The Gujarat government on Wednesday said that though the Supreme Court-appointed SIT had exonerated chief minister Narendra Modi, "some elements" were still "spreading lies" to defame the state government.
"Never in the history of Indian governance has the probe carried out by the SIT been so exhaustive. The SIT report has shattered the credibility of falsifiers who are out to malign Gujarat government," state government's spokesperson and health minister Jaynarayan Vyas said in Ahmedabad.
"We challenge the people who are out to spread lies regarding the final report of the Special Investigation Team in relation to the allegations made by Zakia Jaffery," he said.
"Even as the SIT has exonerated the chief minister, some elements have not ceased from spreading lies to mislead people of the country and to defame the Gujarat government... They should show some moral courage to accept the truth."
The SIT recently filed a closure report in the court giving clean chit to Narendra Modi and others regarding the complaint filed by Zakia, widow of former Congress MP Eshan Jaffery, who was killed with 68 others in the Gulburg Society riot incident.
But SC-appointed amicus curie Raju Ramchandran has said that Modi can be tried for promoting enmity between religious groups. Ramchandran has, however, accepted that Modi did all that was possible to control riots in Ahmedabad.
The SIT closure report said that Ramchandran made a mistake by relying on the statement of suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, whose claim that he (Bhatt) was present in the February 27, 2002 meeting held at Modi's residence had not been corroborated by seven senior IPS and IAS officials who were present there.
Bhatt had alleged that Modi, in this meeting, instructed police to allow Hindus to vent their anger following the Godhra train burning incident.
"Some elements have relentlessly spread falsehood during the last decade. But the comprehensive report prepared by the SIT under direct supervision of the Supreme Court has brought the truth before people. Truth and justice have prevailed," Vyas said, apparently targeting social activist Teesta Setalvad and others.
"A clear message should go to those who are indulging in devising plots to tarnish the image of democratically elected state government of Gujarat that they have committed an unpardonable crime by obstructing the process of law instead of getting justice for victims. The people of Gujarat will never forgive these people," the minister said.
"The SIT has examined lakhs of documents, thousands of witnesses and complaints received...not keeping investigations only limited to Zakia Jaffery's complaint."
But even after the SIT report, "these elements" kept on maligning the state government by linking absolutely baseless things to the case, in an attempt to hide their own faults and to fulfil their political interests, Vyas alleged.