'Modi's record as the CM is a blot'
The Congress on Monday said it was wrong to say that the Supreme Court has given a clean chit to Narendra Modi in the Gulburg society riots case, even as the Bharatiya Janata Party welcomed the order, saying hate campaigners against the Gujarat chief minister will not win.
"It is wrong to say that the Supreme Court has given a clean chit to Modi. The Supreme Court has referred the matter to the lower court for hearing and after a decision by the lower court, the doors of the higher courts are still open for aggrieved persons," Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said.
"Modi's actions during the Gujarat riots are known to all. Then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had himself criticised his functioning during the post-Godhra riots. His record as chief minister of the state is a blot," he said.
Image: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi
'Hate campaigners against Narendra Modi have lost'
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the party was happy with the order.
"We are happy with the Supreme Court ruling. We can understand the desperation and unhappiness of Modi-baiters. After this verdict, the hate campaigners against Modi have lost. They can never win," he said, adding the Supreme Court has upheld the "due process of law".
"Justice says one cannot manufacture evidence. Now the SIT will present its case to the lower court which will hear the case," Javadekar said.
'Utmost assistance to cooperate with the trial court'
R K Raghavan, chief of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team that is probing some of the 2002 riots cases in Gujarat, on Monday said his team will do its "utmost" to assist the trial court in arriving at the truth.
"The Special Investigation Team will give our utmost assistance to cooperate with the trial court in arriving at the truth," said Raghavan, a former director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Raghavan was responding to questions by the media on the apex court's direction to SIT to submit its final report on the riots cases before the magistrate concerned in Ahmedabad.
The trial court was asked by the Supreme Court to decide whether to proceed against Modi and 63 others, including senior government officials, for alleged inaction in containing the riots.
He declined to comment on allegations that the SIT had gone soft on Modi in its report submitted to Supreme Court.
Raghavan said he will to have a look at the Supreme Court order before he can give any instructions to the SIT members.
The apex court had earlier handed over the task of probing the riots cases to the SIT, which submitted its report in the court.
After the SIT filed its probe report in a sealed cover, the court had also asked senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who is assisting it as amicus curie, to analyse the SIT probe findings and file a confidential report on it.
Ramachandran subsequently had submitted his report to the court, which passed the order after going through the reports by SIT and Ramachandran and referred the case back to the concerned Ahmedabad magistrate, to decide the future course of action in the case.
Image: SIT chief R K Raghavan
'Real culprits behind Gujarat riots roaming free'
Zakia Jafri, wife of former Congress Member of Parliament Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the 2002 Gujarat riots, on Monday expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court order in the Gulburg Society case.
"I still have faith in the Supreme Court, but some things have been missed out," Zakia, whose husband was killed in the Gulburg Housing Society massacre, told reporters at her residence in Surat.
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to pass any order on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's alleged inaction to contain the 2002 riots and referred the matter to the magistrate concerned in Ahmedabad for a decision.
"I am ready for a long struggle ahead," Zakia said, adding that she would fight for justice till her last breath.
Sixty nine people, including Jafri, were killed in the Gulburg Society riots on February 28, 2002, following the Godhra train burning incident.
More than 60 people are undergoing trial in the case, which was probed by the SC-appointed Special Investigation Team.
Zakia had filed a complaint against Modi and others in the Gulburg Society riots case, based on which the apex court had asked the SIT to investigate the issue.
Image: Zakia Jafri
'God is great'
"God is great," tweeted Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, summing up in three words his reaction to the Supreme Court direction in the 2002 Gulburg Society riots case.
The reaction of the 60-year-old BJP leader reflected his relief over the order as he has been accused time and again by opposition Congress and social activists of culpability in the 2002 riots.
Image: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi