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Sohrab remark: EC rap for Modi
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 6
In a setback to the BJP ahead of the crucial Assembly elections in Gujarat, the Election Commission, taking cognisance of media reports and the complaint made by social activist Teesta Setalvad, issued notice to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on his speech on Sohrabuddin and asked him to respond by December 8.

Stating that it has considered the various inputs and the complaint, and has viewed the video recording of the said speech, delivered by Modi at an election rally at Mangrol on December 4, the commission said prima facie, it was of the view that the references to Sohrabuddin and linking his name to terrorism would involve violation of Model Code of Conduct.

“…It amounts to indulging in activity which may aggravate existing differences, creating mutual hatred and causing tension between different communities, and would involve violation of the provision of clause (1) and (3) of Item I of the Model Code of Conduct,” the commission said.

According to clause (1), no party or candidate shall indulge in any activity, which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic.

Clause (3) says that there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes. Mosques, churches, temples or other places of worship shall not be used as forum for election propaganda.

“The commission has decided that for considering further action in the matter, you are called upon to submit your reply in the matter, latest by 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 8, 2007,” it said.

Modi had reportedly told the crowd that “Sohrabuddin got what he deserved”, virtually justifying his killing in a fake encounter.

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Apologise: Tulsi
Tribune News Service

Attari, December 6
Senior Supreme Court advocate K.T.S Tulsi today said he won’t represent the government of Gujarat unless Chief Minister Narendera Modi tendered unconditional apology for giving statement “Sohrabuddin got what he deserved”.

Before crossing over to Pakistan along with Paramjit Singh Sarna, president, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Tulsi said the statement of Modi was opposed to the spirit of affidavits, filed by the government of Gujarat in this case .

The Supreme Court is occupied with the case where Sohrabuddin Sheikh was allegedly pulled out of a transport bus and killed by top Gujarat police officials on November 26, 2005. Sheikh’s wife Kauserbi has been missing and is presumed to have been killed as well.

He said it was on record Sohrabuddin was killed in a “fake encounter” after arresting him and senior police officers were facing the charges. “How can a Chief Minister justify street justice? he questioned.

“The government and Chief Minister can’t afford double speak”, he said. Tulsi added the petition was still pending in the sessions court and the apex court had been monitoring the investigations hence it was not possible to contest this case on behalf of the Gujarat government .

When asked about any commitment from the BJP , Tulsi said he wanted “satisfactory clarification and apology by the CM”. He said it was against the spirit of law that a Chief Minister gives such public statements when the case was still in the court . He said there was no scope of mingling politics with the law of the land.

On the other hand, DSGMC chief Sarna sought clarification from Parkash Singh Badal Chief Minister on the statement of Modi. He asked if Badal should snap all relations with its coalition partner if he considered the statement was unwarranted and violated human rights.

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