Narendra Modi may not appear before the Special Investigation Team on Sunday, as it has still not been intimated by the Gujarat CM’s office about his visit.
While officials in the CMO are keeping mum, SIT chief R.K. Raghavan told HT on Saturday: “We have issued summons to which we received an acknowledgement from the CMO, but till now there is no response (confirming his appearance).”
“We expect him (Modi) to appear before us anytime during the next week,” he said. “Appearing before the SIT is not a simple task, as it requires security arrangements also.”
The SIT, appointed by the Supreme Court, is probing Modi’s role in the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat. The probe was triggered by a petition filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of Ehsan Jafri, an MP killed in the Gulberg Society rioting on February 28, 2002.
Gujarat government spokesperson Jay Narayan Vyas, who said a few days ago that the state was exploring legal options, told HT on Friday that it was a personal decision to be taken by Modi and “we would not like to comment on this now”.
Modi, however, may choose to appear before the team on Sunday, to prove that he cooperated with the course of law.
‘Dead’ Godhra witness
The lawyers representing accused of Godhra train carnage alleged in the court that one of the witnesses who testified before investigating officer then had died seven years before the 2002 incident.
The fact came to light after the court issued summons to one Malaji Odaji Marwadi, who had testified on recovery of weapons from some of the accused in the case in 2002.