allegations of human rights violations against him in the 2002 incidents of riots and carnage. But now as he has become the PM of India, Modi is visting the U.S. frequently because now he enjoys political immunity.

During his visit in India in 2015, the U.S. President Barack Obama did not mince his words when he expressed his concern over the communal violence and religious hatred in the country under Modi’s leadership. He also suggested that the Indian government must ensure religious freedom for all its citizens.

Now after a long wait, people of India – particularly Muslims – expect that the Supreme Court will deliver justice as the Court has decided to reopen the Gujarat mass-murder case.

“The Zakia Jafri case is a unique and unprecedented litigation that attempts to pin responsibility for the Gujarat 2002 carnage on the people who were in power at the time… people who failed to prevent the spread of violence, and may have done so deliberately,” CJP said in a statement released Monday.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.

Photo courtesy: CJP

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Rakesh Raman