The Special Investigation Team, which interrogated Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, is acting on a petition filed by Zakia Jaffrey and the Citizens for Justice and Peace. That petition alleged the involvement of Mr. Modi and 61 other senior politicians, police officers and bureaucrats from the State in the mass killing of Muslims in Gujarat following the Godhra incident of February 27, 2002.
Among the questions the petition raised were:
— Why were there no minutes of the meeting which Mr. Modi held with senior officers for a review of the situation arising out of the Godhra train burning incident?
— There are some State intelligence reports of a Vishwa Hindu Parishad meeting held at 4 p.m. at Ahmedabad on February 27, 2002. Who attended this meting? Were any elected members of the Gujarat legislature and the State Cabinet present?
— Why were the bodies of the victims of the Godhra train carnage brought to Ahmedabad, and why were they paraded in streets? Who took that decision? Did senior police officials or the DGP report to the Chief Minister or higher officers in writing about the likely repercussions of parading the bodies?
— Why was no preventive action taken when a bandh call had already been given by VHP?
— Why was the Army not called out immediately and why was there a delay in the deployment of the Army when it reached Ahmedabad?
— Why was there a delay in the declaration of curfew in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002 when curfew in other cities was declared immediately?
— Despite rules for this, why was there no arrangement for videography of the violence by mobs in all districts of the State?
— Why were more Muslims killed in police firing during riots when it is well known that Muslims were the target of the mob violence?
— Why was the response to distress calls from prominent Muslims like Ehsan Jafri delayed?
— Why was there no monitoring of the instructions of senior officials, including Chief Secretary, officials of the Home Department and the DGP?
— Why was there no action against officials who failed to register FIRs and why was there no adequate response to the complaints of riot victims?
— Why was no action taken against supervisory officers, from district superintendents of police to the level of police commissioners and DGP, who violated the Gujarat Police Manual by not properly supervising the investigations of serious riot-related crimes and thereby committing culpable omission and grave misconduct?
— Why was no action taken on the supervisory officers whose negligent supervision of the Bilkis Bano and Best Bakery mass massacre cases led to those trials being transferred by the Supreme Court to Maharashtra?
— Why has there been no further investigation of the depositions of IPS officer Rahul Sharma before the Nanavati Commission, to reveal the location of BJP leaders and senior officers of police during the riots?
— Many calls were made to Modi, his Cabinet Ministers, the then Ahmedabad Police Commissioner, P.C. Pandey, and the then DGP, K. Chakravarti, during the riots. Their phone records must be examined to unearth the facts.