Saturday, November 24, 2012

Teesta hails ‘historic judgment’

Gujarat EDN
DNA 30AUG2012

Lauds witnesses, who came forward to depose during proceedings; says their testimonies enabled the convictions

DNA Correspondent
Welcoming the verdict in the Naroda Patia riot case, human rights activist and secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), Teesta Setalvad hailed it as a “historic judgment” on Wednesday.
Setalvad who has been working with the victims of the massacre, said that the judgment is praiseworthy as it includes conviction for politicians like Maya Kodnani – an ex-minister in the Narendra Modi government – and conspirators like Babu Bajrangi, Suresh Langda Chhara among the 32 who have been found guilty in the case.
Addressing media persons in the city, she said that the conviction was not possible without the eyewitnesses’ depositions before the court. “Around 11 people deposed during the eyewitness testimonies against Maya (Kodnani), 15 against Suresh Langda and 18 eyewitnesses deposed against Babu Bajrangi. We have demanded tighter security for the witnesses from the SIT,” she said.
While she lauded the Naroda Patia judgment, victims, witness and their family members sitting in a small room at the Prashant NGO also nodded in content. Also present in the room was former DGP, RB Sreekumar as well as three lawyers – Raje Mohamad A Shaikh, Altaf Khan I Jidran and Yusuf Shaikh – who have been part of the legal team for the victims.
Setalvad also said that the female witnesses were able to depose during the eyewitness testimonies in the court as they felt comfortable doing so, owing to the favourable atmosphere maintained during the proceedings.
“The heart (core) of a criminal offense lies in the eyewitness (accounts). The CJP would like to state that it was the evidence through the eyewitness testimonies that enabled these convictions,” she said, appreciating the efforts of the witnesses.