Monday, December 12, 2011

SIT gets notice on plea for further probe

The special trial court for the 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case on Friday issued a notice to the special investigation team (SIT) 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 application has been filed by the riot victims, represented by by advocates Y B Sheikh and Raju Sheikh.

The application alleges complicity of high-level state functionaries in the riots. “Criminal conspiracy and serious dereliction of duty need to be probed and all the real accused be brought to the book,” it says, seeking further investigation of this aspect on the basis of phone call records collected by IPS officer Rahul Sharma, who was in-charge of the city control room in 2002.

They have demanded that the then Naroda police inspector K K Maisurwala, DCP Zone IV P B Gondia, JCP (sector 2) M K Tandon (now retired) and the then Police Commissioner P C Pande (who retired as DGP) be named 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 says.

The failure of higher echelons of police, including JCP Tandon, DCP Gondia and commissioner Pande, to control the riots should be probed, it adds. The applicants allege, relying on analysis of phone calls data, that at the peak of riots on February 28, 2002, the policemen were in touch with many of the accused. Also, some of the accused were in touch with BJP politicians.

While the case was pending with the Supreme Court, senior police officers destroyed records of police control room, the applicants allege, questioning the casual manner in which the SIT accepted the destruction and chose to remain silent.


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