Image credit: BBC

The Supreme Court of India has upheld a decision exonerating Prime Minister Narendra Modi of involvement in the violence in Gujarat in 2002.

A Gujarati court had dismissed a complaint in 2013 regarding the approval provided to Mr. Modi by the investigation ordered by the Supreme Court.

Zakia Jafri, the widow of former Congressman Ehsan Jafri, who died in the riots, submitted the petition.

One of India’s worst instances of religious violence occurred during the riots of 2002.

After a train fire claimed the lives of 60 Hindu pilgrims, more than 1,000 others, predominantly Muslims, perished.

A new probe into the “bigger conspiracy” underlying the violence was sought by Ms. Jafri in a petition to the Supreme Court. She further asserted that the case’s investigators were protecting the conspirators.

After hearing thorough arguments from Ms. Jafri, the investigation team, and others, the Supreme Court postponed its decision until December 2021.

The closing report submitted by the case’s investigators was accepted by the court on Friday, upholding the 2013 ruling.

The court rejected Ms. Jafri’s argument, declaring it “devoid of validity.”

68 people were killed in the violence at the Gulbarg Society residential complex in Ahmedabad city, including well-known Muslim lawmaker Ehsan Jafri.

When he was Gujarat’s chief minister at the time, Mr. Modi was charged with not doing enough to put an end to the anti-Muslim riots—a charge he has consistently refuted.

The impartial Special Investigation Team (SIT) that the Supreme Court ordered in 2008 followed up on the Gujarat police’s first investigation into the carnage.

According to the report that investigators provided in 2012, no evidence was discovered against Mr. Modi in the riots case.

63 other people, including high government officials, were not determined to be the subject of any evidence during the Gulbarg massacre investigation.

According to their assessment, the officials had “no prosecutable evidence” against them.

Ms. Jafri demanded a comprehensive investigation into “bureaucratic inaction, police apathy, and planned, directed violent unleashing.” 

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