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Modi yet to respond on SIT summons

March 20, 2010 13:19 IST

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has not so far responded to the summons issued by the Special Investigation team to appear before it on Saturday in connection with the 2002 post-Godhra riots even as his office remained tight-lipped over the matter.

"There is no response from Modi as yet," Special Investigation Team chief R K Raghavan told PTI. A government official, meanwhile, said, "Nobody knows what is in his (Modi's) mind. It is very difficult to read somebody's thoughts. He is holding all the cards close to his chest which he will reveal only at the right moment."

Modi was summoned to appear before the probe panel following allegations by Zakia Jaffery, widow of former Member of Parliament Ehsan Jaffery, killed in the Gulburg Society riots.

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 left over 1,000 people dead.

The former MP was killed along with 69 others by a mob at Gulburg society in February 2002 following which Zakia lodged a complaint on June 8, 2006.

Zakia approached the apex court after the Gujarat high court refused on November 3, 2007 to give any direction 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.

SIT had to face legal hurdles while probing Zakia's complaint when in July last year former BJP MLA Kalu Malivad (one of the 63 people named in the complaint) approached the Gujarat High Court demanding a stay on investigations by SIT with regard to Zakia Jaffery.

The HC 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 and dismissed the petition.

Malivad has now approached the apex court challenging the HC verdict. In connection with Zakia's complaint, SIT has already recorded statements of number of persons named in her complaint which include, former minister of state for Home Gordhan Zadafia, BJP leader I K Jadeja, former BJP MLA from Lunawada Kalu Malivad and sitting MLA from Mehsana Anil Patel, former IPS officer R B Sreekumar, social activist Teesta Setalvad, IG Shivanand Jha, some other senior police officers and political leaders.

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