Sunday, January 8, 2012

Wasn’t aware of Naroda, Gulbarg violence: Zadaphia

He also denied any role in bringing back bodies of Godhra victims to Sola Civil Hospital

Ahmedabad Mirror Bureau

Former Gujarat minister of state for home Gordhan Zadaphia has told the Nanavati Commission that he was not aware of riots in Naroda area and Gulbarg society when the communal violence unfolded there during 2002 riots.
In his in-camera deposition on December 27, Zadaphia also questioned phone call details with regard to him which are before the commission (which is probing the 2002 riots) and claimed they were incorrect. Content of his deposition was released by the commission on Thursday.
During over two-hours-long questioning in the chamber of Justice (retd) G T Nanavati, Zadaphia also said that he had nothing to do with the decision to bring back bodies of victims of Godhra train incident to Ahmedabad Sola Civil Hospital on the evening of February 27, 2002.
“Around 3 o’clock (on February 28, 2002) in the afternoon, I got to know that in Naroda area a person had been crushed under a truck. Other than that I did not receive any detail at that time,” Zadaphia told the commission. “But, after the entire incident was over, I got the information about it,” he said. As many as 116 persons, mainly of minority community, were killed in the violence at Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam. “Same was the case with Gulbarg Society incident. I got the information only after the incident was over,” Zadaphia said.
Zadaphia further said that he did not receive any phone call from residents of Gulbarg society, or any police officer at the time of the riots.
As many as 69 persons, including former MP Ehsan Jaffery, were killed at Gulburg Society on February 28, 2002. According to Zadaphia, the phone call details submitted with regard to him were incorrect. “If anyone says that I was in Ahmedabad on February 28 then it is utterly false. I was in Gandhinagar the entire day which can be proven from my movement register,” the former minister, who has now parted ways with BJP and floated his own outfit, Mahagujarat Janta Party (MJP), said.
If the call details collected by IPS officer Rahul Sharma indicated that he (Zadaphia) was in Ahmedabad on February 28, then that was incorrect, he said. He admitted that he had talked to his cabinet colleague and former minister Maya Kodnani, ex-VHP leader Jaydeep Patel and BJP worker Bipin Panchal between February 27 and March 4. All three are accused in the Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam riot cases. Zadaphia, however, said he did not remember the exact date, time and the nature of conversations.
During his previous deposition before the Nanavati commission in November 2010, Zadaphia had denied allegations that police had been directed not to take action against rioters.


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