Monday, August 6, 2012

NARODA CASE: Key VHP man escapes SIT noose

Mysteriously, former Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Gujarat general secretary Dr Jaydeep Patel’s name is missing from the final chargesheet that the special investigation team filed in the Naroda-Patia case — the biggest carnage of the Gujarat 2002 riots. 
    This, despite clear evidencePatel was in constant touch by phone with most leaders of the mob which killed 98 Muslims at this spot on February 28, 2002. The previous day, it was Patel, a practicing pathologist who was then heading the state VHP, who had brought the charred bodies of 54 ‘kar sevaks’ from Godhra to Ahmedabad. 
    Patel’s glaring omission is one of the many examples of the shoddy investigation done by the Supreme Courtappointed SIT headed by former Central Bureau of Investigation chief Raghavan. Raghavan was recently in the news when it was revealed that the Narendra Modi government had paid his bills for travel from London to Ahmedabad and back. 
    Analysis done by the Jan Sangharsh Manch of the phone records compiled by deputy inspector general Rahul Sharma show Patel was very much an active player on the ground on that fateful day. This analysis is available with both the SIT and the SC. 
    The phone records reveal that Patel was in constant touch with the main accused in the Naroda Gam and Naroda-Patia carnages, viz Babu Bajrangi, Kishen Kourani, Raju Chaumal, Ashok Patel, Bipin Panchal and Maya Kodnani from February 27 to March 3, 2002. 
    Patel was also constantly in touch with the cm’s office and the then minister of state for home, Gordhan Zadaphia. However, while the SIT booked him in the smaller Naroda Gam case (11 dead), it has mysteriously left him out in the Naroda Patia carnage. The SIT may have taken the view that while there were victims and witnesses who had reported Patel’s physical presence in Naroda Gam case, there was no such evidence coming from Naroda Patia. Legal opinion, however, says Patel should be charged under section 120-B of IPC for conspiracy.