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Teesta files rejoinder, demands reconstitution of SIT
Monday, April 26, 2010 08:31:25 PM, TCN News
Apex court removes two Gujarat cops from riots probe panel: The Supreme Court Tuesday removed two senior Gujarat police officers from its special probe panel investigating ....Read Full
Ahmedabad: Strongly denying the charges leveled against her by the Gujarat government, Mumbai-based activist Teesta Setalvad of Citizens for Justice and Peace(CJP) has demanded reconstitution of the Special Investigation Team(SIT) and shifting of trial of the riots cases of 2002 outside Gujarat.
In an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court on Friday in response to a state government’s reply accusing her of tutoring the witnesses and tarnishing the image of Gujarat, she accused the Narendra Modi government of being unremorseful even after eight years of the carnage in which around 1180 persons, mostly Muslims, were killed. She also targeted the SIT colluding with the state government. The state government’s reply had also sought permission for registration of FIR against Setalvad and her interrogation.
Regarding allegations that she had tutored the riots witnesses with an ulterior motive, the affidavit said that the allegations by the state government amounted to insult to the brave survivors who deposed in courts in an extremely hostile environment in Gujarat under Modi’s regime.
Targetting the SIT headed by former CBI director R K Raghavan, the affidavit said that the SIT was expected to probe high level conspiracy behind 2002 riots including systematic arms and ammunition distribution but SIT simply avoided it.
Stating that the recording of statements of witnesses by SIT was faulty since the beginning and it was also pointed out by witnesses themselves, the affidavit said that "the whole picture of SIT’s failure became clear only after charge sheets were filed between July-August 2009."
The affidavit also accused the SIT of not probing the circumstances behind the destruction of the phone records of ex-Congress MP Ehsan Jafri and chief minister Narendra Modi at a time when the litigation was under scrutiny of the Supreme Court.
The affidavit also accused the SIT of not probing the telephone data pertaining to ministers, politicians, police officers and senior bureaucrats whose mobile phone locations were traced near the mass massacre sites of Gulberg and Naroda.
Targetting the Gujarat cadre IPS officers in SIT-Shivanand Jha, Ashish Bhatia and Geetha Johri, Setalvad in her affidavit accused them of not conducting investigations properly under political pressure.
Stating that all applications for further investigations or implicating fresh accused were made by witnesses and not by SIT, she said that it suggested "not just a collusion but a shared interest in not getting to the bottom of the investigations pointing to the fact that justice would only be done if the trials move out of the state."
"There is no real hope of justice for the witnesses unless the SIT is reconstituted," the affidavit stated.
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