Monday, December 12, 2011

Naroda Patiya riots: Court notice to SIT

Alleging complicity of high-level state functionaries, applicants requested that former DGP P C Pande and other officers be named as accused

The special court trying the 2002 Naroda-Patiya riot case on Friday issued notice to the Special Investigation Team on an application seeking further probe and inclusion of four policemen, including former DGP P C Pande, as accused.

Special Judge Jyotsna Yagnik asked the SIT to file reply by December 7.

The court took note of an application by victims of Naroda-Patiya violence, in which 95 persons died during the post-Godhra riots. The applicants were represented by Advocates Y B Sheikh and Raju Sheikh.

Alleging complicity of highlevel state functionaries in the crime the applicants sought directions to the SIT to analyse call records of high-ranking officials and probe their roles.

The failure of higher echelons of police, including the then JCP (Sector 2) M K Tandon (now retired), the then DCP (Zone IV) P B Gondia and Commissioner Pande, to control the riots should be probed, it adds.

“Criminal conspiracy and serious dereliction of duty need to be probed and all the real accused be brought to the book,” on the basis of phone call records collected by IPS officer Rahul Sharma, the application said. Sharma was in-charge of city control room in 2002.

The application also prayed that the then Naroda inspector K K Mysorewala, DCP Gondia, JCP Tandon and Pande be added as accused.

“If important evidence, (to be obtained) by analysis and investigation of the phone call details, is brought on record, the court will be able to appreciate allegations of criminal conspiracy, criminal negligence and dereliction of duty at a very high level,” the application said.

The applicants alleged, that at the peak of riots on February 28, 2002 the cops were in touch with several accused. Also, some of the accused were in touch with BJP politicians. This could be established from the call records, it claimed.

The application added that while the case was pending with the Supreme Court, senior police officers destroyed records of police control room.

The SIT, however, chose to remain silent and show no inclination to pursue the matter.


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