Modi: Zakia Jafri's riots plea against India PM rejected

·2 min read
Narendra Modi
Mr Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat when the riots broke out

India's Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that cleared Prime Minister Narendra Modi of complicity in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

In 2013, a court in Gujarat had rejected a plea against the clearance given to Mr Modi by a Supreme Court-appointed probe.

The petition was filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed during the riots.

The 2002 riots were one of India's worst outbreaks of religious violence

More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, died after a train fire killed 60 Hindu pilgrims.

Ms Jafri had moved the Supreme Court seeking a fresh investigation into the "larger conspiracy" behind the violence. She also accused investigators in the case of working to "protect" conspirators.

The top court had reserved judgment in the case in December 2021 after hearing a detailed arguments from Ms Jafri, the investigation team and others.

On Friday, the court upheld the 2013 decision accepting the closure report filed by investigators in the case.

The court dismissed Ms Jafri's plea saying it was "devoid of merit".

Ehsan Jafri, a prominent Muslim politician, was among 68 others killed in the rioting at Gulbarg Society residential complex in Ahmedabad city.

Mr Modi, then the chief minister of Gujarat, was accused of doing little to stop the anti-Muslim riots - an allegation he has always denied.

The violence was initially investigated by the Gujarat police and subsequently by an independent Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court in 2008.

In 2012, investigators submitted their report, saying no evidence was found against Mr Modi in connection with the riots case.

The inquiry into the Gulbarg massacre also found no evidence against 63 others, including senior government officials.

Their report said there was "no prosecutable evidence" against the officials.

Ms Jafri had sought a thorough investigation into "bureaucratic inaction, police complacency and conspired, directed unleashing of violence".

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