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Modi denies report on summons by SIT
Published on 23 Mar. 2010 12:51 AM IST
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Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Monday claimed he had not been summoned by a probe panel on March 21 for questioning over the 2002 Gujarat riots and said there was a “systematic campaign of disinformation” aimed at defaming him and the state.
Modi also called for a probe to find out those behind “spreading lies” that he had been summoned by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team March 21 in connection with the 2002 riots.
“Spreading falsehoods has only one single purpose and that is to instigate people. It is a sinful action which will harm the working of a democratic state,” he said in a statement.
In a statement issued here Monday evening, the chief minister quoted news items titled “SIT summons Narendra Modi”, “Narendra Modi did not appear before SIT”, and “Modi has shown disrespect to Supreme Court and SIT” and said “Such baseless allegations are being leveled against me once again to defame Gujarat and I am therefore compelled to place the facts before my countrymen.”
The statement pointed out that as soon as newspapers began reporting that Modi has been summoned by the SIT the government spokesperson had immediately stated that the chief minister is bound by the law of the land and the Indian constitution.
“He has always extended his cooperation to every procedure of the law and is committed to do so in future as well. It is a matter of grave concern and needs investigation as to why and who started spreading lies that ‘SIT summons Narendra Modi on March 21, 2010’.
“The purveyors of untruth failed even to think that the day happens to be a Sunday and a public holiday. These purveyors of lies even did not even once bother to check whether the key SIT officers, who are appointed by the Supreme Court, were present in Gujarat on the day in question,” it stated.
Modi said that SIT had not fixed March 21 for his appearance. “To say that I was summoned on March 21 is completely false. I shall respond to the SIT fully respecting the law and keeping in view the dignity of a body appointed by the Supreme Court. The date of March 21 was invented by some vested interest and as a part of their effort to interfere in the due process of law. “They wanted to paint me as a person who refused to respond to the SIT. This country has in the last 24 hours witnessed a campaign of disinformation in which a section of the media became an instrument of the disinformers I hope this section will now take the corrective steps,” he hoped.
The chief minister alleged there “is a nexus among the vested interests in spreading lies against me in order to defame me. This machination has come unstuck and the people have seen through the charade.”
He said the state government “has always honoured and cooperated with the investigative agencies, commissions and Supreme Court looking into Godhra and post-Godhra incidents and that is why I never thought of giving a public statement on this issue.
“Despite unbearable pain I decided to maintain silence in the belief that the due process of law would take its own course. I sincerely hope that the truth is not twisted by the purveyors of untruth to misguide investigations,” he added.
Modi will cooperate: BJP
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday said there was “no basis” for reports that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had been summoned March 21 by a panel probing the 2002 communal riot cases and affirmed that Modi would cooperate fully with the Supreme Court-appointed panel.
“There is no basis to say that he (Modi) was summoned by the SIT (Special Investigation Team, appointed by the Supreme Court) on March 21. These are all baseless stories,” senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said here.
He said the chief minister and the state government will cooperate fully with the SIT. Jaitley said the media had been running a “wrong story” about Modi having been summoned on March 21 by SIT and mediapersons did not check facts with the SIT or the Supreme Court. “The country was misled.”
Jaitley, a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat, said the petitioners who file public interest litigations and the media “have a responsibility not to interfere in the judicial process”.
He said there have been attempts in the last eight years to defame the state government and Modi over the 2002 riots.
He said the media should correct the impression that Modi had avoided going before the SIT. He also released an open letter written by Modi.
Modi has been asked to appear before the SIT in connection with the case related to Congress leader Ehsan Jafri who was burnt alive in Ahmedabad’s Gulbarg society during the 2002 communal riots.

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