SIT report clears Modi, 61 others

Modi

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) has found no evidence against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 61 others, including bureaucrats, police officers, ministers and political leaders, in the riots of 2002.

The Ahmedabad Metropolitan Magistrate announced this today, saying the SIT was closing its case against the 62, and the petitioner in the case, Zakia Jafri, would get a copy of the closure report by May 10.

"No evidence against the accused and offence is not established against the accused," Magistrate M S Bhatt said.

At best, the report can lead to departmental inquiries against the officials, hinted the SIT counsel.

The Supreme Court that appointed the SIT had earlier directed that Jafri be given a copy of the closure report.

The SIT had submitted the 40,000-page report on February 8. Following reports of a clean chit to Modi, Jafri, who lost husband Ahsan Jafri in the riots, had sought a copy. The SIT had opposed the same.

SIT counsel R S Jamuvar confirmed that the closure report also contained the report by amicus curiae Raju Ramchandran. The apex court had asked Ramchandran to conduct an independent inquiry following allegations of bias by victims against the SIT. Some reports had said Ramchandran had found evidence to book at least Modi for "spreading communal discord".

Asked if the SIT had cleared Modi, Jamuvar said: "I can't say it's a clean chit. But there are a lot of points based on which departmental inquiries can be initiated."

A key SIT officer said while they had proof of negligence by police officers during the riots, "it was not of mala fide intention". "The officials couldn't manage the situation well," he said.

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