11 Mar : Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has been summoned by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team(SIT) to appear before it on March 21 for questioning in post-Godhra riots in the state in 2002.
Eight years after the post-Godhra riots, Modi suffered the ignominy of being the first-ever chief minister of any state to be called for questioning in connection with a criminal complaint after he and his administration were accused of aiding and abetting riots in one area in Ahmedabad.
The summons were issued in connection with the complaint by Zakia Jaffery, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jaffery who was killed along with 69 others in the 2002 Gulburg society riots.
“We have asked the Chief Minister (Modi) to appear before us on March 21,” SIT chief R K Raghavan told a news agency on Thursday.
The SIT is probing afresh some riot cases.
“He has been asked to come for questioning in connection with the complaint of Zakia Jaffery,” he added. Over 1,000 people were killed during the riots across the state.
Raghavan dismissed as hypothetical a question whether Modi is legally bound to appear before the SIT.
Zakia in her 100-page complaint alleged conspiracy by Modi and 62 others, including his Cabinet colleagues, senior police officials and senior bureaucrats.
Gordhan Zadaphia, Ashok Bhatt, P C Pande, who were the home minister, health minister and the city police commissioner at the time of the riots were also named in the complaint.
There was no immediate reaction from Modi or the state government.
“I hope that justice will be given to us…It has been a long journey. I am very happy that Modi has been summoned,” Zakia said.