After several extensions, the Special Investigation Team probing the post-Godhra riot cases was given an April 30 deadline to complete the probe. "We are doing our best and trying to complete our task at the earliest," SIT Chairman R.K. Raghavan said about the progress of the probe.
The special investigation team probing some of the post-Godhra riot cases plans to complete the inquiry at the earliest, sources in the SIT said today.
“We are doing our best and trying to complete our task at the earliest. Supreme Court has given us time till April 30 to submit the report,” SIT Chairman R. K. Raghavan said when asked how much time would it take to complete its investigation.
The SIT, which is also conducting a preliminary inquiry into a complaint against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others, was given a four-month extension till April 30 by the SC early this week against the demand of five months.
Mr. Raghavan ’s presence here since yesterday achieves significance as it comes two days after Supreme Court directed the Gujarat government to furnish all documents, including the alleged inflammatory speeches made by Mr. Mr. Modi, to the agency.
It also becomes important as SIT member, Geetha Johri, has offered to quit from the team on account of “personal allegation” made against her in connection with Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.
When asked whether the delay by Gujarat government in providing the documents and the alleged inflammatory speeches made by Mr. Modi, was the reason behind SIT being not able to complete the probe and seek extension from SC, Mr. Raghavan declined to comment.
He, however, said they are yet to receive the documents from the state government after the SC order.
“We have not received the documents. I think it would take some time,” Mr. Raghavan said.
Mr. Raghavan also visited the special courts where the trials in the post-Godhra riot cases were being conducted.
Sources in the SIT said he also held a meeting with the team members including Shivanand Jha, A. K. Malhotra Paramvir Singh and others.
The SIT which was constituted by the apex court in March 2008 to investigate the Godhra train carnage case and eight other post-Godhra riot cases, was also directed by the SC in April 2009 to examine a complaint by Zakia Jaffery.
Mrs. Zakia, whose husband and former MP Ehsan Jaffrey was killed during the 2002 riots in Gulburg society along with 69 others has alleged that Mr. Modi, his cabinet colleagues, police officials and senior bureaucrats aided and abetted the post-Godhra riots of 2002.
Besides, Mr. Modi, Mrs. Zakia has named in her list the then home minister Gordhan Zadaphia, former health minister Ashok Bhatt, the then city police commissioner P. C. Pande and others.
According to sources, SIT has recored statements of number of persons named in Zakia’s complaint which include, Zadafia, BJP leader I. K. Jadeja, ex-IPS officer R. B. Sreekumar, social activist Teesta Setalvad, IG Shivanand Jha, some senior police officers and political leaders.