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Setback for Gujarat riot victims, Zakia Jafri's petition dismissed
Thursday December 26, 2013 5:09 PM, & Agencies

A local court Thursday dismissed a petition filed by Zakia Jafri - Congress leader Ehsan Jafri's widow, challenging the closure report of a Special Investigation Team giving a clean chit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 58 others in a case relating to the 2002 communal riots.

Petitioner Zakia E. Jafri -- whose husband and former Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri was among 69 people killed during the post-Godhra incident riots in Gulbarg Society here -- had contended that Modi and others should be tried for their role in the riots conspiracy which had triggered violence across the state.

The Supreme Court-appointed SIT, which investigated Jafri's allegations against Modi and others filed its closure report Feb 8, 2012 saying there was insufficient evidence to prosecute them.

The verdict is a setback for the riot victims.

Zakia Jafri and Citizens for Justice & Peace (CJP) have been attempting to get serious criminal charges registered and investigated since June 2006.

The Special Investigation team (SIT), originally asked to further investigate nine major trials, was assigned the task on April 27, 2009. The SIT in its reports from 2010 onwards arrived at the conclusion that while several of the allegations were found to be correct, there was not sufficient material to prosecute the accused inclduing Narendra Modi.

In stark contrast to this, the Amicus Curiae senior advocate Raju Ramachandran looking at the same evidence collected by the SIT, came to a contrary conclusion, stating clearly that there was evidence enough to prosecute Narendra Modi.

Faced with this dilemma of two contrary assessments, the Supreme Court remanded the matter to a lower Court directing SIT to file its Final Report there.

The SC specifically directed that if the SIT filed a closure report, the complainants were fully within their legal rights to file a protest petition and access all Investigation papers/documents. Consequently, Zakia Jafery filed a protest petition on April 15, 2013 against the SIT closure report.

From June 24 to August 29, 2013 rigorous arguments in support of the Zakia Jafri's protest petition were made before Judge Ganatra, 11th Metropolitan Magistrate, Ahmedabad.

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