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Report likely before April-end: SIT chief

delhi Updated: Mar 28, 2010 23:44 IST
Nagendar Sharma

The Supreme Court appointed-Special Investigation Team might summon Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for questioning again “if required”, its chief said on Sunday.

The SIT is likely to submit its probe report to the apex court before April 30, he added.

A day after Modi was grilled for nearly 10 hours about his alleged role in the Gulbarg Society case in which 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were killed on 28 February, 2002, SIT chief R.K. Raghavan said their efforts were moving in the right direction.

“It is good that the chief minister came... It is certainly a big step forward,” said Raghavan, a former CBI director. Asked if they would call Modi again, he said, “Yes, if it is required and the need is so felt.”

The SIT chief said he was confident of submitting the probe report before the April 30 deadline set by the Supreme Court.

He declined to comment on the kind of questions put to Modi, but admitted the petition submitted by Jafri’s widow Zakia formed the basis. “It is a Bible submitted to us by the Supreme Court,” Raghavan said.

Zakia in her complaint accused Modi of omissions and commissions and alleged that he had instructed officials not to act on the desperate telephone calls of Jafri when rioters attacked the housing complex.

Raghavan termed as “media imagination” that the SIT had prepared 68 questions for Modi. “I have not asked my deputy A K Malhotra, who led the questioning, but he did not count them. I was not present there.”

Asked if he was satisfied with Modi’s answers, Raghavan said, “Malhotra appeared satisfied, but I am not going to quiz my deputy on what he felt. I will wait for his report.”

Modi on being quizzed

Modi told reporters in Gandhinagar that he recalled, to the extent possible, the sequence of events eight years ago.

When pointed out that he had been in the dock for the past eight years over the riots, a smiling Modi said, “You have still kept me in the dock.”

“This was the first time in eight years that someone wanted to speak to me on the issue and I attended that,” he said.