A magistrate court in Ahmedabad pronounced its order on Thursday on Zakia Jafri's petition against the closure report of Special Investigation Team which gave a clean chit to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and 58 others in connection with the 2002 communal riots case.
Jafri, whose husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was among 69 people killed in the Gulbarg Society massacre during the 2002 post-Godhra riots, contends that Modi and others should be tried for their role in the conspiracy which facilitated the state-wide violence.
Combo picture of Zakia Jafri (L) and Narendra Modi (R).
Chronology of the case:
February 28, 2002: Gulbarg Society, a cluster of 29 bungalows and 10 apartment buildings housing upper middle class families — mostly belonging to the Muslim community, was attacked by a mob, which breached the boundary wall and started torching houses. By evening, 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were charred to death.
June 8, 2006: Zakia Jafri, wife of Ehsan Jafri, submits a complaint, alleging the police had not registered FIRs against Narendra Modi and 62 others including several ministers and top officials of the state administration. However, the police refused to lodge the complaint.
November 3, 2007: The Gujarat high court refuses to entertain her plea, and instead asked her to present the case before magistrate’s court
March 26, 2008: The Supreme Court (SC) orders the Narendra Modi government to re-investigate nine cases in the 2002 Gujarat riots, including the Gulbarg Society incident. The court constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by former CBI director Dr RK Raghavan to probe the cases afresh.
March, 2009: The SC asks SIT to look into Zakia’s complaint over the role of chief minister Narendra Modi and others.
September 2009: SC lifts stay on trial of most important cases, including the Gulbarg Society case.
March 27, 2010: SIT summoned Modi. He was grilled for several hours.
May 14, 2010: SIT submits its report to the apex court, saying there was no evidence to substantiate the allegations.
March 11, 2011: SC asks the SIT to look into the doubts raised by amicus curiae Raju Ramchandran.
June 18, 2011: Ramchandran visited Ahmedabad and met material witnesses and others to prepare his report on SIT’s report.
July 25, 2011: Ramchandran submitted his report, in which he differed from SIT’s conclusion and submitted that chief minister Modi can be prosecuted based on the available evidence.
July 28, 2011: SC decided to keep the report confidential and declined to allow access to the Gujarat government and SIT.
September 12, 2011: SC directs the magisterial court to decide whether Modi and others can be probed after SIT’s final report.
February 8, 2012: The SIT submits its summary report before a magisterial court in Ahmedabad.
February 9, 2012: Zakia Jafri and Teesta Setalvad move court seeking access to the report. SIT objected allowing access to the report till the entire set of documents is submitted.
February 15, 2012: Metropolitan court magistrate asks SIT to submit its entire report including case papers, witnesses’ testimonies and other details.
March 15, 2012: The SIT submits its entire report and case papers.
April 10, 2012: The magisterial court observes the SIT has sought closure of the case and found no evidence against the accused named in the complaint. The court also ordered the SIT to provide a copy of the report to Zakia within a month
April 2013: Zakia Jafri files protest petition in the metropolitan court challenging SIT’s clean chit to Modi and others.
October 2013: Magisterial court defers verdict.
December 26, 2013: Order on Zakia Jafri’s petition delivered by the magisterial court. No case is made out against Modi, rules court.
File photo of the Godhra train burning. The train was torched allegedly by a mob of Muslims in February 2002 which was followed by communal clashes in state of Gujarat.