Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s electoral fortunes may continue to soar but he is still not out of woods yet for his alleged role in the 2002 anti-Muslim riots.
He may be called for questioning again by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), which had earlier grilled him for nine hours in March, sources in the SIT have said.
“We have sought a legal opinion on whether an individual can be summoned again following the statements of three persons named by the complainant in the Gulberg Society case of February 28, 2002, at Ahmedabad,” said a source.
Former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was burnt alive and 68 others murdered by a rampaging mob, a day after 59 Hindus were killed in the Sabarmati Express burning incident at Godhra, triggering riots in Gujarat.
Jafri’s widow Zakia had named 61 individuals, including Modi, for hatched a conspiracy, criminal negligence and state complicity leading to the massacre.
The fresh move by the SIT follows statements by former minister of state for home and Modi’s friend-turned-foe Gordhan Zadafia and former top police officials M.K. Tandon and P.B. Gondia.
All three, who are under the SIT scanner, in their statements reportedly refused to take responsibility for “whatever happened on February 28” and said they merely obeyed orders from the top. “These three have also placed some material on record, which is being examined and depending upon its relevance, an appropriate decision would be taken,” said the source.
HT has learnt that the SIT has so far got no “direct evidence” to link Modi with the Gulberg Society case. “Since he has already been called for elaborate questioning once, we are examining fresh statements and material,” the source said.