The Supreme Court will hear on November 19, Zakia Jafri’s plea challenging the clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was the Chief Minister of Gujarat where communal riots erupted in February 2002 claiming about 2000 lives. Zakia is the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the riots. In October 2017, the Gujarat High Court had upheld the clean chit given to Modi and 58 others by the Special Investigating Team (SIT). The petition filed by Zakia Jafri and Teesta Setalvad’s Citizen for Justice challenged the probe conducted by the Supreme Court appointed SIT and the ruling of the magistrate court which upheld the closure report.
During the riots more than 1000 persons were killed and it was alleged that the state government played spectator allowing the rioters kill Muslims. It was the worst riot India witnessed post-Independence. The human rights organisations in India and abroad put the blame at the door of the Chief Minister. Resultantly his entry into the US was barred till the day he was sworn in as the Prime Minister of India. In this particular case on Februay 27 Gulberg Society was attacked by rioters and in this carnage Ehsan Jafri and 68 others were killed. In 2009, on the complaint of Zakia Jafri, the Supreme Court ordered a probe but the SIT found that there was nothing to substantiate the charge against Modi. Now the apex court will hear Zakia’s plea that challenged the clean chit given to Modi.