Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Zakia Jafri questions why Lt Gens statement on Gujarat riot not taken
Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightZakia Jafri questions...

Zakia Jafri questions why Lt Gen's statement on Gujarat riot not taken


New Delhi: The Supreme Court was informed on Tuesday that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the court did not record the critical statement of Lieutenant General Zameer Uddin Shah, who led the army troops to bring peace in Gujarat post-Godhra riots, The Indian Express reported.

Appearing for Zakia Jafri, wife of Ahsan Jafri who was killed in the 2002 riots, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal told Justice AM Khanwilkar's bench that the investigation must have recorded whether Lt Gen Shah's troops were given quick access to riot spot and, if not why it was so. Sibal had cited a memoir by the Lt Gen in which he had said that "the army had remained stranded at the airfield due to lack of transport".

He added that according to the army officer, the initial reaction of the civil administration was tardy, and he couldn't even contact the public servants. Sibal told SC he is not using the memoir as substantive evidence, but it should have come on record.

The bench was hearing Zakia Jafri's appeal against Gujarat High Court's order accepting Ahmadabad Metropolitan Magistrate Court's decision to accept the SIT's closure report. The SIT had given a clean chit to then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi and others in the riot-related cases.

But the court said that Lt Gen Shah's memoir was not published before the Special Investigation Team was formed since the publishing year was 2018. Sibal replied that Lt Gen's statement was a part of the official record the investigators should have probed. Though they are documented why it was not investigated, he asked.

The details of when the troop landed, who they called, what the response was, and why they were given delayed access to the riot spot were not questioned. The petitioner had tried to get information on Operation Aman under RTI but failed, he added.

Sibal stated that there was a lot of hate speech circulating through media, and the Editors Guild agreed with the NHRC's conclusion that the responsibility of media had to be investigated. A fake report of indiscriminate firing from Fatepur mosque made headlines during the riots, and leaflets without any name were distributed. These were part of the conspiracy that was also left ignored during the probe. Sibal asked such fabricated news reports made the situation worse.

Sibal submitted that the then ADGP RB Sreekumar had said intelligence was available, but there was no response from Ahmedabad Police Commissioner. Sreekumar had testified that VHP and Bajarang Dal were contemplating action, and media played a decisive role in keeping the momentum alive, he added.

Quoting the statement by the then Bhavnagar SP Rahul Sharma, Sibal said the police officer has testified that mobile phones were widely used in the riots. Still, those phones were not seized, or their call records investigated. Sharma has also said how political leaders approached him for bail of accused, Sibal said and added that this showed political interference.

Sibal said that a conspiracy could only be established if the investigation is conducted thoroughly. To find those involved in the plot, Sibal pleaded with the court for more investigation.

Show Full Article
TAGS:Zakia Jafri Gujarat Riots 2002 
Next Story