The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Tuesday completed the process of submitting its final report on the 2002 Gulberg Society riots in an Ahmedabad metropolitan court — two days before the March 15 deadline set by the court.
The SIT had submitted its report, which it later claimed was its final report, in a sealed cover before metropolitan magistrate M.S. Bhatt on February 8, but the report did not contain the related documents and evidences about the investigation made by it on the complaint filed by Zakia Jafri before the Supreme Court accusing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 other senior police and bureaucratic officers and political leaders of complicity in the 2002 communal riots in the State.
The court then had given the SIT time till March 15 to submit all the relevant documents. On Tuesday, SIT investigating officer Himanshu Shukla and its advocate R.S. Jamuar submitted the documents before judge M.S. Bhatt.
SIT sources said the evidences and documents — running into over 20,000 pages — were submitted in five big trunks. “This marks the end of the SIT's work in relation to Ms. Jafri's complaint about the 2002 riots unless decided otherwise by the court,” an SIT officer commented. Once the final report was submitted, the metropolitan court would have to take a decision whether to accept the report or ask for further investigation as directed by the Supreme Court.
The sources said the materials submitted on Tuesday included statements of the riot victims, accused, all the police and State government officials interrogated by it, including that of Mr. Modi, and other evidences.
The Supreme Court had on September 12 last year directed the SIT to forward its final report, along with the entire material collected by it, to a metropolitan court in Ahmedabad. After the SIT submitted its report in the metropolitan court, Ms. Jafri, the widow of slain former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, and some others had demanded copies of the SIT report, but the court turned it down stating that a decision on making the report public would be taken only after the SIT submitted all the relevant documents to complete the process of submitting the final report.
The plea for “reading out” the SIT report in the court, also made by Ms .Jafri, was also rejected by the court on the same ground. There is so far no indication when the court would take a decision on the SIT report and the demands for making the report public.