The Nanavati-Shah Commission probing into the 2002 Godhra riots, on Saturday, passed an order directing two cell-phone service providers to submit before it the call records of about 40 people, during the riots.
The list includes calls made by the Chief Minister, Home Minister, DGP, Police Commissioner, VHP leaders and a few prominent rioters.
The order was issued following the Gujarat Government disputing the authenticity of the two CDs that have shown tell-tale evidence of collusions between Ministers, senior police officers, BJP-VHP leaders and rioters during the mayhem of 2002 after the Godhra train inferno.
The two-judge commission comprising Justice G.T.Nanavati and Justice K.G.Shah issued the orders to the AT&T and the Celforce, the only two cell phone service providers operating in the state in 2002. Senior IPS officer Rahul Sharma, who had got the CDs prepared during his investigation into the Naroda Patiya and Gulbarg Society massacres, had submitted them to the Commission in October 2004.
Ever since the two CDs were submitted, the lawyers representing the Gujarat Government had been opposing its contents.
At one stage during the proceedings, one of the two judges wondered what would the CDs prove apart from the fact that calls were indeed made from one number to another at a particular time.
Jan Sangharsh Manch lawyer Dr Mukul Sinha argued that the analyses of the CDs would also indicate the location of the callers at a certain time, which is crucial for proving collusion of the police with the rioters.
Referring to the revelations made in the CDs, Dr Sinha said that the Minister of State for Home, Gordhan Zadaphia, had talked to VHP’s Bipin Panchal, a riot accused, approximately 20 times. “What could be the reason behind the Minister talking to a riot accused for so many times?” he asked. The Commission on Saturday also indicated that the Chief Executives of the two cell-phone companies may be asked to authenticate the two CDs already analysed by the Jan Sangharsh Manch but disputed by the Gujarat Government.
As per an earlier directive from the Commission, the Gujarat Government has clarified in a submission last week that the CDs were indeed prepared officially by Rahul Sharma during investigations into the 2002 riots. But the Government has questioned the authenticity of the CDs analysed by the Jan Sangharsh Manch representing the riot victims and