Gujarat Riots: Congress Leader Plotted Against Narendra Modi, Says Panel

The Congress lashed out at the charges, calling them a "part of the Prime Minister's systematic strategy to absolve himself".

PM Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat during the 2002 riots (File).

New Delhi: Congress leader Ahmed Patel, who died two years ago, plotted against PM Narendra Modi with arrested activist Teesta Setalvad following the 2002 Gujarat riots, the state police have said, in a charge strongly refuted by his party and family.

Here are the 10 latest developments on this big story:

  1. Opposing activist Teesta Setalvad's request for bail, a Special Investigation Team of the Gujarat Police told a court that said she was part of a "larger conspiracy" to dismiss the BJP government in Gujarat, led by then Chief Minister Narendra Modi, at the instance of Ahmed Patel. The case will be heard on Monday next.

  2. The Congress lashed out at the charges against Mr Patel, who used to be a close aide of party chief Sonia Gandhi, calling the charges "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."

  3. Ms Setalvad has been arrested, along with former Indian Police Service (IPS) officers RB Sreekumar and Sanjiv Bhatt, for allegedly fabricating evidence to frame people in the Gujarat riots cases.

  4. "The political objective of the applicant (Setalvad) while enacting this larger conspiracy was dismissal or destabilisation of the elected government... She obtained illegal financial and other benefits and rewards from rival political party in lieu of her attempts to wrongly implicate innocent persons in Gujarat," said the Gujarat Police panel said.

  5. It cited the statements of a witness to allege that the conspiracy was carried out at the instance of Ahmed Patel, who channelled Rs 30 lakh to Ms Setalvad after riots.

  6. The activist used to meet the leaders of a "prominent national party in power at that time in Delhi to implicate names of senior leaders of the BJP government in riot cases" and hanker for a Rajya Sabha seat, the police claimed.

  7. The Congress said slammed the Gujarat Police's accusations, saying "The Prime Minister's political vendetta machine clearly does not even spare the departed who were his political adversaries."

  8. Ahmed Patel's daughter Mumtaz Patel also dismissed the probe team's claim. "I guess his name @ahmedpatel still holds weight to be used for political conspiracies to malign d opposition. Why during UPA years @TeestaSetalvad was not rewarded & made Rajya sabha membr & why the center uptil 2020 did not prosecute my father for hatching such a big conspiracy," she tweeted.

  9. The BJP alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi was the "driving force" behind the "conspiracy" to implicate PM Modi. "Patel is just a name. The driving force behind this conspiracy was Sonia Gandhi. We want Sonia Gandhi to hold a press conference and address the nation as to why she was conspiring against Modi," spokesperson Sambit Patra said at a news conference.

  10. Ms Setalvad was arrested last month, a day after the Supreme Court re-affirmed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's exoneration in riots. Her arrest was questioned, among others, by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) which said it was "very concerned" by it. The Indian government called the statement "completely unwarranted" and "an interference in India's independent judicial system".

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