What is Zakia Jafri's case against PM Narendra Modi?

Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The Gujarat High Court on Thursday rejected Zakia Jafri's petition challenging a clean chit by a Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) to the state's top politicians including then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and bureaucrats in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

"The Gujarat high court today rejected Zakia Jafri's plea challenging lower court order upholding SIT's clean chit to the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others in the 2002 riots", an official said. Jafri had earlier approached the Supreme Court which told SIT, led by former CBI chief R.K. Raghvan, to re-investigate riot-related cases in Gujarat, including Gulbarg massacre case.

Jafri had demanded that PM Modi and 59 others - including bureaucrats and senior police officers - be made accused for allegedly being part of a conspiracy which facilitated the riots.

More than 1,000 Muslims were killed and thousands displaced across Gujarat in 2002 during a series of riots which victims say was a pogrom.

On 27 February 2002, a train coach was set on fire at Godhra in Gujarat, killing 57 Hindu pilgrims who were returning from Ayodhya. It also argued that after going through the report thoroughly, even the lower court believes that there is no need for further investigation in the matter in regards with a larger conspiracy behind the scene.

Jafri and activist Teesta Setalvad's NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace blamed Modi and 57 others for their inaction to contain post-Godhra riots. The SIT's closure report, filed on February 8, 2012, gave a clean chit to Modi and others. The hearing of the petition before Justice Gokani had concluded on July 3 this year.

The lower court ignored the Supreme Court guidelines and did not consider signed statements of witnesses which suggested that there was a conspiracy, he further argued.

In 2016, a special court in Ahmedabad convicted 24 attackers for the massacre that the court had described as the "darkest day in the history of civil society".

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