ZAKIA Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ahsan Jafri, said Thursday she was heartbroken to hear the special court’s verdict after praying through the previous night for a favourable judgment.
“We prayed thinking the verdict would be in our favour. But when I watched on TV that 36 had been acquitted and 24 convicted, my heart broke. We are all unhappy with this judgment. There might have been something wanting in the police investigations,” she said.
Zakia had led a legal battle against then Gujarat chief minister and now prime minister Narendra Modi and 61 other bureaucrats, police officers and politicians, charging them with complicity in the 2002 riots. Her protest petition against the clean chit subsequently given to all the accused is being heard in Gujarat High Court.
Zakia added her fight for justice would go on. “I will fight till my last breath. I have lost my husband. It was a huge mob that attacked our society and killed so many people. They killed without mercy, ignoring the fact that these were people like their own mothers, sisters and children,” she said.
Zakia stays with her son Tanveer in the Adajan area of Surat and the family, considered star witnesses in the case, is being protected by CRPF.
Tanveer too was upset. “Just 24 people could not have killed 69 residents and burned down the society from morning to evening. Why were 36 left out?” he said, but added: “When 24 were convicted with such a hostile government in the state and at the Centre, we are satisfied with the judgment for now. We will have to study the judgment and decide on a future course of action.”
Tanveer also questioned how the killing couldn’t have been a conspiracy. “If someone says that there is no conspiracy, then it is a farce. In such a society in Ahmedabad, you say the police did not reach the scene for 10 hours,” he said. “Who stopped them?”
Zakia’s daughter-in-law, Durraiyah, said, “My mother-in-law cannot walk much as she has had a knee replacement surgery. She has also worked hard in this long battle, and at this age she has travelled a lot. She has borne pain, in the hope that she would get justice… We have full faith in judiciary and we will get justice at the end.”