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Gulberg Verdict: BJP claims victory; A huge step forward, says Setalvad

Monday September 12, 2011 03:10:45 PM, IANS

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The Supreme Court Monday directed a trial court to hear a petition by Zakia Jafri, widow of former MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the Gulberg Society carnage during the 2002 riots, against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.  

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New Delhi: Claiming it was a "victory" for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday said the Supreme Court verdict asking a trial court to hear a petition against him in the killing of former MP Ehsan Jafri in the 2002 riots was a relief for the politician.

"It is not just a relief for Modi, but a victory for Modi," BJP spokesperson Balbir K. Punj told reporters here.

The apex court order came after a petition filed by Zakia Jafri, the widow of Ehasan Jafri, urging a probe into Modi's role in the Gulberg society carnage and the trial of the case by a special court outside the state.

Punj said Modi will now "play a much larger role in the national political scene".

He said at no stage did the party believe Modi was involved in the riots.

Another party spokesperson Prakash Javdekar said leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha and former law minister Arun Jaitley will give a detailed briefing about the verdict in the afternoon.

'A huge step forward'

Meanwhile, terming it a huge step forward, social activist Teesta Setalvad Monday said the prayer of the petitioner had been granted by the Supreme Court, which directed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to file its report in the trial court in the 2002 Gulberg Society massacre in Gujarat.

"Our demands that an FIR be registered in the riots case and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) be handed over the case has been accepted by the apex court," she said.

Stating the media should not "misunderstand the order", Setalvad emphasised that the Supreme Court's order was a complex one.

"The order was of due process and a huge step forward," she said.

The Supreme Court Monday directed a trial court to hear a petition by Zakia Jafri, widow of former MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the Gulberg Society carnage during the 2002 riots, against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The petition alleged deliberate inaction on the part of Modi, his cabinet colleagues and some high-ranking state officials.

Setalvad who has been helping Gujarat riots victims fight the cases said the Supreme Court order is not a clean chit for Modi.

"The only regret is the investigation is still left in the hands of the SIT, despite questions raised on SIT investigations. We have confidence in the system in the country," she said.

Accepting that it was a long struggle ahead, she hoped that in 10 to 12 years the case would be able see a closure.





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