Modiji endured silently for 19 years: Shah on SC decision
Union Home Minister Amit Shah hailed the Supreme Court's decision in the 2002 Gujarat riots, which rejected a request for an investigation into a "larger conspiracy." Shah stated on Saturday that PM Narendra Modi had "endured false allegations" related to the Gujarat riots for 19 years in silence because the matter was sub-judice, a day after the court confirmed the then-chief minister's exoneration.
- On Friday, the SC dismissed the petition of Zakia Jafri, the wife of slain Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, questioning the Special Investigation Team's acquittal of 64 people in the 2002 Gujarat riots case, including then-CM Modi.
- Jafri was among the 68 people killed on February 28, 2002, a day after a Sabarmati Express coach was burned at Godhra, killing 59 people and sparking riots.
Shah said all allegations leveled against Modi were politically motivated. "A tall leader fought this 18-19-year-long fight without saying a word and braving all pain like 'vishpaan' of Lord Shankar...I saw him suffering through this very closely," he said. "Only a strong-willed person could've taken a stand to not say anything as the case was sub-judice," he added, attacking the Congress for ongoing protests.
"Modi ji endured false charges in silence for 19 years; nobody did a dharna," Shah said, referring to the Congress's protests over the Enforcement Directorate's questioning of party leader Rahul Gandhi. "Modi ji didn't do drama while appearing before SIT—[or say] come out in my support, call MLAs-MPs & stage dharna...If SIT wants to question CM, he himself is ready to cooperate. Why protest?"
Meanwhile, Tanveer Jafri, the son of Jafri, expressed disappointment with the court verdict. He was reportedly praying when he was informed about the order. "I'm disappointed with the top court's order...I also had a talk with her (his mother) about the order, and she said she had full faith in the Almighty. I will also pray so that we get justice," he reportedly stated.
Tanveer, a Surat resident who is currently in Mecca on the Haj pilgrimage, stated that he's handling the legal battle because his 82-year-old mother had a hearing impairment and couldn't stand or walk for an extended period. Tanveer stated, "I've gone through the primary details...will need time to go through it," adding that he would decide on a course of action when he returns.
To recall, Congress leader Jafri was killed during the violence at Ahmedabad's Gulberg Society in 2002. A Supreme Court bench of justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari, and CT Ravikumar has, however, said the appeal filed by Zakia was "devoid of merits and deserved to be dismissed." Zakia challenged the 2017 Gujarat High Court order rejecting her plea against the SIT decision.
Appearing for the SIT, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said the apex court should endorse the Gujarat HC's decision. Representing the petitioners, senior advocate Kapil Sibal cited the work done by the second petitioner, social activist Teesta Setalvad's organizations. He added the matter could be closed "but if you feel that offenses have been committed, then who is responsible is a matter of investigation."
On February 8, 2012, the SIT filed a closure report giving a clean chit to the then-CM Modi and 63 others, including senior government officials, saying there was no prosecutable evidence against them. Zakia filed a petition in the apex court in 2018 challenging the Gujarat High Court's October 5, 2017 order rejecting her plea against the decision of the Special Investigation Team.