Did not get full justice, will appeal in higher court: Zakia Jafri

Ahmedabad, June 2 (IANS) Zakia Jafri, the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, on Thursday said she was not satisfied with the verdict in the Gulberg Society massacre case and that many of the people acquitted by the special court had been involved in the 2002 rioting.

Jafri termed the verdict of the special court as “half justice” and said she would move the higher court against acquittals.

“My hope of getting full justice has not been realised. My struggle would go on. I will fight the case till my last breath,” Jafri said, talking to reporters here.

“We along with Teesta Setalvad and a renowned lawyer from Delhi will continue to fight this case,” said Jafri when asked about the options left with her.

Zakia, who had taken up the matter to the Supreme Court which led to the formation of the SIT in 2009, said the Special Investigation Team had seemingly not done the inquiry properly.

“More than half of them have been acquitted, which shows that the verdict and the investigation were not up to mark. It is like half justice. I fought for 15 years and it seems now that my work is far from over. I will have to continue my legal battle (approaching the higher court again) as well,” Zakia said.

Zakia also said the Congress as a party never interfered in the case and they have been at a receiving end of the political vendetta.

Former Indian Police Service officer R.K. Raghavan, who was the chief of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that probed the 2002 riots, said that he had applied “the highest possible standards” in investigating the riots.

“We did an honest piece of job, applying highest possible standards. When that lady (Zakia Jafri) came to me, my heart went out and I was in tears. I assured her that we would do our job,” Raghavan told a TV news channel.

Advocate S.M. Vora, who represented the survivors of the massacre, said he was satisfied with the court verdict.

Vora told reporters that Zakia’s reaction to the verdict was her own.

“So far as I am concerned, I am satisfied with the decision. The court has held 24 guilty, of whom 11 were under Section 302 pertaining to murder, and 13 others under lesser charges,” he said.

“Though we are contemplating to request the court to reconsider the judgment and give the 13 with lesser charges harsher punishment, yet I can’t say that I am dissatisfied with the verdict,” Vora said.

Special SIT court Judge P.B. Desai on Thursday acquitted 36 accused persons while holding 24 guilty. Six of the accused had died during the course of trial.

–IANS

mak-desai/rn/vt

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