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Modi likely to skip appearance before SIT

March 20, 2010 20:08 IST

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is likely to skip his scheduled appearance on Sunday before the Special Investigation Team probing a post-Godhra riots case, sources in the state government said on Saturday.

The SIT had summoned Modi on Sunday in connection with the complaint of Jakia Jaffery, wife of slain former Member of Parliament Eshan Jaffery, in the Gulburg society riot case.

The SIT had not received any communication from the chief minister till today evening. "There is no response from Modi as yet," said SIT chief R K Raghavan.

The Supreme Court had on April 27 last year asked the SIT to inquire into Zakia's complaint, where she alleged that Modi and 62 others, including his cabinet colleagues, police officials and senior bureaucrats, aided and abetted the riots, which claimed the lives of over 1,000 members of the minority community.

The former MP was killed along with 69 others by a mob at Gulburg society in February 2002.

Zakia approached the apex court after the Gujarat high court had refused to act on her plea on November 3, 2007, and asked her to seek redressal before the magistrate's court.

The wife of the slain Congress leader had alleged that between February and May 2002 there was a 'deliberate and intentional failure' of the state government to protect the life and property of innocents.

Zakia on Saturday stated that Modi should appear before the probe panel.

Congress general secretary and state in-charge P Sudhakar Reddy said, "Modi, when elected back to power in 2007, had said that he was not a chief minister but a common man. He should depose before the SIT when a summons is issued in his name and prove that he is a common man".

The SIT had to face legal hurdles while probing Zakia's complaint, when in July last year former Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Legislative Assembly Kalu Malivad (one of the 63 people named in the complaint) approached the Gujarat high court, seeking a stay on investigations by the SIT with regard to Zakia Jaffery.

The high court had dismissed the petition, saying as the SIT is directly working under the supervision of the Supreme Court, no relief can be granted in this matter. Malivad then approached the apex court challenging the high court verdict.

In connection with Zakia's complaint, SIT has already recorded statements of a number of persons named in her complaint, including former home minister Gordhan Zadafia, BJP leader I K Jadeja, former BJP MLA from Lunawada Kalu Malivad and sitting MLA from Mehsana Anil Patel, former Indian Police Service officer R B Sreekumar, social activist Teesta Setalvad, Inspector General Shivanand Jha, some other senior police officers and political leaders.

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