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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

No proof to back Sanjiv Bhatt's claims on Modi: SIT

Mahesh Langa, Hindustan Times  Ahmedabad, April 12, 2012
First Published: 00:18 IST(12/4/2012) | Last Updated: 13:05 IST(12/4/2012)

The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT)'s clean chit to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in a 2002 riots complaint filed by Zakia Jafri is based on its conclusion that suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's allegations are baseless.

The SIT report has exonerated Modi and 61 others named by Zakia in the Gulbarg society massacre case. Zakia's husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was among the 69 killed in the attack on February 28, 2002.

Citing reasons for not factoring in amicus curiae Raju Ramchandran's observations, the SIT report said: "Ramchandran… has based his contention entirely on Sanjiv Bhatt's claim, which hasn't been corroborated with documentary evidence or any witness supporting it."

Bhatt had claimed that Modi instructed bureaucrats and police officers on February 27, 2002 - the day of the Godhra carnage - to allow Hindus to vent their anger.

But the report contended that eight persons present at Modi's meeting not only refuted Bhatt's allegation but denied his presence.

It said six officers were serving or had got government appointments after retirement and could be "motivated witnesses".

But the remaining two - the state's then acting chief secretary Swarnakanta Verma and then DGP K Chakravarthy - who didn't receive such favours, too, had denied Bhatt's presence at the meeting.

The report said official records examined didn't show that Bhatt telefaxed Modi's office about any danger to Jafri's life.

On former state minister Haren Pandya's testimony against Modi, the report said the evidence appeared to be based on hearsay. It said there was no "corroboration of Pandya's presence in the meeting as he wasn't MoS home at that time".

The report said no audiotape of Pandya's testimony before the Citizen's Tribunal was submitted to the SIT.

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