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Gujarat riots: SIT begins probe against Modi

May 26, 2009 18:45 IST

The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team on Tuesday began its inquiry into a complaint filed against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others in connection with the post-Godhra riots.

"It can be officially said that we have begun an inquiry into the petition filed in the Supreme Court against some of the leading politicians in Gujarat," SIT chief R K Raghavan said.

"This is just the first stage, we have a plan of action for the investigations and it has to be conducted in an orderly manner to be fair to the petitioner as well as the accused," he said.

The SC has recently ordered the SIT to probe, within three months, a complaint that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, his cabinet colleagues, police officials and senior bureaucrats abetted the riots in 2002.

The complaint was made by Zakia Jaffrey, whose husband and former Member of Parliament Ehsan Jaffrey was killed during the riots in Gulburg society, along with 36 others.

"We will proceed depending on the need of the investigations and as and when the facts evolve, everything required by the law will be throughly investigated," Raghavan said.

On the appointment of public prosecutors for trials of some of the riot cases, as per the Supreme Court's order, he said the SIT was ready with the tentative list of public prosecutors, which they will submit to the State Home Department in a couple of days.

The SC has given the SIT the power to choose the public prosecutor in the riot cases. On setting up of special courts for trials in riot cases, the SIT chief said they have identified three court rooms in the old High Court building in Ahmedabad, where trials of the riots in Naroda Patiya, Naroda Gam and Gulburg society will be conducted.

"The trial of the Godhra train carnage case will be conducted in then Sabarmati Jail premises. I have visited the jail premises and the court room inside the jail, which has been structurally modified to accommodate the large number of accused in the case," he said.

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