Union Home Minister Amit Shah hailed the Supreme Court verdict on the 2002 Gujarat riots and said that those who levelled “politically motivated” allegations against the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi should apologise for it.
In an interview to ANI, Shah said Modi presented an ideal example for all political persons of how to respect the Constitution.
“PM Modi has presented an ideal example to all political persons of how the constitution should be respected in a democracy. Modiji was also interrogated, but nobody protested, workers from across the country did not gather in solidarity with Modiji. We cooperated with the law. I was also arrested. We did not protest. When the truth comes out after such a long battle with victory, then it shines brighter than gold. I am feeling good that today those people who leveled allegations against Modiji… if they had an inner conscience then they should apologise to Modiji and BJP,” Shah said.
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the plea filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, challenging the clean chit given by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and several others in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar dismissed an appeal against the clean chit to Modi in the Gujarat riots case filed by Zakia Jafri, the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri killed in the violence who alleged a “larger conspiracy” in the riots. The bench said that it finds the appeal as “devoid of merit.” “What was the allegation? It was said that the allegations were motivated and the state government and the chief minister were also involved. This was the allegation. Nobody is denying that riots did not take place. Riots took place in many parts of the country,” Shah said.
In a veiled attack on Congress, the Union Home Minister said that the then Central government helped an NGO to target Modi, who was the chief minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014, and frame him in the riots case.
Speaking about the SC ruling, Shah said “The state government made all the efforts to control the Gujarat riots and had taken the right decisions at the right time. The court also said that the state government had controlled the situation with less damage. The State government had also applied the witness protection scheme. The judgement consists of around 300 pages in which the Supreme Court explained every point. The court also said that Modiji had held a lot of meetings, and made appeals for peace. Today, truth has won and Modiji has emerged victorious.” Ehsan Jafri was among 69 people killed during violence at the Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002. His widow Zakia Jafri challenged the SIT’s clean chit to 64 people including Narendra Modi who was Chief Minister of Gujarat at the time.
After 58 pilgrims were burnt alive on the Sabarmati Express train at Gujarat’s Godhra Railway Station on February 27, 2002, riots broke out across the state in which more than 1,000 people were killed.
The Union Home Minister said that the Supreme Court’s verdict highlighted that the state government made all the efforts to control the Gujarat riots and took the right decisions at the right time.
The SIT, appointed by the apex court, conducted the investigation into the case and gave a clean chit to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, other top politicians and bureaucrats. The Gujarat High Court’s order dated October 5, 2017, also upheld SIT’s clean chit to Modi.
Shah said the Gujarat government gave its consent for the SIT as there was nothing to hide.
“SIT was not ordered by the court. An NGO demanded SIT and the court, for sake of asking, asked our lawyer and our government said we have nothing to hide. The SIT was subsequently constituted. We did not have any objection to it. The Gujarat government’s consent is on the record. The court also said in its judgment that SIT was demanded by an NGO and the Gujarat government gave the consent,” he said.
Earlier in 2019, the Nanavati-Mehta Commission Report on the post-Godhra riots, which was tabled in the Gujarat assembly, gave a clean chit to then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi. The report mentioned that the riots were “not organised”.