R. K. Raghavan is a former senior policeman who headed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) tasked with investigating the Gujarat pogroms of 2002
. Raghavan was one of three police officials indicted for security lapses leading to the assassination of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and fourteen others in 1991. To explain how the suicide bomber got a belt bomb past the police metal detectors into a secure zone in Sriperumbudur, Raghavan testified under oath that the bomber had come in only after the prime minister beckoned to her, a claim inconsistent with photographic evidence.
Despite Raghavan's past, the BJP
government of A. B. Vajpayee appointed him director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 1999, and soon after conferred on him the President's medal. As head of the SIT, he concluded in 2011 that there was insufficient evidence to indict Narendra Modi
for wilfully allowing the 2002 communal violence to proceed. The SIT report has been criticised by many observers including former Gujarat State Director-General of Police R.B. Sreekumar
, and journalist Manoj Mitta
. Commentators note a large number of logical and factual errors in the SIT report, arbitrary choices to ignore certain strands of evidence, and failure to carry out its mandate
Supreme Court appointed amicus curiae, Raju Ramachandran
, and others felt that despite its failings the SIT uncovered sufficient evidence to indict Narendra Modi. The SIT closure report is currently (April 2014) being challenged
by Zakia Jafri
in the Gujarat High Court.References
• Interview with Manoj Mitta
(firstpost, March 2014).
• Further links on the legal cases around the Gujarat pogroms of 2002
• Timeline of the SIT investigation