SIT investigation in Gujarat riot cases “inadequate and incomplete”

By Correspondent

Ahmedabad: Senior advocate and human rights activist Mukul Sinha representing NGO Jan Sangharsh Manch(JSM) has claimed that investigations by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team(SIT) into the Naroda Gam and Naroda Patia carnage cases on the outskirts of Ahmedabad city during 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat were “inadequate and incomplete’’.

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A total of 109 Muslims were killed brutally in the two incidents on February 28, 2002, after the statewide anti-Muslim riots broke out in Gujarat following torching of two coaches of Sabarmati Express train on February 27, 2002, at Godhra allegedly by a Muslim mob.

Trying to prove his point, Sinha says that while SIT has conducted investigations under Section 149 of Indian Penal Code only in which only the accused present on the spot are booked and prosecuted.

However, SIT has cleverly avoided investigations under Section 120-B of IPC pertaining to a “larger criminal conspiracy’’ planned at higher level to find out the roles of those particularly politicians in the riots who were not present on the spot.

His organization and a riot victim of Naroda Patia-Dildar Umrao Saiyed-have submitted an application in this regard to SIT chief and former CBI director R K Raghavan. They have demanded further investigation from a larger perspective to find out those who conspired the riots in Ahmedabad and other places without themselves remaining present on the spot.

Raghavan has reportedly assured JSM to look into his demand and conduct further probe as advised by them.

But Sinha has warned to move the court in case SIT does not accept his demand.
Sinha is of the opinion that the role of politicians like Chief Minister Narendra Modi can be established only if an honest probe from the angle of larger conspiracy is conducted. Otherwise, he says, all the chief accused would go scot-free.

Sinha, however, does not believe that SIT has deliberately avoided investigation from the larger conspiracy angle. He feels that SIT avoided booking and arresting those not present on the spot.

Sinha says that if one is not actually present on the spot, it does not mean that he or she is not involved in the crime. But the SIT investigators have completely ignored this aspect in their probe.

Not only in Naroda Gam and Naroda Patia cases, SIT has avoided larger conspiracy angle in other seven heinous riot cases including Godhra that it re-investigated on Supreme Court orders.

Besides Raghavan and two others, all the SIT investigators are from Gujarat police cadre under the direct administrative control of Narendra Modi government, suggesting why the SIT investigators avoided the larger conspiracy angle in post-Godhra riots.

Pointing out other flaws in SIT investigation, he argues that SIT investigators have not properly analysed and investigated the phone records of officials in chief minister’s office, the then minister of state for home Gordhan Zadahia and senior police officials who were in constant touch with the accused persons during the carnage between February 28, 2002 and March 4, 2002.

Sinha, who has anaylsed the call details of CMO officials, ministers and police officials between February 28, 2002 and March 4, 2002, alleges that Zadaphia and police official K K Mysorewala of Naroda Police Station were in regular touch with accused persons including former minister Maya Kodnani, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Jaydeep Patel and other sangh parivar activists like Bipin Panchal and ashok Patel.

But this fact, says Sinha, has been igonred by SIT.

Similarly, SIT has also ignored to investigate as to why VHP leader Jaydeep Patel was handed over the dead bodies of Hindu pilgrims killed in Sabarmati train. And why was he allowed to parade them in Ahmedabad that inflamed the passion resulting in mass massacre of Muslims.

Under existing law, bodies of victims in any mishap cannot be given in custody of any private individual.

He alleged that SIT also avoided probing as to why senior police officials M K Tandon and P B Gondia remained missing from Gulberg Society between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. on February 28, 2002, during which 69 people including ex-Congress MP Ehsan Jafri were brutally killed.