Social activist Teesta Setalvad has described the Supreme Court verdict in the Gulberg Society massacre case as a “huge step forward” even as the BJP sees the ruling as Gujarat CM Narendra Modi’s exculpation.
Setelvad’s NGO, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), was a co-petitioner in the case, in which Ehsan Jafri, who had once been a Congress MP, was killed by a mob that was responsible for the deaths of 68 others.
“While the prayer in our petition was for the registration of an FIR against the chief minister and 61 others and the transfer of the investigation to the CBI, the order of the court goes much beyond this and in fact directs the SIT to chargesheet all accused on the basis of our complaint,” she stated in her reaction, emailed to the media.
“According to me and according to other petitioners, the reason why it is a victory for us and not for Modi or the BJP is that it has gone past the FIR stage,” said Setalvad, who had taken up the cause of the riot victims in 2002 itself.
The Supreme Court has asked the trial court in Gujarat to see if Modi and others could be proceeded against in the matter.
Meanwhile, Gujarat government spokesperson Jaynarayan Vyas said: “The due process of law has been completed with the landmark verdict. The apex court has asked the trial court to decide on the matter. The court has also rejected the petitioner’s plea for CBI probe,” Vyas said, reacting to the court verdict.
He also lambasted the “NGO and activists who have been trying to defame the state administration and malign Gujarat and its people”.
“The state government has always been committed to ensure justice to those who suffered during the communal riots. But some vested interests have relentlessly been trying to derail the process and destabilise the state government,” he added.
With inputs from PTI, New Delhi