Thursday, February 16, 2012

SIT court to visit Naroda Patia


Ahmedabad: The special court hearing the case of post-Godhra massacre at Naroda Patia has decided to visit the scene of offence on January 30.

Designated judge, Jyotsnaben Yagnik took up the decision suo motu on Monday to visit the spot, where 95 persons were killed in the aftermath of Godhra carnage on February 28, 2002.

Along with the presiding officer, those to visit the place will include the court staff, special prosecutors Akhil Desai and Gaurang Vyas, a battery of defence lawyers and officers from the Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT), which probed the case lately.

The state police and SIT nabbed 67 persons in this case including former state minister Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi. During the proceeding that has been going on for nearly two and a half years, the prosecution has examined 327 witnesses, while the defence has not called any witness for examination. The court has also recorded further statements of accused persons, and final arguments will start soon, said advocate Vyas.

After the city crime branch probed the case, the Supreme Court (SC) stalled all proceedings on basis of allegations that the probe conducted by local cops was biased and police had not recorded the complaints in detail with purpose to save skin of the influential people. In 2008, the apex court set up SIT to probe further in nine cases including the Naroda Patia. The trial started in mid 2009.

Ever since the probe began, SIT has been surrounded by controversies. Various NGOs and victim-witnesses have accused SIT officials of protecting cops and politicians. They have been asking for further probe on the role of chief minister Narendra Modi in the riots cases, but SIT has been dodging the issue by claiming before the court that investigation was going on as per the SC directions, and appropriate report would be filed.


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