Palanpur (Gujarat) : Witnesses in the 2005 Gujarat communal riots were Friday summoned to appear before the Special Investigation Team (SIT), formed by the Supreme Court to inquire into the violence, at Gandhinagar May 9.
Members of the SIT visited the Satnagar refugee camp, 110 km from here, and personally served the summons.
As many as 20 Muslim families are living in Satnagar camp, witnesses to communal riots in Sardarnagar village in Mehsana district.
Geeta Johri, one of the SIT members, reached Himatnagar in the afternoon and asked concerned agencies, including the police, to ensure that proper protection was provided to witnesses who have been rehabilitated at Satnagar refugee camp, official sources said.
The appointment of the SIT followed petitions in the apex court for reinvestigation of the cases of communal carnage that broke out following the burning of 59 Hindu activists in a coach of the Sabarmati Express at Godhra Feb 27, 2002. At least 1,000 people were killed in the violence that went on for weeks.
The five-member team led by former Central Bureau of Investigation director R.K. Raghavan also comprises three Gujarat IPS officers Geetha Johri, Shivanand Jha, and Ashish Bhatia and C.B. Satpathy, former director general of the Uttar Pradesh police.