Zakia Jafri Challenges Acquittal of Narendra Modi in Gujarat Riots Case

Zakia Jafri Case of Gujarat Riots. Photo courtesy: CJP
Zakia Jafri Case of Gujarat Riots. Photo courtesy: CJP

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 RMN News Service

Zakia Jafri, the widow of Ehsan Jafri — the Congress MP murdered in the Gujarat riots of 2002 — has challenged the acquittal of prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi who was the prime accused as the chief minister (CM) of Gujarat when the massacre happened.

Ms Jafri – through her lawyer Kapil Sibal – contended in the Supreme Court today (November 10) that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Gujarat riots ignored evidence and drew conclusions without any investigation.

Ms Jafri, 81, argued that the SIT did not record statements, seize phones, check how bombs were manufactured, and filed closure reports to exonerate Modi surreptitiously. She has been fighting for justice for the past many years, as her husband Ehsan Jafri was among the 68 people killed at the Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002 — a day after a train was burnt at Godhra in Gujarat, killing 59 people that led to the mass murder of Muslims.

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 Jafri and the humanitarian organization Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP).

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 the Gujarat massacre. The less said about the Indian courts, the better.

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 have no orders to save you.”

As a result, the U.S. administration 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 visiting the U.S. frequently because now he enjoys political immunity. [ Click here to watch a related video. ]

On October 26, after multiple adjournments, the Supreme Court began hearing a Special Leave Petition filed by Ms Jafri and CJP. Now, the case is before a bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari, and CT Ravikumar.

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Rakesh Raman