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Updated: December 27, 2013 00:22 IST

SIT stand vindicated: Raghavan

J. Venkatesan
Comment (7)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
R.K. Raghavan
The Hindu R.K. Raghavan

‘We acted without fear or favour thanks to rocklike support from apex court’

“I am happy SIT’s stand has been vindicated… If we acted without fear or favour it was because of the rocklike support we got from the apex court, without which we would have crumbled against forces which were determined to see that we did not succeed,” said R.K. Raghavan, head of the Special Investigation Team appointed by the Supreme Court to go into the graver cases of the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat.

The former CBI Director was reacting to an Ahmedabad trial court verdict, which on Thursday rejected a protest petition filed by Zakia Jafri, wife of the slain former Congress MP Ahsan Jafri, challenging the SIT’s clean chit to Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the riots.

The SIT had maintained that it could not order prosecution of Mr. Modi and 61 others in the Gulberg Society case as there was no “prosecutable evidence” for filing a charge sheet.

The SIT justified the ‘closure report’ filed before the Ahmedabad Magistrate Court, stating it could not act on surmises, presumptions and probabilities. It needed concrete material, fully supported by evidence and backed by witnesses.

After analysing various statements, official records, logbooks, telephonic records and documents, itconcluded that there was no “prosecutable evidence” available against Mr. Modi of his having aided and abetted in the communal riots.

In his testimony before the SIT, senior IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt said he was present at the February 27, 2002 meeting at the Chief Minister’s residence, where, he alleged, Mr. Modi instructed top police officials to allow Hindus to give “vent to their anger” against Muslims. Mr. Modi was also responsible for making inflammatory speeches, according to Ms. Jafri, who was supported by Teesta Setalvad of Citizens for Justice and Peace, a non-governmental organisation.

But the SIT recommended closing the case against Mr. Modi on the ground that Mr. Bhatt was a controversial and unreliable witness. It said all eight senior officials who were present at the February 27, 2002 meeting were examined by the SIT and none of them corroborated Mr. Bhatt’s claim that he was there.

The SIT also concluded that there was no material on record to show interference by the two Ministers who were present in the Police Control Room when Muslims were being attacked across Ahmedabad.

The SIT said: “It could not act on preponderance of probabilities. In spite of the fact that ghastly and violent attacks had taken place on Muslims at Gulberg Society and elsewhere, the reaction of the government was not the type that would have been expected by anyone. The Chief Minister had tried to water down the seriousness of the situation at Gulberg Society, Naroda Patiya and other places by saying that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. However, this utterance by itself is not sufficient to make out a case against Mr. Modi.”

On the allegation of undue delay in requisition and deployment of the Army though anti-minority violence had broken out on the afternoon of February 27, 2002 itself in Vadodara and Ahmedabad cities, the SIT report said the deployment commenced from 11 a.m. on March 1, 2002 and the Army took up positions after having been flown in from the forward areas within 21 hours of the State government requisition.” The allegation was, therefore, not established.

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Dear Nasar,

I dont know from which of the country u are residing! Pl dont use un-parlimentary words while giving comments. What you know about Dr.R.K.Raghavan, Director CBI (Retd) Please tell. He is not cheap & corrupt police officer as you may presume. He did his duty as instructed by the Apex Court of India. One more thing Minorities in India are enjoying life the best in our Nation than the majority who lives in the Islamic Republice of Pakistan. Hence dont add communal colour and hatred. For the past 11 years Gujarat is gearing upwards towards development. In the name pseudo secularism, the ruling UPA, communist and other regional parties, the media (print & Visual) are spoiling the country's image further down. May 2014, will be the answer to all those including you.

from:  Kaushik Suresh
Posted on: Dec 27, 2013 at 13:03 IST

Mr. R.K.Raghavan has been our neighbor for several decades. Despite having held some of the highest posts in the country, he has always been a very humble, simple and down to earth person. I have had the honour of meeting him and his family on several occasions. His aged mother is always welcoming whenever I go. His family is well known in the Chennai circles, particularly in Carnatic music circles.

from:  Laksman
Posted on: Dec 27, 2013 at 12:50 IST

This verdict was expected as a metropolitan magistrate is having lots of limitations to act against an autocratic CM in his state. To ensure free and fair trail,all the cases relating to Gujarat genocide, should be shifted to another state. It’s so sad to see that in our country we are not able to do justice to people afflicted by communal carnages. We as a nation to stand together against all the evil elements, who are trying to divide us just for securing a throne in Delhi.

from:  Rejimon Varghese
Posted on: Dec 27, 2013 at 12:09 IST

The fact is that the SIT has only opined that it has not prosecutable evidence against Mr. Narendra Modi and two other ministers. Thousands of cases across this country are judged in various courts and many undertrials are freed for lack of evidence. It is for the courts to decide whether the evidence indicates guilt or otherwise. The metropolitan court has said in a single line judgement with no speaking orders about the maintability of the application with the petitioner free to appeal. Let us wait for the verdict of the higher courts.

from:  N. Bala
Posted on: Dec 27, 2013 at 10:03 IST

Mr Raghavan has done a great disservice to the nation and justice and equally great service to Modi and BJP.What does he mean by saying there were people out to prevent him from succeeding?Why should people who lost their beloved ones honor and property go against SIT?If this had happened to him then he would have done the same.
His SIT called the imam, the mastermind who was exonerated by the lower court in the Godhra train burning case!If the mastermind had been let off why not others?He framed the innocents and he will have to answer history and justice one day or other.He will carry this legacy of shame to his grave.

from:  Nasar
Posted on: Dec 27, 2013 at 09:34 IST

Raghavan had deliberately back pedaled and stalled the investigation and prosecution for years and finally said that there was lack of credible witnesses ! This man, till his partiality & alignment with a particular party's mindset and direction ,was a respected and dignified personage. Alas ,he has repeatedly forfeited the trust and respect people had in him and in particular he has disgraced not only himself but also his native state ; T.N selling his soul. This single act of Betrayal of trust & going against truth will haunt him for ever and till his Death.

from:  S.Sugunakumar
Posted on: Dec 27, 2013 at 01:55 IST

Mr. Raghavan you are wrong. SIT Conclusions are wrong. Lives in India
are cheap Mr. Raghavan. You make a mockery of the over 1100 lives lost.
We all will regret the uneasiness that we have not brought a closure to
these innumerable lives lost.God help each one of the families to get
justice. God help us from violent politicians . God help India.

from:  Prashant Parker
Posted on: Dec 27, 2013 at 00:57 IST
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