SIT terms allegation that Gujarat riot was orchestrated by Hindutva group 'absurd'text_fields
New Delhi: The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team that investigated the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat insisted that the riot was spontaneous after the burning of coach S-6 of Sabarmati Express train and not an orchestrated one by Hindutva groups.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the SIT, said it is absurd to claim that the riot was engineered well before the coach burning stating that no sane mind could claim hardline Hindu groups had piled up arms on February 25 without knowing the date of the train burning incident, which was happened on February 27.
Rohatgi presented his contentions before an apex court bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar who is hearing an appeal by Zakia Jafri, wife of former Congress MP Ahsan Jafri who was killed in the riots.
Jafri's plea challenged the Gujarat High Court order on October 5, 2017, upholding the Ahmadabad Metropolitan Magistrate Court's decision to accept the SIT's closure report that exonerated the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and 63 others in riots-related cases.
"Or you are saying this train burning was also orchestrated? That can't be (true), because the train was delayed by five hours and was only going to stop for two minutes," he submitted. "They could not have known…It's absurd. There is a limit to what is being said here," the court transcript read.
Rohatgi in a blatant manner refuted the possibility of an orchestrated attack on the train knowing the real running time of it by a group and preparing arms for the counter-attack, calling the thought wild. "Either they knew the train will be five hours late and the other side will attack and they will have the material to attack back…It's wild," he told the bench.
Rohatgi also defended the advancement of the state assembly elections to December 2002, which were originally scheduled to be held in 2003, telling it has nothing to do with looking into additional material for the Gulbarga Society.
The court will continue the hearing.