after three days The Supreme Court dismissed allegations of a larger conspiracy from Zakia Jafrithe widow of Congress party leader and former MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the 2002 Gujarat riots, against CM Narendra Modi in then Gujarat and others in cases related to the 2002 riots, Congress said Monday that the ruling was “disappointing”, and that the party She stands next to the Al-Jafri family.
Congress reacted cautiously to Friday’s Supreme Court ruling, agreeing with the findings of its appointed special investigation committee that there was no “bigger conspiracy” behind the riots. There was no official statement from the party expressing its solidarity with Zakia.
The party’s first official reaction came on Saturday, after Home Minister Amit Shah praised the ruling and accused a group of political parties opposed to the BJP, some journalists and some NGOs of spreading propaganda for “the allegations”.
The Congress then responded, with party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi saying that the Supreme Court ruling should not be politicized, and that “everyone should submit to the ruling of the Supreme Court”.
On Monday, Jerome Ramesh, AICC Secretary General and in charge of communications, issued a statement saying that “the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Zakiya Al-Jefri is ‘very disappointing’ and that many fundamental questions remain unanswered.”
“What is the constitutional and moral responsibility of the Prime Minister and the state government in cases of large-scale communal riots? Is the responsibility in such cases, ever only from a collector and Dy. Police Commissioner and not politically executive? Will the Prime Minister and Cabinet ever be charged And the state government is ever responsible, even if the state is thrown into a cycle of violence and riots?” he said.
Ramesh stated: “We stand with our late colleague Ehsan Jafri and his family at this hour. What happened to him in a tragic way was the result of a fundamental misstep on the part of the state government.”
He said there are some questions that will continue to haunt the prime minister.
“…Why is Prime Minister Vajpayee affected by him [then Gujarat CM’s] Not taking actions that he had to publicly remind him to do his duty, to follow his own “Rajdharma”? Wasn’t it the Supreme Court that qualified the behavior of the Modi government in Gujarat as that of “modern-day Nero (who) were looking elsewhere when… innocent children and helpless women were burning, perhaps deliberating on how the perpetrators of the crime could be saved or protected.” Why did sections of the BJP, including now Cabinet member Modi, Smriti Irani, protest and call for his dismissal as CM if he is not guilty of any wrongdoing?”
“What about the numerous convictions carried out on the basis of evidence collected by SIT in connection with the Gujarat riots? Can the BJP claim that these are false? No amount of BJP propaganda can ever erase these facts.”
Although Congress has treated the arrest of Mumbai activist Testa Sittalvad with caution, Ramesh and AICC Secretary General Ajay Makin attended a protest meeting in Delhi.