In a significant development, the Nanavati-Shah Commission probing the Godhra riots and its aftermath has asked the Gujarat government counsels to prepare a list of independent agencies, to analyse the two CDs containing cell phone call details of BJP and VHP leaders, police officers and prominent rioters during the days of turmoil in the state in 2002.
The commission would thereafter entrust the job of analysing the CDs to one agency out of a list of three or four prepared by the state government.
Senior IPS officer Rahul Sharma (who was later sent on deputation to the CBI) had submitted the two CDs, containing call details of all cell phones in the state from February 27 to March 7, 2002, to the commission.
The commission's decision to have the CDs analysed is a major victory for the riot victims' lawyers who had been insisting on a thorough analysis of the CDs, which they claim, conclusively proves that top politicians, BJP/VHP leaders, police officers and the rioters were very much in contact during the post-Godhra riots in the city and elsewhere.
The two-judge commission comprising Justice G.T. Nanavati and Justice K.G. Shah issued this instruction on Tuesday after admitting an amended application submitted by Jan Sangharsh Manch advocate Mukul Sinha.
After its application in January this year, demanding full analysis of all the call details in the CDs, the Jan Sangharsh Manch on Tuesday submitted a list of cell phone numbers (belonging to 43 leaders of BJP, VHP, Bajrang Dal and senior police officers) and demanded that they be scrutinised and analysed.
The application has stated that a preliminary analysis of the call data contained in the CDs indicates that the top police officials were not only derelict in their duties but had actually connived with the perpetrators of the mass murders.
Hitherto, lawyers representing the state government, BJP and VHP were underplaying the need to analyse the CDs saying that the cell phone calls won't be fruitful as the handsets could have been with the family members of the leaders at the concerned time.
The commission on Tuesday also admitted another application, which demands records and charge sheets of the 2000-odd riot cases likely to be reopened as per the SC orders.