Gujarat riots: Court rejects Zakia's plea against SIT clean chit to Modi

Modi-ZakiaThe case was initially filed against Modi and 61 politicians, bureaucrats, police officers and others, but the list of accused is now down to 56. (AP)

In a major relief for Gujarat chief minister and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, a metropolitan court on Thursday rejected the protest petition filed by Zakia Jafri , wife of late Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, against the clean chit given to him and others by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Pronouncing the order in an open court, Metropolitan Magistrate B J Ganatra told Zakia's counsel Mihir Desai that her petition has been rejected and they have the liberty to approach a higher court.

Zakia, 74, whose husband Ehsan Jafri was among the 68 people killed in the Gulbarg Society massacre here during the post-Godhra riots, had filed a protest petition on April 15 this year, objecting to the Supreme Court-appointed SIT's closure report absolving Modi of complicity in the conspiracy behind the deaths.

Zakia, who was present in court on Thursday, broke down after the verdict was out and said she would appeal in a higher court.

"The only hurdle in the acceptance of SIT's recommendations was the protest petition... The protest petition was rejected, so obviously the SIT report has been accepted. SIT's investigation, integrity, impartiality, all have been given a judicial stamp," said R S Jamuar, SIT's counsel.

After completing its investigation on Zakia's complaint, the SIT had filed its closure report on February 8 last year. It concluded that despite difficulties in obtaining evidence in the case because of the lapse of eight years, whatever material it could gather was not sufficient to prosecute those against whom allegations of hatching the conspiracy had been levelled.

Zakia had filed a complaint against 63 people, including Modi, his ministerial colleagues, top police officers and BJP functionaries, accusing them of a wider conspiracy in the riots which left more than 1,000 people dead, mostly Muslims.

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