Godhra riots: SIT chief says questioning of Modi is a big step forward

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Gandhinagar, Mar.28 (ANI): Special Investigating Team (SIT) head R K Raghavan has said the questioning of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in connection with the 2002 communal riots and particularly with regard to the Gulbarg Society massacre, is a big step forward in seeking to deliver justice to the victims.

But he said it is the Supreme Court's responsibility to decide whether a case needs to be filed against Modi.

Declining to reveal details of the questioning, Raghavan said former CBI DIG A K Malhotra had grilled Modi in two sessions, and when the time was appropriate, he would interact with Malhotra to formulate his assessment of the questioning.

Raghavan said he was happy that the SIT appointed by the Supreme Court, could get Modi for questioning and that it will have to appreciate the evidence before making any comments on the issue.

"It is a very big step forward in trying to understand and unravel quite a few mysteries in the matter...I am happy that we were able to get the CM for questioning. I have to appreciate the evidence," Raghavan said.

Raghavan said that the petition of Zakia Jafri, wife of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed along with 68 others in the Gulbarg Housing Society riots in 2002, was the SIT's "bible" and questions broadly related to it.

"I have greatest concern for the victims and I have never failed to take my eye away from justice. I am conscious of the sacred trust given by the Supreme Court," a private television channel quoted the SIT chief, as saying.

Asked why he did not question Modi, Raghavan said as the chief of SIT, he does not meet the witnesses or the accused and it is a job done by the investigating officer or the inquiry officer.

He said the SIT has the right to recall if there were "gaps" and that applied to any witness.

He said that he was reasonably confident about handing in the SIT report to the Supreme Court by the designated deadline of April 30. (ANI)

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