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No record of Jafri calling Modi for help, claims SIT

The Supreme Court-appointed SIT, headed by RK Raghavan, has reportedly found nothing to substantiate the allegation that Ehsan Jafri had called up Modi’s office for help when rioters reached the Gulbarg Society, highly placed sources told HT. Mahesh Langa and Nagendar Sharma report. SIT verdict on CM no surprise, says ex-top cop | What happened that day | Status of major riot cases re-investigated by SIT | Timeline

india Updated: Feb 10, 2012 01:51 IST

The Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT), headed by former CBI director RK Raghavan, has reportedly found nothing to substantiate the allegation that slain Congress leader Ehsan Jafri had called up Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s office for help when rioters reached the Gulbarg Housing Society, highly placed sources told HT.

But the sources said the SIT had examined only the records made available by the state authorities and state government officials.

Thirty-nine people were massacred at Gulbarg society on February 28, 2002 and 30 went missing that day. These 30 people were never found and were declared dead seven years later.

The case filed by Zakia Jafri, the late Congress MP’s widow, in 2006 is the only one that names Modi and rests critically on the reported phone calls.

The SIT is also learnt to have dismissed suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s affidavit and other forms of evidence that implicated the Modi administration in the 2002 riots. Raghavan supposedly stated Bhatt was not a “reliable witness” and even the Supreme Court had not taken cognisance of his affidavit filed last year.

Bhatt has maintained he was present in the meeting in which Modi had allegedly asked top policemen and officials to "let Hindus vent their anger against minorities" after Godhra, in which 59 people were killed.

The report is said to have stated the testimonies of former DGP K Chakravarthy and former additional chief secretary (home) Ashoka Narain, both of whom denied Bhatt's presence in the meeting.

The issue of bringing bodies of the Godhra victims to Ahmedabad was not for inciting communal passion but there were medical and emotional reasons for doing so, the report said

The Congress did not lend much credence to what has transpired. "One aspect is the SIT report. The other is the high court observation (on inaction), which is a direct indictment of the Modi government. If there is contradiction between the viewpoints of the two, that of the court has more weight," party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.

BJP leader Arun Jaitley said the case against Modi should be closed.

First Published: Feb 10, 2012 00:32 IST