Gujarat riots: Zakia Jafri raised questions on SIT investigation in Supreme Court, made these allegations

New Delhi. Zakia Jafri (Zakia JafriThe Supreme Court on Tuesday (Supreme Court) that after the “national tragedy” of the Sabarmati Express incident in Godhra, the 2002 Gujarat riots (2002 Gujarat RiotsDuring this period there was a “strong collusion” between the political class, investigators, bureaucracy and others, and the Special Investigation Team (SIT) did not investigate these facts. The top court has asked Zakia’s lawyer Kapil Sibal (Kapil Sibal) whether they are blaming the intention of the SIT for this? And said that a word like collusion is a very harsh word for the SIT constituted by the apex court.

A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and C T Ravikumar said that the same SIT has filed charge sheets in the riots case in which the accused have been convicted. Zakia Jafri has challenged the SIT’s clean chit to 64 people, including the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, during the 2002 riots.

68 people died in communal violence
Zakia is the wife of late Congress leader Ehsan Jafri who was murdered on 28 February 2002 at Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad during communal violence. 68 people including Ehsan Jafri were killed in the violence. A day before this incident, 59 people were killed and riots broke out in Gujarat when a coach of the Sabarmati Express caught fire in Godhra.

SC said this about SIT investigation
Sibal told the bench that there are “clear instances of complicity” which have emerged from the record, but the SIT did not probe into the alleged wide-ranging conspiracy in the riots. The bench asked Sibal, “So far we can understand your complaint about the complicity of the local police at the ground level and we will look into it. How can you say this about the SIT which was constituted by the court.”

The bench asked Sibal, are they ‘attacking’ the modus operandi of investigation?
The bench asked Sibal whether the petitioner was “attacking” the modus operandi of investigation conducted by the SIT. To this, the senior lawyer said, “Yes, this is something that bothers me.” The bench then said, “How can you blame the intentions of the SIT? This is the same SIT which filed the chargesheet and people were punished. No complaint was raised in such cases and you appreciated the work done by the SIT in these cases.”

Sibal said, there were signs of alliance with the state machinery
Sibal said complaints were also raised in cases in which charge sheets were filed and the records indicated nexus with the state machinery. Sibal said, “I will show that after the Sabarmati Express tragedy, what happened was that instead of investigating the perpetrators, the investigators actually became associates of the crime. This does not mean that the entire police system was cooperating.”

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He told the bench, “There are instances of collusion which come out of the record. There was an alliance between the bureaucracy, the political class, the VHP, the RSS and others. There was a strong alliance there.” Sibal said the SIT was aware of the “sting operation” which was used in other riot cases and the culprits were punished, but those people were not investigated. He questioned whether the SIT was trying to save those people.

To this, the bench said, “You can give your arguments that this was to be done by the SIT, but it was not done. There may have been an error in judgment and that needs to be clarified.” The hearing in this case could not be completed on Tuesday, which will continue on Wednesday.

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