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Togadia fails to appear before SIT

india Updated: Apr 20, 2010 01:42 IST

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VHP leader Pravin Togadia, who was summoned by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) for questioning in a 2002 Gujarat riot case, failed to appear on Monday before the Supreme Court-constituted Special Investigations Team (SIT) in Ahmedabad.

Togadia, one of the 63 persons named in the complaint by Zakia Jaffery, wife of slain ex-Congress MP Ehsan Jaffery, was asked to remain present before the SIT on Monday.

Meanwhile, sources in the VHP said the 53-year-old leader, a cancer surgeon, was out of Gujarat.

Sources in the SIT said Togadia has been summoned in connection with the complaint of Zakia, whose husband was among 69 killed in the Gulburg Society riots here on February 28, 2002, a day after the torching of the Sabarmati Express.

She has alleged that Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others, including his cabinet colleagues, police officials and senior bureaucrats, aided and abetted the post-Godhra riots.

According to Zakia, Togadia, whose name appears as accused, "collaborated with the other accused in perpetration of violence in pursuance of the conspiracy".

SIT had questioned Modi for over nine hours on March 27 based on the same complaint. The Supreme Court on April 27, 2009 had asked the SIT, led by former CBI Director R K Raghavan, to inquire into the complaint.

Zakia moved the SC after Gujarat High Court refused on November 3, 2007 to give any direction and asked her to seek redressal before the Magistrate's Court.