Monday, October 15, 2012


Non-bailable warrants against BJP MLA, others
Court order to arrest Shankar Chaudhary may prove embarrassing for BJP ahead of polls

BJP MLA Shankar Chaudhary may find himself in trouble with a local
court of Radhanpur on Thursday issuing non-bailable warrants against
him and 11 others in connection with a 2002 riots case.
    The court order, which comes barely two days after Chief Minister
Narendra Modi’s interview to an Urdu daily refuting charges of
complicity in 2002 riots, is likely to put the BJP on a back foot at a
time, when it is gearing up for assembly polls.
    Advocate Aftab Ansari, who represented complainant Nana Shaikh in
the case, said on Friday the court has issued non bailable warrants
against Chaudhary and 11 others as they failed to make appearance in
the case. After rejecting the closure report of the police, the
Judicial Magistrate H H Verma has now directed the local crime branch
to serve warrants, he said.
    Chaudhary and 11 others have been accused of killing two members
of minority community, Gulam Nabi and Gulab Jilani on March 1, 2002,
in Radhanpur of district Patan in the wake of Godhra carnage.
    Nabi and Jilani were seriously injured and when a group of boys
was taking them to the hospital in an auto-rickshaw, the mob chased
them, stopped the auto and killed both the injured victims.
    Initially police had not included Chaudhary’s name in the case, in
which it booked more than 47 persons from two communities. But
Chaudhary’s name was included as accused in the case, when an
eyewitness Nana Shaikh, filed an FIR naming him and a few others.
According to Sheikh’s complaint, the BJP MLA was part of the mob that
had gathered in the town and fired at Nabi and Jilani.
In fact this is not the only case in which Chaudhary has found himself
on the wrong side of the law. Earlier in March this year, Chaudhary
along with another BJP MLA Jetha Bharwad was accused of watching
obscene clip on the tablet computer in the assembly. Following an
uproar by the opposition Congress, while Speaker had ordered an
inquiry, Chaudhary had vehemently denied the charges. He had claimed
that the reports accusing him of watching porn clips were baseless and
aimed at tarnishing his image