Supreme Court orders SIT to probe role of Modi, 63 others in post-Godhra riot cases

Supreme Court orders SIT to probe role of Modi, 63 others in post-Godhra riot casesNew Delhi, Apr. 27 : The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the role of 64 people, including that of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the post-Godhra riots cases.

The apex court order was passed in response to a petition filed by Congress parliamentarian Ehsaan Jaffery.

The court asked the SIT to submit the report within three months.

The order came over two months after Gujarat High Court judge A. S. Dave declined to hear a SIT petition that challenged the anticipatory bail granted to State Minister Maya Kodnani and the former VHP leader Jaydeep Patel in connection with the Godhra case.

"Not before me. The case will now be transferred to the court of another judge and the date of hearing would be decided later," Justice Dave said without giving any reason.

The SIT had moved the Gujarat High Court and challenged the anticipatory bail granted by a lower court to Kodnani and Patel, in the post-Godhra and Naroda Gram riot cases.

The Supreme Court had constituted a five-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to re-investigate the post-Godhra communal riots.

The SIT is reinvestigating into nine post- Godhra riot cases and was expected to submit its report to Supreme Court by February 15.

Several prominent leaders like, Maya Kodnani of BJP and Jaydeep Patel of Vishwa Hindu Parishad are at the center of investigation, following many witnesses naming them in their statements in the Naroda Gam riot case.

The SIT had filed a 300-page supplementary chargesheet against 24 people in the Naroda Gam case in which 11 people, belonging to the minority community, were killed by a mob during the riots.

The accused include, Fula Vyas of VHP, local BJP leader Jitendra Patel and ex-BJP municipal councilor Ashok Patel.

The SIT has also filed a second charge sheet in Naroda Patiya case against 15 accused, where over 80 people were killed during the Godhra riots.

The third chargesheet in the Gulburg society case, named some VHP and BJP leaders in the list of absconders among the 14 accused, where 38 people were killed.

The five-member SIT team is headed by R. Raghavan, and includes former Deputy General of Police C. D. Satpathy and three Indian Police officers -- Geetha Johri, Shivanand Jha and Ashish Bhatia.

Each chapter in the report is being carefully drafted and separate reports are being prepared for each of the nine cases. (ANI)