|Publication: The Times Of India Mumbai;||Date: Jul 18, 2013;||Section: Times Nation;||Page: 11|
Zakia Jafri’s Counsel Produces New Proof To Nail Guj CM
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
New Delhi: The much-touted clean chit to Narendra Modi in the Gujarat carnage is the result of the suppression of a huge pile of incriminating evidence by the Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT). This is the essence of the arguments that have been going on before Ahmedabad magistrate B J Ganatra since June 25 in support of the protest petition filed by riot victim Zakia Jafri.
The evidence allegedly suppressed by the SIT came to light from the documents it had been forced to give Jafri on account of the Supreme Court’s intervention earlier this year. The arguments so far have been on the new evidence relating to February 27, 2002, the day on which the Godhra train burning had taken place.
Highlights of the documents brought to light by the petition opposing SIT’s closure report and the arguments made on them by Jafri’s lawyers:
• The fax message sent to the home department in the morning by district magistrate Jayanti Ravi shortly after the Godhra incident indicated that the initial aggressors were kar sevaks who had been shouting slogans and had instigated a quarrel with Muslim vendors on the platform. Yet, when the minister of state for home Gordhan Zadafia spoke in the Gujarat assembly on the train burning, he glossed over the provocation offered by the VHP-mobilized kar sevaks. Worse, after visiting Godhra the same afternoon, Modi inflamed passions by claiming that the train burning was the result of a “onesided” and “premeditated” act of “terror”.
• SIT accepted VHP leader Jaideep Patel’s claim that he had rushed from Ahmedabad to Godhra because of a call he had received on his mobile from a kar sevak travelling in the ill-fated train. But, according to Jafri’s lawyer, call data records showed that Patel had received a call from one of Modi’s personal assistants. This evidence indicated that Modi himself had asked Patel to go to Godhra and take charge of the situation there. Consequently, the police allowed Patel and his followers to enter the gutted coach and take out the bodies. More significantly, after Modi’s visit, the Godhra administration issued a letter to Patel authorizing him to take possession of 54 bodies. Patel is currently facing trial in the Naroda Gam case.
• During the sitting of the assembly on February 27, 2002, former chief minister Suresh Mehta was sitting next to Modi. In his testimony to SIT, Mehta said that he had heard Modi remarking, “Hindus should wake up now”.
• SIT glossed over a slew of alerts, which had been sent by the state intelligence bureau for at least 20 days preceding the Godhra incident. Those alerts brought out the communal tension raised by the cadres of the VHP and Bajrang Dal who had been mobilized and armed with trishuls to attend the mahayagna programme of building a Ram temple at the Ayodhya site. SIT also ignored the Modi administration’s failure to take any cautionary measures at the railway stations despite the reports of violence by kar sevaks in at least two stations prior to the Godhra flare-up.
At the hearing that will resume on Thursday, Jafri’s lawyers are due to present arguments on the controversial meeting Modi held with senior police officers on the eve of the post-Godhra violence. It was in connection with this meeting that the Supreme Court-appointed amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran had recommended that Modi could be tried on the charges of hate speech and disobeying law.
FRESH AMMO: Zakia Jafri