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‘Manufactured charges’: Congress hits out at Gujarat SIT’s allegations against Ahmed Patel

Setalvad, Sreekumar and Bhatt are being investigated in relation to an FIR lodged in Ahmedabad on June 25, a day after the Supreme Court dismissed a plea against the clean chit given to Narendra Modi, who was then Gujarat’s chief minister, and others in cases related to the 2002 riots. 

Ahmed Patel was the political advisor to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at the time. (File Photo)

Refuting the charges levelled against the late Congress leader Ahmed Patel by the Gujarat Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing charges of fabrication of evidence and conspiracy linked to the 2002 riots, the Congress today said that the “SIT is dancing to the tune of its political master and will sit wherever it is told to”.

The party stated that the “mischievous charges” manufactured against Patel is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “systematic strategy to absolve himself of any responsibility for the communal carnage unleashed when he was chief minister of Gujarat in 2002”.

In an affidavit filed in a Gujarat Court Friday, the SIT probing charges of fabrication of evidence and conspiracy linked to the 2002 riots against activist Teesta Setalvad, retired DGP R B Sreekumar and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt stated that the accused were allegedly part of a “larger conspiracy” for “dismissal or destabilisation” by “hook or by crook” of the then state government. It stated that this was done allegedly at the “behest” of the late Ahmed Patel, who was political advisor to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at the time.

“The Indian National Congress categorically refutes the mischievous charges manufactured against the late Shri Ahmed Patel. This is part of the Prime Minister’s systematic strategy to absolve himself of any responsibility for the communal carnage unleashed when he was chief minister of Gujarat in 2002. It was his unwillingness and incapacity to control this carnage that had led the-then Prime Minister of India Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee to remind the chief minister of his rajdharma,” Jairam Ramesh, the AICC General Secretary in-charge of the party’s communications, said in a statement.

“The Prime Minister’s political vendetta machine clearly does not even spare the departed who were his political adversaries. This SIT is dancing to the tune of its political master and will sit wherever it is told to. We know how an earlier SIT chief was rewarded with a diplomatic assignment after he had given a ‘clean chit’ to the chief minister,” he added.

He further stated that “giving a judgment through the press, in an ongoing judicial process, through puppet investigative agencies who trumpet wild allegations as supposed findings, has been the hallmark of the Modi-Shah duo’s tactics for years”.

“This is nothing but another example of the same, with the added object of vilifying a deceased person since he is obviously unable and unavailable to refute such brazen lies,” he added.

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Speaking about the allegations on Saturday, BJP leader Sambit Patra said that Ahmed Patel was just a name and the real driving force behind the plan was Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. “Through her chief political advisor Ahmed Patel, Sonia Gandhi tried to malign Gujarat and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image,” he added.

First published on: 16-07-2022 at 11:06:48 am
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