Hailing the Supreme Court verdict dismissing the plea challenging the clean chit given by Special Investigation Team (SIT) to then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and several others in the 2002 riots that took place in the state, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said the truth had come out, “shining like gold.”
The Union Home Minister also took a jibe at Congress’ ‘satyagraha’ over ED questioning Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case, saying that Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister appeared before the SIT in relation to probe over post-Godhra violence but the BJP did not resort to “drama or dharna” during the questioning.
Shah made the remarks in an interview with a news agency after the Supreme Court dismissed the plea challenging the clean chit given by SIT to then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and several others in the 2002 riots. The plea had been filed by Zakia Jafri. Shah also referred to his facing arrest in Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, in which he was subsequently acquitted, and said no “dharna” was carried out.
“In a democracy, PM Modi presented an ideal example of how the Constitution should be respected by all political persons. Modiji was also questioned, but nobody protested, and (BJP) workers from across the country did not gather in solidarity with Modiji. We cooperated with the law. I was also arrested. There was no protest or demonstration,” he said.
“This is not the first clean chit to PM Modi. Nanavati Commission has also given a clean chit. Still, the SIT was formed. And Modiji did not appear before the SIT doing drama… come in support from every village if not then call MLAs, MPs, and ex-MPs, hold dharna,” Shah added in a jibe towards the Congress party’s decision to hold demonstrations in the national capital during Rahul Gandhi’s questioning by the Enforcement Directorate in the National Herald case.
“We believe that we should cooperate in the judicial process. There was a Supreme Court order, and an SIT was there. If the SIT wants to ask questions from the Chief Minister, he himself said that he is ready to cooperate. Why stage a protest? No person is beyond the law,” he said.
Shah said protest cannot be justified against the judicial process.”No protest is justified against any judicial process because our view isconsidered right when the judiciary says so. I was put behind bars. I used tosay that I am innocent. But when the court said that a fake case was filed against me and there was a politically motivated conspiracy by the CBI to frame me, then my words proved right,” he said.
Shah also said Narendra Modi had endured pain for the last 19 years without speaking a word and followed “Lord Shiva who swallowed poison and held it in his throat.”
The Union Home Minister sought an apology from people who leveled “politically motivated” allegations against the then Gujarat Chief Minister following the 2002 riots.
“The Supreme Court has dismissed all allegations, it has said why allegations were levelled. You can say in a way that allegations are politically motivated, this has also been proved. It was a battle of 19 years, such a big leader without saying a word, endured pain like Lord Shiva drank poison and continued to fight (sabhi dukhon ko bhagwan Shankar ke vishpan ki tarah gale mein utarkar sehen karkar ladta raha). Now in the end when the truth has come out likeglittering gold, it has come out with full shine, then it is natural to feel joyous (anand hi hoga),” the Union Home Minister said.
“I have closely seen Modiji enduring this pain, facing the allegations despite being on the side of truth and because the judicial process was underway he did not speak. Only a man with a strong heart can do this. In the interview we are doing today, I could have done in 2003 as Gujarat Home Minister and later as party chief. But till the judicial process was completed, Modiji did not say anything so that there was no influence. He endured all this silently,” he said.
“The court also said that the state government had controlled the situation with less damage. The state government had properly followed the witness protection scheme. The judgment consists of around 300 pages in which the Supreme Court has explained every point. The court has also said that Modiji had held a lot of meetings, and made appeals for peace. Today, the truth has won and Modi Ji is victorious,” Shah added.
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the plea filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, challenging the clean chit given by the SIT to then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and several others in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar dismissed an appeal against the clean chit to Modi in the Gujarat riots case filed by Zakia Jafri, the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was killed in the violence and alleged a “larger conspiracy” in the riots. The bench said that it finds the appeal “devoid of merit.”
Ehsan Jafri was among 69 people killed during violence at the Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002.
His widow Zakia Jafri challenged the SIT’s clean chit to 64 people including Narendra Modi who was Chief Minister of Gujarat at the time. After 58 pilgrims were burnt alive on the Sabarmati Express train at Gujarat’s Godhra Railway Station on February 27, 2002, riots broke out across the state in which more than 1,000 people were killed.