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Modi tried to control post-Godhra riots: SIT

Ahmedabad: The Supreme Court-appointed SIT has said that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi took all possible steps to control the 2002 post-Godhra riots and questioned the motive behind filing a complaint against him by a riot victim four years after the communal violence.

In its report submitted to a local court on the complaint of Zakia Jaffery, the SIT has said no charges levelled by the widow of former Congress MP Eshan Jaffery (killed in riots) are maintainable and also questioned the intention behind filing such a complaint four years after the incident. On the allegations that Modi, in a meeting of February 27, 2002, had told top police officers to allow Hindus to vent their anger in wake of Godhra train burning incident, the SIT has said there is no basis for levelling such charges.

But even if such allegations are believed for sake of argument it does not constitute any offence, the SC-appointed probe agency maintained. The SIT finding is contradictory to the report of amicus curie Raju Ramchandran, who has opined that Modi can be prosecuted for "promoting enmity among different groups". Ramchandran, a Supreme Court lawyer, has based his report on testimony of suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who in an affidavit filed in the apex court, had alleged Modi gave instructions to top police officers to go slow on rioters.

The SIT report said "law and order review meetings were held by Modi and all the things was done to control the situation. It further said the Army was called on time" to contain the communal violence. It said "Modi was busy with steps to control the situation, establishment of relief camps for riot victims and also with efforts to restore peace and normalcy".

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