R.K. Raghavan, who headed the Special Investigation Team that inquired into Zakia Jafri's complaint against Narendra Modi and 61 others for their alleged involvement in the 2002 anti-Muslim violence, said on Monday that the Gujarat government had not funded his trips to London, as alleged in a section of the press, and he was pained by the suggestion that he had compromised his position by accepting a favour.
Clarifying on the two trips made by him in 2008 and 2009 on the London-Ahmedabad-London sector, Mr. Raghavan said he was already in London on a private visit and instead of going from Chennai to Ahmedabad for urgent SIT work, he travelled from London and back.
“On both occasions I travelled to Ahmedabad to attend to Supreme Court-ordered work at great personal inconvenience interrupting my other responsibilities. Although I was entitled to Executive Class travel on SIT work, I travelled Economy from London to Ahmedabad and back to London on both the occasions. My return air ticket cost me less than Rs. 40,000 each time. On the other hand if I had travelled from Chennai [instead of from London] to Ahmedabad and got back to Chennai after attending to SIT work by Executive class [which I normally do when I am in India] that would have cost the State government about Rs. 65,000 each time. This means that I saved the government Rs. 50,000 on the two trips I made to Ahmedabad from London by travelling economy. To say that the State government favoured me by sending me to London is mischievous and utter falsehood with a view to maligning me, and that too when I am abroad and without checking facts from me or the Gujarat government,” Mr. Raghavan said.