Union Home Minister Amit Shah said he has witnessed PM Modi suffer through the “19-year-long battle against the case” a day after the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by Zakia Jafri contesting the SIT’s clean bill of health for him and others in cases relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots.
In an interview with the news agency ANI, Shah stated that Modi, who was the Gujarat chief minister at the time, “always believed in the law” and that “Only a strong-willed person could’ve taken stand to not say anything while matter was sub-judice.”
Shah said: “I am glad that Modiji has set an example that he always believed in the law and maintained the Constitution, regardless of the allegation.
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Shah responded to individuals who were upset with the decision, saying, “I think the same decision was made at the session court, high court, and Supreme Court… What may be done if you still refuse to accept the verdict?
“NGOs continuously sought further dates in the lawsuit so that Modiji could continue to bear the blame… The NGOs that worked with Zakia, the political parties that funded them, the media organisations that supported them, all sought political advantage, he claimed.
“This is not the first clean chit granted to Modiji, he did not perform any theatrics to appear before the SIT,” Shah stated in reference to the demonstrations against the Enforcement Directorate’s interrogation of Rahul Gandhi regarding a money laundering investigation. Because Modiji decided to collaborate, we had faith in the legal system.
When questioned about whether the riots had benefited the BJP’s control in Gujarat, Shah responded, “If riots had benefited the BJP, we would have been encouraging more riots.”
Regarding the claim that the Army was not summoned quickly enough during the riots, Shah responded, “As far as the Gujarat administration is concerned, we were not late. We summoned the Army that very afternoon on the day the Gujarat bandh announcement was issued. It takes time for the Army to arrive… Not even a day was lost in the wait. The court also appreciated it.
Shah added that the BJP’s political adversaries, ideologically driven media, and numerous NGOs were responsible for spreading the allegations against the Gujarat Modi government. He claimed that because of the way it was presented, everyone began to accept lies as fact.
According to Shah, Teesta Setalvad had an NGO that had made complaints to police stations about BJP activists, and those complaints were investigated for the facts. He stated, “Teesta Setalvad’s NGO was carrying out this.”
“Take a look at any five years of Congress or BJP rule and compare the number of hours of curfew, the number of fatalities, the number of riots, and the length of the riots to determine which government has experienced more riots. The Godhra train burning episode, according to the home minister, was a key contributor to the riots in Gujarat in 2002.
“People had done a good job (officers and administration). However, there was resentment because of the occurrence (the burning Godhra train), and neither the police nor anyone else had any idea. Later, nobody had it in their possession, he continued.