Court rejects Zakia Jafri's plea, but blot of 2002 stays with Modi

Soon after the the verdict was delivered, all ranks of the BJP lashed out at the Congress for indirectly running a smear campaign against the Gujarat chief minister.

FP Politics December 27, 2013 08:33:07 IST
Court rejects Zakia Jafri's plea, but blot of 2002 stays with Modi

Although a Gujarat court gave Chief Minister Narendra Modi a clean chit rejecting a petition seeking that he be made an accused in the Gulbarg Society massacre incident, the stain of the communal riots of 2002 refuses to leave his political persona. Even though the chief minister has received temporary relief, Zakia Jafri, the widow of the former parliamentarian who was killed in the massacre, Ehsan Jafri, on Thursday said that she will keep her fight on until justice is delivered.

Soon after the the verdict was delivered, all ranks of the BJP lashed out at the Congress for indirectly running a smear campaign against the Gujarat chief minister.

Court rejects Zakia Jafris plea but blot of 2002 stays with Modi

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

"We were waiting to hear from the court as it was important to establish the truth. It is Congress's concerted attempt to get Narendra Modi at any cost. The Congress has also now got an opportunity to do an introspection. If they want to keep perpetrated campaign on they may keep it. But there are people who believe in the courts," said BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman during a panel discussion on CNN-IBN.

"Modi submitted himself to enquiry for nine hours before the Special Investigation Team which was done for the first time by a chief minister. Not at any time before had a chief minister come under the purview of an enquiry commission," Sitharaman said.

The Congress representative, who was a part of the discussion, denied that the party was anyway involved with the whole issue.

"There is no indirect support from the Congress. It is a battle fought by the victims' families. Modi did not do a great job by going to the commission. There were specific charges against him and he had to go," said Congress leader from Gujarat Ameeben Yagnik.

For some panelists, the element of doubt still lingered on whether the evidence provided was properly utilised.

"This is a temporary setback to the rule of law. If anyone would be happy with this verdict it will be the planners of this mass killing of the minority community. My evidence was not properly appreciated. What about my four reports according to which the Election Commission had postponed elections in 2002? It is sad that SIT acted like the B-team of Gujarat Police," said former Gujarat additional director general of police RB Sreekumar.

NCPRI member Harsh Mander felt that the legal road map ahead for Zakia Jafri will not be easy.

"It is certainly difficult to prove that Narendra Modi gave particular instructions. The violence was carefully planned because it went on for weeks. If there is proper action no riot can go on except for a few hours until there is culpable inaction," Mander said.

More than the political implications on the 2014 polls, the NCPRI member said that it is the future generations that will bear in mind that something terrible of this magnitude happened.

Ironically, the issue itself seems to have died down in the state of Gujarat where it occurred, even politically.

"Gujarat has already moved on and even the state Congress is not serious about it. Congress leaders are hypocrites because they are treating the incident differently at the state and the national level. The story is dead for the 2014 polls. In any case, it does not make the national polls too different on the basis of one case. Those who wanted to stay in NDA have already stayed on and others those who wanted to leave left," said columnist Aakar Patel.

But what happens to the legal fight of Zakia Jafri which has already been dragging on for 12 years?

"We also want the elderly lady to get justice but the attempts that are made to involve the Gujarat chief minister have been too far-fetched. Getting justice for the lady does not mean that we victimise an innocent person," said Sitharaman.

Looks like the long drawn legal battle involving the Gujarat chief minister is not over yet but has only reached the next level.

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