SC Orders Probe into Modi’s Role in Gujarat Riots

In midst of Lok Sabha elections, when BJP already seems to be internally upset by Varun Gandhi’s hate speech in Pilbhit last month, it received yet another hiccup on Monday after Supreme Court of India directed Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into Gujrat Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Narendra Modi’s role in 2002 Gujrat riots.

In its instructions, the apex court asked the SIT chief RK Raghavan to particularly probe the charge that Modi had a role in murder of an MP in Ahmedabad’s Gulbarga Society arson case.

The bench, comprising of justice Arijit Pasayat and justice Ashok Kumar Ganguly, also asked the panel to probe the roles of a cabinet minister in Modi government, of three MLAs, three VHP activists and several IAS and IPS officers.

The Supreme Court gave the directive while hearing a complaint file by the wife of a slain MP, Ehsan Jaffri, and social activist Teesta Setalvad. The complaint alleged that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and over 50 other politicians and government officials had helped and encouraged the state wide carnage.

Given the ongoing Lok Sabha elections and Modi’s projection as future PM by some BJP leaders, the apex court’s decision can trigger a political debate in the country on BJP’s hard Hindutava face.

Reacting to the court’s decision, Congress has said that it welcomes the decision of the apex court and Modi must resign for “justice to prevail”.

“Narendra Modi must step down for justice to be done,” said M Veerappa Moily, Congress Spokesperson, adding, “We are happy, it’s one such case which has opened the eyes of the judiciary. The manner in which justice has been delayed is matter of concern, and our judiciary will have to reckon that.”
When asked some BJP leaders recent remarks projecting Modi as PM, Moily said that he does not deserve to be a CM, let alone PM.

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