The SC has sought a response from the Modi government within four weeks. It posted further hearing on the matter on April 13. However, it decided to keep under seal another “confidential” report submitted by the five member Raghavan committee, which contained inferences about the manner in which the state police had investigated these sensitive cases immediately after 2002.
The SC also observed that there would be no interference in the work of the Special Investigative Team (SIT), which could further probe the cases. It also said the composition of the five-member team would remain unaltered. The SIT was appointed by the SC after complaints by the riot victims and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) that there had been no proper probe and fair trial in the riot cases.
It is for the last statement that one wonders about the prudence of the SC to keep the matter secret. The fact that the appointment of further investigations was made by the people affected makes it a public issue that needs complete transparency.
Whoever has been indicted, there is no reason for the court to protect the individuals/organisations. There has been a reference to the forthcoming elections; I’d say making the report pubic would not make much of a difference. Most people vote for selfish reasons and not to see that justice is meted out to other groups, unless they are a part of that group.
Please let us not forget that many well-off Muslims in Gujarat, including one whose house was burned down, have happily spoken up for “moving on” so long as their businesses are back on track.
It is the poor, displaced and voiceless who need to be heard. And it is the business of the Supreme Court to release the findings, however caustic they may be. This sounds rather bizarre that the SC is using such an adjective as an excuse to keep something that has shaken up the country confidential.
Is there any guarantee that during the course of further findings some sharp shooter – and powerful person with access to the report – decides not to tamper with it and we again have the same old game of how the Establishment is victorious and therefore not culpable?
This is shameful and one hopes more voices are raised, voices that do not have any axe to grind and use the victims for their ‘concern industry’. Pardon the cynicism but we have seen it all, have we not?