Taking a jibe at Congress' 'satyagraha' over ED questioning Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister appeared before the SIT in relation to probe over post-Godhra violence but the BJP did not resort to "drama or dharna" during the questioning.
Shah made the remarks in an interview with ANI after the Supreme Court dismissed the plea challenging the clean chit given by Special Investigation Team (SIT) to then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and several others in 2002 riots. The plea had been filed by Zakia Jafri.
Amit Shah also referred to his facing arrest in Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, in which he was subsequently acquitted, and said no "dharna" was carried out.
"In a democracy, PM Modi presented an ideal example of how the Constitution should be respected by all political persons. Modiji was also questioned, but nobody protested, and (BJP) workers from across the country did not gather in solidarity with Modiji. We cooperated with the law. I was also arrested. There was no protest or demonstration," he said.
"This is not the first clean chit to PM Modi. Nanavati Commission has also given a clean chit. Still the SIT was formed. And Modiji did not appear before the SIT doing drama... come in support from every village if not then call MLAs, MPs and ex-MPs, hold dharna," Shah added in a jibe towards the Congress party's decision to hold demonstrations in national capital during Rahul Gandhi's questioning by the Enforcement Directorate in the National Herald case.
"We believe that we should cooperate in the judicial process. There was a Supreme Court order, and an SIT was there. If the SIT wants to ask questions from the Chief Minister, he himself said that he is ready to cooperate. Why stage a protest? No person is beyond the law," he said.
Shah said that protest cannot be justified against the judicial process.
"No protest is justified against any judicial process because our view is considered right when the judiciary says so. I was put behind bars. I used to say that I am innocent. But when the court said that a fake case was filed against me and there was a politically motivated conspiracy by the CBI to frame me, then my words proved right," he said.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar said on Friday that it found the appeal by Zakia Jafri was devoid of merit.
"After cogitating over the matter, we uphold the decision of the Magistrate in accepting the stated final report dated February 8, 2012, submitted by the SIT, as it is and rejecting the protest petition filed by the appellant. We do not countenance the submission of the appellant regarding infraction of rule of law in the matter of investigation and the approach of the Magistrate and the High Court in dealing with the final report. Accordingly, we hold that this appeal is devoid of merits and resultantly, deserves to be dismissed in the aforementioned terms. We order accordingly," the bench said in its judgement.
Ehsan Jafri was among 69 people killed during the violence at the Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002. Zakia Jafri challenged the SIT's clean chit to 64 people including Narendra Modi who was the Gujarat Chief Minister during the riots in the State.
Answering a query on the Gujarat government's response after the riots and how he would have dealt with the situation if he was the state Home Minister, Amit Shah said "whosoever was there, they had worked well."
"But the anger was on such a large scale due to the (Godhra) incident, which could not be sensed by anyone including the police."
Amit Shah said the court has made it clear that the state government tried hard to stop the riots and the Chief Minister made repeated appeals.
He said the court had noted in its judgement that incidents after the Godhra violence were not pre-planned.
The minister said It also dismissed Tehelka's sting operation because when the footage before and after it came to light, it was found that the sting operation was politically motivated.
He said the apex court chose the officers in SIT after hearing from the NGO.
"Officers who were chosen weren't from BJP-ruled states, they were from Central Govt, UPA had come to the power by then," added Shah
"It (June 24 SC judgement) is very significant. The manner in which an attempt was made to victimise my party's tallest leader, Court tore it down. I believe this judgement is a matter of pride for all party workers, false allegations against our tallest leader have been dismissed," he said.
Amit Shah said the BJP governments had better law and order compared to governments run by parties opposed to the BJP and records of any five years can be compared, to prove the same.
Answering a query, he said no parade (of bodies of Godhra train burning victims) was done. "It's false. They were taken to Civil Hospital and bodies were taken by families to their homes in closed ambulances."
He said the people of Gujarat had never accepted false allegations in relation to the 2002 riots and the BJP has repeatedly been returned to power in the state. (ANI)