Supreme Court dismisses conspiracy charge against Modi in post-Godhra riots


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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, June 24: On a day the Bharatiya Janata party’s Presidential nominee Draupadi Murmu filed her nomination papers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi found his name struck off from the conspiracy theory of the post-Godhra Gujarat riots following the Supreme Court verdict in the Zakia Jafri plea.

Jafri, wife of the deceased former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, had filed a plea in the Supreme Court, challenging the clean chit to Modi by the Special Investigating Team (SIT) in the larger conspiracy behind the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat.

The apex court ruled that the plea had no merit, upholding the SIT findings.

For past two decades, the post-Godhra riots had stuck with Modi, with the Opposition seeking to pin down him for the loss of lives in the state in the communal violence following the burning of coaches of a train at the Godhra railway station.

Modi was the target of the ‘politics of hate’ since the riots. But he gained from the narrative fanned by the Congress, which included the working president of the Congress calling him ‘Maut ka saudagar (merchant of deaths)’, blaming him for ‘zehar ki kheti (sowing crops of hate)’ and so on.

Ehsan Jafri was among the 68 victims who died after their Gulberg society was burnt down by the rioters.

Modi had survived bid within the BJP during its Goa national executive meeting soon after the riots during which the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had sought his removal from the post.

The BJP patriarch LK Advani, who controlled the organization, had saved Modi’s position.

Since then Modi never looked back, and rest was history as he emerged as the ‘Hindu Hriday Samrat’ for the BJP and his followers.

The Supreme Court verdict came at a time when the BJP is busy trumpeting Modi’s 20 years of public services in the country.

Former Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a presser in Patna, said: “Those who ran their shops with the support of the Congress and other parties have received a jolt today from the Supreme Court.”

He asked “how long the Congress and the Left parties will run the campaign against Narendra Modi that they have been running for 20 years”.

“The SIT had interrogated Narendra Modi for nine hours, but not even one BJP worker had come on the street to protest. But even a couple of the chief ministers who are left with the Congress left all their works to protest against the questioning of party leader Rahul Gandhi,” said Prasad.

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