Gujarat riots: Ahmed Patel paid Teesta Setlavad, Sanjeev Bhat, others to frame Modi, says SIT

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Ahamedabad: Social activist Teesta Setalvad, former state Director General of Police (DGP) RB Sreekumar and former IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt had accepted Rs 30 lakhs from Ahmed Patel, the political advisor of the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi to allegedly frame then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and destabilise his government following 2002 Gujarat riots, a Special Investigating Team (SIT) report revealed.

The SIT was formed to probe Setalvad along with R B Sreekumar for criminal conspiracy and forgery.

SIT’s ACP BC Solanki’s Special public prosecutors Mitesh Amin and Amit Patel filed an affidavit in the sessions court on Friday against the bail plea filed by Teesta, Sreekumar in the Sessions Court stating that the accused had entered into a larger conspiracy with the intention of obtaining illegal money and other benefits from Congress.

Notably, a metropolitan court in Ahmedabad sent Setalvad and Sreekumar to 14-day judicial custody on July 2. Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt was arrested by the Ahmedabad Police’s Crime Branch on Tuesday in connection with the Gujarat riots case for embezzling funds and forging documents.

After the riots that broke out after the Godhra incident, the SIT filed serious charges against Teesta Setalvad, RB Sreekumar and Sanjeev Bhatt in the case of defaming several people including the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat in the case of petitions to various commissions and the Supreme Court.

The SIT affidavit stated that the accused had numerous meetings with Patel where they received Rs 5 lakhs for the first time and Rs 25 lakhs after two days. Ahmed Patel passed away in 2020.

Last month, the Supreme Court dismissed the plea filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, challenging the clean chit given by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and several others in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Ehsan Jafri was among 69 people killed during violence at the Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002. His widow Zakia Jafri challenged the SIT’s clean chit to 64 people including Narendra Modi who was Chief Minister of Gujarat at the time.

After 58 pilgrims were burnt alive on the Sabarmati Express train at Gujarat’s Godhra Railway Station on February 27, 2002, riots broke out across the state in which more than 1,000 people were killed.