The Gujarat Congress Legislature Party has launched a scathing attack on R.K. Raghavan, chairman of the Supreme Court–appointed Special Investigation Team, probing some of the gruesome 2002 Gujarat communal riot massacres.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Shaktisinh Gohil, said his party took strong exception to the style of functioning of Mr. Raghavan, who he alleged “blatantly tried to protect Mr. Modi and other accused.”

The CLP meeting was held here on Wednesday to consider the party's strategy during the coming budget session, scheduled to begin later this month. Besides the party MLAs, including State Congress president Arjun Modhwadia, representing the Porbandar constituency, some Congress MPs also attended the meeting as special invitees.

Pointing out that Mr. Raghavan's conduct raised doubts in the minds of the people of the State, Mr. Gohil said the CLP expected the Supreme Court to provide justice to the people, “in case Mr. Raghavan played any mischief.”

He pointed out that though the Supreme Court had on September 12 last year asked Mr. Raghavan to submit the final report, he was “deliberately delaying the task.” He said Mr. Raghavan did not bother to record statements of important witnesses in the riot cases, including some police officers like R.B. Shreekumar, Sanjiv Bhatt and Rahul Sharma.

“Loopholes”

Pointing out that Mr. Raghavan was earlier associated with Ratan Tata, whose Nano car project had been extended special incentives in billions of rupees by the Modi government, the CLP appreciated the work done by the Supreme Court's amicus curiae in the case, Raju Ramchandran, who “did a lot of home work and prepared a comprehensive report in the case. But Mr. Raghavan is trying to find loopholes to save Chief Minister and other accused.”

“Mr. Ramchandran had pointed out in his report the presence of some Ministers in the police control rooms, presence of the suspended IPS officer, Sanjiv Bhatt, at the residence of Chief Minister during the crucial meeting on the night of February 27, 2002, and suggested action against Mr. Modi and others under the provisions of Section 153 (A), 153(B), 505 and 166.” But, Mr. Raghavan was “still trying to save the Chief Minister,” the statement said.

More In: National | News | States