New Delhi, 16th July 2022: Congress has denied the claims of the Gujarat Police in the Gujarat riots case. The party has launched a direct attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi while defending its late leader, Ahmed Patel.

The Congress on Saturday denied allegations against party veteran late Ahmed Patel that he had hatched a conspiracy to destabilize the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government after the 2002 riots. The Gujarat Police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Friday argued before the court that Teesta Setalvad was part of a “big conspiracy” by senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel against Narendra Modi.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying, “The Prime Minister’s political vendetta machine clearly does not spare even the dead who were his political opponents. This SIT is dancing to the tune of its political master and will sit wherever it is told. We know how a former SIT chief was rewarded with a diplomatic assignment after giving a ‘clean chit’ to the Chief Minister.”

The police also allege that Setalvad received money and rewards from the opposition party for falsely implicating innocent persons in Gujarat. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Gujarat Police said in an affidavit filed before the sessions court in Ahmedabad, “In carrying out this grand conspiracy, Setalvad’s political motive was to sack or destabilize the elected government. He killed innocent persons in Gujarat. Received illegal financial and other benefits and rewards from rival political party for wrongful entrapment.”

Referring to the statements of a witness, the SIT said that the conspiracy was done at the behest of the late Ahmed Patel. It alleged that Setalvad received Rs 30 lakh after the 2002 post-Godhra riots at Patel’s behest.

Teesta Setalvad was arrested along with former Director General of Police RB Sreekumar for allegedly fabricating evidence in the 2002 Gujarat riots case.

In its affidavit, the SIT further claimed that Setalvad used to meet leaders of a major national party involved in the Central government at that time to implicate senior leaders of the BJP government in the riots cases, when there was the UPA government at the centre and Congress was the biggest partner.

The police, citing another witness, claimed that in 2006 Teesta Setalvad had asked a Congress leader why the party was only giving Shabana and Javed a chance and not making them members of the Rajya Sabha.

The SIT also opposed the bail application on the ground that the investigation against Setalvad is still on and if released, she may try to intimidate witnesses and tamper with evidence. Additional Sessions Judge DD Thakkar took the SIT’s reply on record and adjourned the hearing on the bail plea to Monday.

Setalvad was arrested a day after the Supreme Court last month upheld the clean chit given to the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others in the Gujarat riots case. A case was registered against him under IPC sections 468 (forgery) and 194 (granting or fabricating false evidence with intent to obtain punishment for capital offence).