Congress Rejects Guj SIT’s Claims Against Ahmed Patel In Riots Case

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By: Anand Singh
Updated: 16 July, 2022 1:27 pm IST
Rejects Guj SIT’s Claims Against Ahmed Patel In Riots Case
Rejects Guj SIT’s Claims Against Ahmed Patel In Riots Case

NEW DELHI: Congress party on Saturday dismissed Gujarat Police’s Special Investigation Team’s (SIT) claims that social activist Teesta Setalvad was part of a “larger conspiracy” carried out at the behest of late party leader Ahmed Patel to dismiss the Narendra Modi government in the state after the 2002 riots.

In a statement, Congress general secretary in charge of communication Jairam Ramesh called the charges “mischievous”, saying it is part of PM Modi’s “systematic strategy” to absolve him of any responsibility for the communal carnage unleashed when he was chief minister of Gujarat.

“Congress categorically refutes the mischievous charges manufactured against the late Ahmed Patel,” the Congress leader said, saying the riots were a result of PM Modi’s “unwillingness and incapacity” to control it.

His remarks came a day after the Gujarat Police SIT, in an affidavit filed before the sessions court in Ahmedabad, stated that the political objective of the applicant (Setalvad) while enacting “this larger conspiracy was dismissal or destabilisation of the elected government”.

“She obtained illegal financial and other benefits and rewards from rival political parties in lieu of her attempts to wrongly implicate innocent persons in Gujarat,” the SIT said.

In a scathing attack, Ramesh said the prime minister’s “political vendetta machine clearly does not even spare the departed who were his political adversaries”.

Accusing the SIT of dancing to the tunes of its “political master”, the Congress leader said, “We know how an earlier SIT chief was rewarded with a diplomatic assignment after he had given a ‘clean chit’ to the chief minister.”

Citing the statements of a witness, the SIT had said that the conspiracy was carried out at the behest of late Ahmed Patel who was known as the trouble-shooter of the grand old party.

At Patel’s behest, Setalvad received Rs 30 lakh after the Godhra riots in 2002, it alleged.

Last month, a day after the Supreme Court upheld the clean chit given to then PM Modi in the Gujarat riots case, state police arrested Setalvad along with former DGP RB Sreekumar from Mumbai for allegedly fabricating evidence in the case.

She was booked under IPC sections 468 (forgery) and 194 (giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction for capital offense) among other offenses.

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