Gujarat Curfew News

BJP will retain power in Gujarat with two-third majority: Amit Shah
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

Union Home Minister Amit Shah Thursday expressed confidence that the ruling BJP will retain power in Gujarat by winning the upcoming Assembly elections with a two-third majority. He said the people of Gujarat have been trusting the BJP for a long time and the party has fulfilled their wishes.Shah was addressing a public gathering at Sant Savaiyanath Dham, a popular religious place in Zanzaraka of Ahmedabad district, before launching the third leg of the Gujarat Gaurav Yatra. The yatra will conclude at Somnath temple in the Gir-Somnath district.“BJP governments have done innumerable types of works. And therefore, in every election – whether it is corporation, district/taluka (panchayat), assembly or parliament… in each election, people of Gujarat have garlanded the BJP with a victory,” said Shah.“Today, I am saying, in the presence of all these journalists, that a BJP government will come to power in 2022 with a two-thirds majority. It is because the people of Gujarat have put their trust in the BJP and the BJP has fulfilled it (their wishes) thoroughly,” he added.Shah cited Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Surat Diamond Bourse, bullet train, World Health Organisation’s global centre for traditional medicines in Jamnagar among the BJP’s development projects in the state.The Union home minister also stated that under the leadership of PM Modi, pilgrim places of Gujarat like Ambaji and Somnath temples have been developed.Attacking the Congress governments of the past in the state, he asked the audience if they got 24X7 electricity or Narmada water during those times. He also alleged that in the past, people used to see a curfew on 200 days (of the year). Under BJP governments, there is no sign of curfew in the state, he said.Appealing to people to continue to repose their faith in the BJP, Shah asked them to be alert so that the Opposition Congress does not trick them.Shah mentioned the abrogation of Article 370 and the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya as among the big achievements of the BJP-led Centre. Shah alleged that it was owing to Jawaharlal Nehru’s mistake and Article 370 that Kashmir was not connected with the rest of India.In his entire speech, Shah did not name the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is aggressively targeting the BJP in its campaigning.Shah said, “This yatra is to thank the people of Gujarat who have put their trust in the leadership of Narendra Modi, who got Gujarat to number one position in the entire country… It is a yatra to thank the voters who have never made BJP see a defeat in Gujarat since 1990.”Several senior BJP leaders like Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Gujarat BJP chief C R Paatil, and Union ministers Mansukh Mandaviya and Arjun Ram Meghwal accompanied Shah.

BJP will retain power in Gujarat with two-third majority: Amit Shah
Shah says Gujarat is a role model in implementing welfare schemes while inaugurating Anupam schools
The Indian Express | 2 months ago | |
The Indian Express
2 months ago | |

Gujarat has become a model of development in the country due to smooth implementation of various schemes for public welfare and assistance in almost every sector, said Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Gandhinagar Sunday.“Before the BJP rule in the state, the drop-out ratio in primary education was 37 per cent. This has come down to less than 3 per cent during the BJP rule. Earlier, only 67 out of every 100 children were enrolled in schools, that is, only 40 per cent of children were getting primary education. Today, this has reached 100 per cent and nearly zero per cent drop-out rate,” Shah said addressing the public at the inauguration of four smart schools by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).As part of the “untiring efforts of the then Chief Minister and current Prime Minister Narendrabhai Modi and innovative approaches in the field of primary education” such as shala praveshotsav, kanya kelavani, gunotsav and teachers training, Gujarat is an example in the country today in the education sector. This is the beginning of a new chapter in primary education in Gujarat, he added.Shah’s statements came amid Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia hitting out at the Gujarat government and the BJP for the alleged poor state of education in the state.In a veiled reference to Kejriwal’s recent rallies in Gujarat, the Union Minister said there were two types of people with the assembly elections around the corner—one, who work hard and sweat for five years and through jan seva and their public work, contest elections through political parties, and the second, those who get new kurta-pyajama stitched and come out in public with promises five months ahead of elections. “Gujarat people know the karya sanskriti well,” he added.Lashing out at the Congress, Shah said, “As elections approach, the Congress will come out and talk about caste and religion and new promises. It is their habit. At the same time, I also know that Gujarat knows everyone—Congress, BJP and importantly, Narendra Modi. Under Modi’s guidance, the 20 years of development will continue for another five years.”There was no law and order in the state during the Congress rule and that changed after Modi became the chief minister, he said.He added that after the BJP government came to power, curfew has become a thing of the past. “When children are asked about curfew in exams, they don’t know the answer as they have not experienced curfew in the last 20 years,” he said.He emphasised that villages of Gujarat now have round-the-clock electricity, unlike 20 years ago. “Gujarat people keep a hisab kitab of what has been done in 20 years. I would like to tell the youth that they have not seen the Congress rule. Don’t do any such thing that turns out to be a mistake and lose your peace. Ask your elders how Gujarat was earlier and how the BJP has turned it (around),” the minister said.Shah, along with Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, virtually inaugurated four Anupam (smart) schools—Gandhinagar School Number 2 Nava Vadaj, Naranpura Gujarati School Number 6, Ghatlodia School number 2 and Thaltej School number 2—prepared at a total cost of Rs 9.54 crore by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation School Board at an event in Nava Vadaj.Around 3,200 children from poor and middle-class families of the city will benefit from the 20 Anupam schools constructed of which four were launched Sunday. Currently, AMC school board has a total of 459 schools with an enrollment of 1.7 lakh.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxTaking forward the slogan of at least one smart school in each ward, AMC School Board has plans to start 63 more Anupam schools by November, Chairman Sujoy Mehta told this newspaper. “As per the plan, nearly 1.5 lakh children will benefit from the smart schools in the coming days who would get education using technology and latest devices that are used in a private school,” he said.The government aims to provide quality basic education to the poor and middle class children of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar through its 83 smart schools. The first smart school came up at Kankaria Municipal School Number 5 and 6 in 2019.

Shah says Gujarat is a role model in implementing welfare schemes while inaugurating Anupam schools
Lal murder: Curfew lifted in Udaipur after 19 days
Times of India | 4 months ago | |
Times of India
4 months ago | |

UDAIPUR: Nearly three weeks after the gruesome murder of tailor Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur, curfew was completely lifted from the city on Sunday, bringing respite to residents of the bustling Lake City. Curfew was imposed in the city on June 28, the day Lal was beheaded by two people in his tailor shop in Dhan Mandi area, which shook the entire nation. The curfew remained in force in nine police station areas of the Lake City following the incident for 19 days, impacting tourism activity. Hotels in the city witnessed cancellations and a steep drop in tourist footfall. Immediately after the incident, the biggest challenge for the administration was to restore normalcy in the city and bring tourism activity back on track. Curfew was relaxed conditionally for four hours for the Jagannath rath yatra, which was carried out just two days after the incident. After an event of such a magnitude went off peacefully, curfew was relaxed for six to eight hours in the next days. After Eid Al Adha, which was observed on July 10, curfew was relaxed completely, except for a few hours in the night. Tourist arrivals from Gujarat to Udaipur during the weekends was severely hampered during this time. The tourist season in Udaipur starts in July, with tourists usually starting to arrive in the last week of June. This year, because of the incident, many tourists cancelled their bookings. Tourist sites bore a deserted look on the past two weekends of July. Now, with curfew lifted completely and Udaipur's lush greenery starting to shine after the onset of monsoon, more tourists are likely to come to the Lake City this month and later.

Lal murder: Curfew lifted in Udaipur after 19 days
Ensure BJP gets 3/4th majority in Gujarat polls: Shah tells voters
The Indian Express | 4 months ago | |
The Indian Express
4 months ago | |

Emphasising that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has ensured an all-round development of Gujarat, Union Home Minister Amit Shah Friday asked voters in the state to ensure a three-fourth majority for the saffron party in the upcoming assembly elections.“…it is only yesterday that a government has been formed in Maharashtra (supported by the BJP). In the upcoming elections (in Gujarat), you should resolve to help BJP win a three-fourth majority,” Shah said as he addressed the audience at an event in Modasar village, located about 30 kilometres from Ahmedabad.“BJP has ensured an all-round development of Gujarat. Be it urban, rural, mountains or coastal areas, the BJP government has developed all areas. Narendrabhai (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) started this development and he made such a system that even after he is gone, the development continues to happen. It has continued till (chief minister) Bhupendra Patel,” he said, adding, “We have to resolve once again to hand over the reins of power in Gujarat to BJP—that has ensured continuous development. Under the leadership of Narendrabhai, Gujarat has become the topmost state over the last 20 years and you people have to ensure that it continues to remain the top for the next 30 years.”The home minister laid the foundation stone of a Rs-11 crore project for beautification of Balganga lake, distributed free-of-cost gas connection under the smokeless village programme, launched a pilot project of Red Cross for a “Thalassemia-free Gujarat” in Sanand and Bavla talukas, and inaugurated seven six-lane flyover bridges in the area. Modasar is one of villages adopted by Shah under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxTalking about the proposed developments at Modasar village, he said, “People had started to forget that there is a lake and temple at Modasar that dates back to the Mahabharata era. Tomorrow everyone will know,” Shah said, adding the Balganga lake at Modasar village will be beautified with the help from Zydus Group. “Under Corporate Social Responsibility, the Zydus family will bear the cost that will range between Rs 8 crore and Rs 11 crore. I had made a small call to Pankajbhai (Pankaj Patel, head of Zydus Group), and he readily agreed,” he added.Assuring the people of Sanand, Shah said, “As your representative in the Lok Sabha, I want to assure you that the Sanand assembly constituency (that is part of the larger Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat represented by Shah) will continue to be in the forefront of development. It is my responsibility to ensure this.”Pointing out that during the Congress regime in Gujarat, riots and curfew used to be commonplace during the Rath Yatras, the Union Minister said, “Riots used to happen, people used to get killed and curfew used to be imposed for days together. After people elected the BJP, nobody has dared to attack a single Rath Yatra. Riots have become a thing of the past.”Ajay Patel, chairman of ADC Bank and chairman of Red Cross Society in Gujarat, was among those present at the event.

Ensure BJP gets 3/4th majority in Gujarat polls: Shah tells voters
Gujarat Imposes Night Curfew In 17 More Towns As Covid Cases Spike
Ndtv | 10 months ago | |
Ndtv
10 months ago | |

A review meeting was held by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Friday (File)Gandhinagar (Gujarat): In view of rising COVID-19 cases in the state, the Gujarat government has imposed a night curfew in 17 more towns and extended its implementation in eight metros and two cities till January 26, informed Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Friday.The cities where night curfew will be imposed are Surendranagar, Dhrangradhra, Morbi, Wankaner, Dhoraji, Gondal, Jetpur, Kalawad, Godhra, Vijalpore, Navsari, Navsari, Bilimora, Vyara, Vapi Valsad, Bharuch, Ankleshwar.A review meeting was held by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Friday before announcing the reviewed guidelines.Earlier on January 7, the government announced a night curfew between 10 pm and 6 am in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Gandhinagar, Junagadh, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Anand, and Nadiad.As per COVID-19 guidelines, as many as 150 persons are allowed in the open and 50 per cent in closed space for any social religious function. The cinema halls, libraries, auditoriums, gyms are also allowed to function with 50 per cent occupancy.The public transport both AC and non AC buses can run with 75 per cent of its sitting capacity and standing is not allowed.The occupancies are restricted in marriages and funerals also. As many as 150 persons are allowed in the open, 50 per cent in closed space for marriage and 100 people are in funerals.As per the guidelines, all businesses, offices, shops, shopping malls etc can be opened till 10:00 pm and 75 per cent sitting capacity in the restaurant is permitted.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comEarlier on Friday, Gujarat reported 21,225 fresh COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths. So far, Gujarat reported 10,22,788 COVID-19 cases.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Gujarat Imposes Night Curfew In 17 More Towns As Covid Cases Spike
  • Gujarat Announces Night Curfew For 17 Towns With High Covid Positivity Rate
  • Ndtv

    At present, the night curfew is in force in eight metros. (Representational)Ahmedabad: In light of the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Gujarat government on Friday announced night curfew for 17 more towns with high positivity rates and extended the implementation in eight metros and two cities till January 29.While the timing of the night curfew remains unchanged from 10 pm to 6 am, 17 more towns have been added to the list of places where it will be enforced from January 22 till January 29, a government release stated.At the same time, the government has relaxed home delivery services for hotels and restaurants to 24 hours, while permitting these establishments to operate with 75 per cent capacity till 10 pm, it was stated.The decisions were taken in a meeting of the core committee chaired by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel to review the existing pandemic situation.At present, the night curfew is in force in eight metros namely Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Bhavnagar and Gandhinagar, besides Anand and Nadiad cities.As per the release, the night curfew between 10 pm and 6 am will also be imposed in 17 towns with high positivity rates, including Surendranagar, Dhrangradhra, Morbi, Wankaner, Dhoraji, Gondal, Jetpur, Kalawad, Godhra, Vijalpore (Navsari), Navsari, Bilimora, Vyarav, Vyapar, Bharuch and Ankleshwar.The curfew period, which was to end on January 22, has been extended till January 29, it was stated.According to the notification issued by the state home department, essential services are allowed during the night curfew and the other restrictions remain unchanged.Shops, shopping complexes, marketing yards, salons, spas, beauty parlours, etc., are allowed to operate till 10 pm, while political, social and religious gatherings are allowed with a maximum of 150 persons at a venue in an open space, with the number not exceeding 50 per cent of the capacity of an enclosed space.No more than 100 mourners are permitted at funerals, the notification stated.Bus transport services have been exempted from night curfew, and buses can operate with 75 per cent seating capacity.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comCinema halls, water parks, gyms, swimming pools, auditoriums, libraries, etc. are allowed to operate with 50 per cent of their capacities, it was stated.(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Centre warns states on Omicron: Activate war rooms, curfew if needed
The Indian Express | 11 months ago | |
The Indian Express
11 months ago | |

Warning that the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is “at least three times more transmissible” than the Delta variant, the Centre on Tuesday directed states to impose strict restrictions in districts reporting high positivity rate, including imposition of night curfew, strict regulation of large gatherings and containment measures.The Centre also told the states to “activate” war rooms and keep analysing trends and surges, directing that specific measures need to be taken in view of “initial signs of a surge in cases of Covid-19 as well as increased detection of the variant of concern (VOC), Omicron, in different parts of the country”.The direction by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan came on a day when India’s cumulative tally of Omicron cases touched the 200 mark. According to official data, seven states in the country are now reporting Omicron cases in double digits — Maharashtra (54), Delhi (54), Telangana (20), Karnataka (19), Rajasthan (18), Kerala (15) and Gujarat (14).“At the district level, there should be a constant review of emerging data regarding the population affected by Covid-19, geographical spread, hospital infrastructure and its utilisation, manpower, notifying containment zones, enforcement of perimeter of containment zones. This evidence should be the basis for effective decision making at the district level itself. Such a strategy ensures that infection is contained at the local level itself before it spreads to other parts of the state,” Bhushan wrote.The Centre has advised district-level containment measures and restrictions if a district reports positivity of 10% or more in the last one week, or bed occupancy of 40% or more on oxygen-supported or ICU beds. However, “based on the local situation” and “population characteristics such as density, and keeping in mind the higher transmissibility of Omicron”, states can enforce restrictions even before they report these numbers.The containment measures listed include “imposition of night curfew, strict regulation of large gatherings, curtailing numbers in marriages and funerals, restricting numbers in offices, industries and public transport”. “ln case of all new clusters of Covid positive cases, prompt notification of containment zones, buffer zones should be done, strict perimeter control of containment zone as per extant guidelines must be ensured. All cluster samples must be sent to INSACOG labs for genome sequencing without delay,” Bhushan wrote.Pointing out that based on “current scientific evidence”, the Omicron variant is at least three times more transmissible than the Delta variant, the Centre has said that decision-making at the district level “must be very prompt and focussed”. “Besides, the Delta VOC is still present in different parts of the country. Hence, even greater foresight, data analysis, dynamic decision-making, and strict and prompt containment action is required at the local and district level,” it said.On testing and surveillance, districts have been told to conduct door-to-door case search, test all Severe Acute Respiratory Infections/ influenza-like-illness and vulnerable/ co-morbid people, ensure right proportion of RT-PCR tests in total tests being conducted daily, and contact tracing of all Covid-positive persons.The Health Ministry has also urged states to ensure strict enforcement of home isolation. “This will be a very critical activity in the days to come, specially to ensure that persons under home isolation do not spread the virus to others in view of its higher transmissibility,” Bhushan wrote.The states have also been asked to ensure 100% vaccination coverage. “Special focus to be given to those districts where the first and second dose coverage is less than the national average. The door-to-door vaccination campaign needs to be strengthened,” the Health Ministry said.

Centre warns states on Omicron: Activate war rooms, curfew if needed
4-hour curfew till December 20 in 8 cities in Gujarat
Times of India | 11 months ago | |
Times of India
11 months ago | |

GANDHINAGAR: The state government issued a notification on Friday, extending the night curfew in the eight major cities of the state till December 20. Night curfew will be in force from 1am to 5am in the cities of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Gandhinagar, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar and Junagadh, the notification said. All other guidelines related to Covid-19 will remain the same, the notification said.

4-hour curfew till December 20 in 8 cities in Gujarat
  • Curfew takes zing out of New Year party plans in UT
  • Times of India

    Surat: If you imagined ringing off the old year with a large in hand, here’s some news that will deflate your bubbly plans. Your favourite watering holes in the state have made themselves out of bounds for New Year revellers this season. The Union territory of Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli (DDDNH) has imposed a night curfew from 11pm to 6am till December-end keeping the Omicron variant scare in mind and also to prevent the risk of Covid spread. There will be no major events organized on December 31, thanks to the fresh restricting orders. After a low-key 2020, a few leading hotels and resorts were planning to hold star-studded parties, but the curfew has dampened all plans in the UT. A large number of tourists and party-goers from Gujarat as well as neighbouring Maharashtra prefer to visit Daman, Diu and Silvassa for year-end celebrations due to the availability of liquor, well-equipped hotels, resorts and other attractions. Vice-president of Daman Hoteliers’ Association Haresh Tangal told TOI, “Due to reimposition of curfew from 11pm, no major party can be planned now. People will have to reach their hotel or leave Daman before the curfew hour. We will approach the administration of Daman to request for relaxation in the timings. If we get permission till 1am at least people will be able to celebrate.” In Daman and Silvassa, such year-end parties start from December 24 onwards and the New Year festivities continue for a week more. While it is good for the revellers, it generates good business for the tourist destination as it pulls in huge crowds. “I always ushered in the New Year in Daman, but will drop my plans this year owing to the curfew. People also need to follow Covid-19 guidelines to fight the pandemic,” said Vidit Desai, a finance consultant from Valsad.

  • Night curfew extended in eight Gujarat cities till December 10 amid Omicron threat
  • Times of India

    AHMEDABAD: In the wake of the emergence of the "Omicron" variant of coronavirus, the Gujarat government has extended the night curfew in eight cities of the state by 10 days till December 10, an official said on Tuesday. The night curfew has been in force in eight cities from 1am to 5am since November 1. The curfew timings were reduced by two hours in November for Diwali and Chhath Puja and due to a drop in daily Covid-19 cases. As per a government notification, the night curfew in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Gandhinagar and Junagadh cities has been extended for 10 more days, from December 1 to December 10. Commercial establishments such as APMCs, shops and beauty salons, in these cities can operate till 12 am, while restaurants can remain open till midnight with 75 per cent occupancy, and home delivery and take-away services are also permitted till midnight, the release stated. Cinema halls can function with 100 per cent capacity in the entire state, it was stated. Social distancing and use of masks must be followed, it added. Not more than 400 people can attend weddings and religious or political functions in the first 10 days of December, and 100 people can take part in funeral processions, the notification stated. The state government had earlier stated that people should have taken at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine to work in business establishments or offices, and recommending that those eligible should also take the second dose of the vaccine. The state government on Saturday made it mandatory for people coming to India from nine "at risk" countries to undergo RT-PCR test on their arrival at international airports. The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday warned that the global risk from the Omicron variant is "very high" based on the early evidence, saying the mutated coronavirus could lead to surges with "severe consequences". Gujarat has recorded 40 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, it was stated.

  • Night curfew to continue in 8 cities of Gujarat
  • Times of India

    GANDHINAGAR: The state home department issued a notification on Tuesday, extending the imposition of night curfew in eight major cities of Gujarat, till December 10. Night curfew will continue in Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Gandhinagar, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar and Junagadh, every day from 1am to 5am. The notification said all shops and establishments can remain open till midnight. Restaurants can stay open until midnight with 75% capacity and cinema halls can operate at 100% capacity. Other guidelines in force will remain as earlier. Gyms will continue to function at 75% capacity and gardens and parks will remain open till 10pm.

  • Gujarat: Night curfew extended in eight cities till Dec 10
  • The Indian Express

    The Gujarat government extended the ongoing night curfew (1 am to 5 am) in eight metropolitan cities of the state amid the Covid-19 pandemic.As per a notification order released by the Home Department of the state government on Tuesday night, eight cities — Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Gandhinagar, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar and Junagadh — will continue to have night curfew from 1 am to 5 am from December 1 to December 10.Earlier, on October 28, the state government had announced the continuation of night curfew till November 30.The notification order also stated various SOPs related to commercial, academic and recreational activities in the eight cities amid the pandemic.“All shops, financial institutions, shopping complexes, market yards, weekly markets, carts, salon and beauty parlours will be allowed to function till 12 am. Restaurants will be allowed to operate till 12 am with 75 per cent of their seating capacity, following all SOPs related to coronavirus.Gyms with 75 per cent capacity and cinema halls with 100 per cent seating capacity will be allowed to function. Coaching centres with 50 per cent of their seating capacity and libraries with 75 per cent of their seating capacity can be open,” read the order by Nikhil Bhatt, additional secretary, law and order, Home Department, Gujarat government.“Water parks and swimming pools with 75% capacity can function. Private and public buses with 100 per cent seating capacity and state transport buses with 75 per cent seating capacity will be allowed to function. In wedding, maximum 400 persons will be allowed to attend and in funerals maximum 100 persons. Weddings will not be allowed during night curfew hours,” the order read.Similar SOP order was also released for the rest of the state.

  • Night Curfew Extended in Eight Gujarat Cities Till Dec 10 Amid Omicron Threat
  • News18

Did not shield anyone in 2002 post-Godhra riots, left no stone unturned: SIT to top court
The Indian Express | 1 year ago | |
The Indian Express
1 year ago | |

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by Supreme Court to inquire into cases of communal violence during 2002 post-Godhra riots on Wednesday told the top court that it had not shielded anyone and rued that “uncharitable” remarks were being made against it.“We were not shielding anybody,” senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for the SIT, told a bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar.Rohatgi was responding to charges by Zakia Jafri, wife of former Congress MP Ahsan Jafri, who was killed during the riots, accusing the SIT of bias and overlooking evidence.Rohatgi pointed out that SC, while setting up the SIT on March 26, 2008, had said it will record the statement of any person who wanted to give it, and invited statements by issuing newspaper advertisements. Yet, he said, “uncharitable remarks (are being made) against SIT”.His reference was to allegations by Jafri’s counsel, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, that the SIT had not recorded the testimony of several crucial witnesses.“SIT examined 275 witnesses, did not leave any stone unturned,” Rohatgi said, and referred to the arrest and conviction of former Gujarat minister Mayaben Kodnani. “She was arrested and convicted and was in jail for a number of years. If the SIT was partisan, I dare say it would not have arrested a sitting cabinet minister.”The bench, also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheswhwari and C T Ravikumar, is hearing Jafri’s appeal challenging the October 5, 2017 Gujarat High Court order upholding the Ahmedabad Metropolitan Magistrate Court’s decision to accept the SIT’s closure report, which gave a clean chit to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and 63 others in riots-related cases.Rohatgi also denied charges that there was any delay in calling the Army. “She (Jafri) says the Army was delayed. It’s an allegation against the state and Centre. It’s completely baseless. The fax went at 2 pm on February 28, 2002 and the Army was redeployed…. They came at night, were airlifted…”On Sibal’s argument that SIT had not seized any cellphones during its probe, Rohatgi said, “(the contention is that) a mobile phone used in 2002, SIT should take it from them in 2010, 2011, 2012. Phones of that era were nascent — (they had) no WhatsApp, no camera. Who would keep a phone for 10 years?”He also responded to claims that the SIT did not seize call data records (CDR) or Police Control Room records: “No company keeps CDR for nine years. Manual requires destruction of PCR records after five years.”Jafri had contended that bodies of those killed in the Godhra train tragedy were handed over to a private person, Jaydeep Patel of VHP, and that the SIT did not probe this.Rohatgi said the bodies identified were to be handed over to relatives, and those not identified were to be sent to Sola hospital in Ahmedabad. He said Jaydeep Patel was only to accompany them.On the allegation that the SIT had not probed why two ministers went into the police control room in Ahmedabad during the riots, Rohatgi said it was investigated. “Based on this, SIT came to the conclusion that only one minister visited and he was sitting in a separate room.” He said it is a matter of practice that a minister goes to the control room and added that “presence of minister will only help morale of police, that he is not hiding in his house”.Rohatgi pointed out that Jafri’s petition draws extensively on statements of former ADGP R B Sreekumar and said, “It appears that he turned against the government after he as superseded.”“Testimony of Sreekumar is motivated. He clandestinely recorded conversations with the Home Secretary, etc…. He kept all this a closely guarded secret till he was superseded,” he told the court. “Why did it surface for the first time in 2005?”On Sreekumar’s contention that curfew was not imposed on the fateful day to facilitate parading of the bodies of Godhra victims, Rohatgi said Sreekumar was posted as Additional DGP (Intelligence) “only from April 9, 2002 — two months after (the) riots. Before this, he was Additional DGP (Armed Unit)…. So he had no knowledge…he had nothing to do with the law and order issue.”“(He was) posted much after the riots, (yet) he says curfew was not imposed to facilitate parading. How does he know,” Rohatgi wondered.The senior counsel also said that although then Bhavnagar Superintendent of Police Rahul Sharma was named in the original complaint of Jafri, his name was missing from the appeal. “I submit that it is a deliberate omission,” he said. “Let me read the accusation. He is an IPS officer. Abetted breakdown of governance. Why is it missing? Because today Mr Sibal argues he is a hero.”During his arguments, Sibal had said that Sharma in his statement to the Nanavati commission stated that mobile phones were used in a big way in the riots and asked, “here is a police officer saying mobile phones were used. Then why did you not seize the mobile phones? The call records were never investigated.”Sharma, Sibal said, also narrated how political leaders approached him for bail of accused and contended that “this shows political interference”.“Today he (Rahul Sharma) is their hero. They are saying he was targeted in 2011. Now, they are saying that he did the right thing,” Rohatgi said. He added that according to Jafri, Sharma was transferred as a matter of punishment.Rohatgi said it is for the government to decide where a police officer’s services are needed. “He was transferred from Bhavnagar to Ahmedabad. Otherwise (if it was by way of punishment), he should have been transferred to some godforsaken place,” Rohatgi submitted.The arguments remained inconclusive and will continue Thursday.

Did not shield anyone in 2002 post-Godhra riots, left no stone unturned: SIT to top court