Saturday, April 28, 2012

Witnesses to insist on conspiracy angle

Survivors and witnesses of the Sardarpura massacre, for which 31 people have been sentenced to life imprisonment, have decided to insist on the charges of conspiracy against the convicted.
During the retaliatory riots following the killing of 58 kar sewaks in the Sabarmati Express fire at Godhra on February 27, 2002, violent mobs had burnt 33 people to death at Sardarpura in Mehsana district of north Gujarat.
A Special Court had last year sentenced 31 convicted to life imprisonment on charges of murder, arson and rioting while 31 others were acquitted due to benefit of doubt.
While an appeal challenging the Special Court order has been filed in the High Court, the witnesses have said that the charges of pre-planned conspiracy too should be pressed against the convicts.
At a Press conference organised by the Mumbai-based Citizens for Justice and Peace, several eyewitnesses narrated their experiences to prove that the violence against the community was very much pre-planned.
Shabir Miyan Pathan, the then borewell pump operator of the village, said that Bajrang Dal leader Haresh Bhatt had come to the village few days earlier and distributed ‘trishuls’ after holding a meeting at the temple.
The Sarpanch of the village, a Patel, too took away the keys of the borewell from him the day prior to the riots, Shabir Miyan said.
One widow, Basheera Biwi said the Patel owner of the shop took away the accounts book her husband used to handle and the groceries shop keeper commented “What to do with these, you people wouldn’t live to see tomorrow”.
Various incidents put together indicate a well-planned conspiracy, pointed out advocate Yusuf Sheikh. which the Special Court in Mehsana has not taken note of,
The lone Hindu witness in the massacre case, Mangabhai Rambhai narrated that a tractor with containers full of kerosene and petrol were brought by the Patels who have since boycotted his shop for deposing in this case.
Another witness Iqbal Miyan Sheikh alleged that the then BJP MLA from Unjha, Narainbhai had said, “It is our Government, we can do anything we want.”
All these Similarly, in the Ode massacre too, in which appeal has not yet been filed in the High Court, there are tell-tale evidences of a pre-planned conspiracy said the lawyers of the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP).