FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Indian Muslim Council-USA (IMC-USA – http://www.imc-usa.org), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court of India to order the interrogation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) inquiring into the 2002 massacres.
“We urge strong measures be taken to ensure a transparent, unbiased interrogation and that an FIR be registered against Modi in light of the Tehelka video tape confessions” said Rasheed Ahmed, the president of IMC-USA. In a sting operation conducted by the investigative magazine Tehelka, several Hindutva activists involved in the pogrom including the Gujarat state prosecutor were caught on tape boasting how they were able to derail the judicial process of redressing justice to the victims.
The Supreme Court issued summons on the basis of a complaint filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Eshan Jafri. In the violence which engulfed the state in the aftermath of Godhra train burning, Mr. Jafri and numerous others were killed in a residential complex in Ahmedabad known as the Gulberg Society. The overall death toll in the Gujarat massacres exceeded 2,500 as per Gujarat police records.
Modi, who has so far managed to avoid deposing before any of the panels probing the post-Godhra violence, has been named as an accused along with 63 others, that include politicians, bureaucrats and police officers, in the complaint filed by Zakia Jafri for their role in the larger conspiracy behind the communal riots.
In related developments, the Gujarat High Court has also issued a notice to the Nanavati Commission asking it to explain, by April 1, whether it too would summon Narendra Modi as part of its inquiry on the Gujarat riots of 2002. The court issued the order after Mukul Sinha, convener of Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM), who also represents some riot victims of the Gujarat carnage, filed the petition in the High Court pleading for a directive to the commission to summon Mr. Modi.
Advocate Mukul Sinha will be touring the United States next month to speak on his experiences with the Jan Sangharsh Manch and their successful public interest litigations on the Gujarat riots in the Gujarat High Court.
Indian Muslim Council-USA is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 10 chapters across the nation.
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