Saturday, November 24, 2012

Two witnesses who stand out

Roxy Gagdekar l Ahmedabad
Of the eight witnesses who gave evidence against Maya Kodnani, two -- Siddique Mansuri and Salim Shaikh -- stand out for their courage and determination. They battled for eight years against official indifference and attempts to frame them in criminal cases.
Talking to DNA, Shaikh said that he was among the first who had dared to tell the police that Kodnani, then a minister, had incited the mob and exhorted them to kill Muslims in Naroda. “Initially it was very depressing as the state police were not willing to record my statement. All of them said they will ask their seniors and then get back to me. But no one ever come back till the SIT was formed,” Shaikh said.
He said it was the SIT which had recorded his statement and started investigation against Kodnani. Shaikh said he was also assaulted by some people and framed in a false case in which he was accused of threatening the family members of the accused in the massacre case. “However, I was acquitted of all charges,” he said.
It was not only Shaikh, but Mansuri too who had to endure physical assault. He said that a police complaint regarding the assault on him is registered at the Saherkotda police station.