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Updated: March 21, 2010 21:50 IST

Modi fails to appear before SIT

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Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi did not appear before the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team on Sunday.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi did not appear before the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team on Sunday.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi failed to show up before the Supreme Court-appointed SIT which had summoned him for Sunday for questioning in connection with a 2002 riots case.

The SIT has also not received any communication from the State Government regarding the summons issued on March 11, sources in the investigating team said.

The office of the Special Investigation Team in Gandhinagar was kept open on Sunday and its members were present in case Mr. Modi presented himself but the senior BJP leader ignored the summons and gave the panel a miss. SIT chief R.K. Raghavan was, however, out of town.

Official sources said Mr. Modi has sought legal alternatives in response to the summons by the SIT on March 11. It was for the first time that the chief minister was being called for questioning in connection with the riots.

Mr. Modi was summoned by the SIT with regard to a complaint filed by Zakia Jaffery, wife of slain former MP Eshan Jaffrey in the 2002 Gulburg society riots case.

The former Congress MP was killed along with 69 others by a mob at Gulburg society in Ahmedabad in February 2002.

The Congress attacked Mr. Modi for not appearing before the SIT saying it was “contemptuous” and showed that he “loves to hide.”

“The SIT’s direction to Narendra Modi to appear before it shows the seriousness and importance attached to the issue by the apex court,” party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said in New Delhi.

“For Modi to avoid appearing on any ground or pretext is contemptuous and would show that he loves to hide,” he said.

BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy evaded a direct reply when asked if Mr. Modi would depose before the SIT but said, “The government of Gujarat has made it clear that it shall act as per the law.”

“This government has always supported and respected the law and will abide by it. It has the highest respect for the Supreme Court order and directions,” he said.

The Supreme Court, had on April 27 last year, asked the SIT to inquire into Ms. Zakia’s complaint in which she has alleged Modi and 62 others, including his cabinet colleagues, police officials and senior bureaucrats aided and abetted the riots which left over 1,000 people dead.





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