Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gujarat riots: SIT submits final report in SC

Updated on Monday, April 25, 2011, 15:24

Zeenews Bureau 

New Delhi: The Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is probing the Naroda Patia, Naroda Gam and Gulbarg Society massacre cases of 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat, on Monday submitted its final report before the Supreme Court. 

While there was no word on the contents of the SIT report, its submission holds significance in view of the affidavit filed in the SC by IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt. 

Bhatt, who was a deputy commissioner of police in the state intelligence bureau at the time of riots, blamed Narendra Modi in the affidavit for the communal carnage. Bhatt said the chief minister wanted Muslims to be taught “a lesson” for the Godhra train burning that left 59 Kar Sevaks dead and that Hindus should “be allowed to vent their anger”. 

Bhatt had also cast doubts over the Supreme Court-appointed SIT. 

In his affidavit, Bhatt said after the February 27, 2002 Godhra train burning Chief Minister Modi at a meeting, in which he (Bhatt) was present, said that “this time the situation warranted that the Muslims be taught a lesson to ensure that such incidents do not occur ever again”. 

Bhatt in his affidavit said he had told the SIT that Chief Minister Modi took the position even though he was cautioned that bringing the bodies of the Kar Sevaks to Ahmedabad coupled with a bandh call given by BJP could spark communal riots and Gujarat police were not adequately equipped to deal with such a situation. 

Bhatt said that Modi responded by saying “the bandh call had already been given and the party (BJP) had decided to support the same, as incidents like burning of Kar Sevaks at Godhra could not be tolerated”. 

Bhatt filed his affidavit in the context of the petition filed in the Supreme Court by Zakia Ahsan Jafri, widow of a former Congress MP who was burnt to death with many others at the Gulberg Housing Society by a mob. 

He said that despite his telling the SIT that the post-Godhra riots were orchestrated at the instance of Modi, it did nothing to investigate the angle and chose to turn a blind eye to it. 

In the Godhra train coach burning, 59 Kar Sevaks returning from Ayodhya were killed after fire engulfed the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express at Godhra railway station on the morning of February 27, 2002. The incident sparked widespread anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat.

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