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Murder charge against cop, BJP leaders

india Updated: May 19, 2009 01:06 IST
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The Supreme Court appointed special investigation team (SIT), probing some of the 2002 riot cases, has filed an additional chargesheet in the Gulbarg Society case against eight accused, including suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police KG Erda and two local BJP leaders.

The chargesheet that named six absconders was filed on Saturday in the metropolitan court here on May 16.

Erda, accused of dereliction of duty and tampering with evidence, has also been charged with murder and attempt to murder along with seven other accused who were arrested by the SIT in March.

“In all, there are 84 accused in the case out of which 70 have been arrested, eight people have died in course of seven years and six are absconding,” said investigating office J.M. Suthar.

Names of BJP leaders Bipin Patel and Chunilal Prajapati have also been included in the eight against whom the chargesheet has been filed, Suthar said.

Erda was posted as a police inspector at Meghaninagar police station during the 2002 post-Godhra riots when a mob had attacked Gulbarg society, and killed 38 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jaffery.

He was arrested in February by the SIT from Valsad where he was posted as a Deputy Superintendent of Police.

Prior to his arrest, Erda was interrogated by the SIT, along with some other police officials who were posted in riot affected areas. He is presently out on bail.

Besides, Erda, SIT had also arrested a retired cop M.K. Patel on charges of dereliction of duty in connection with the Dipda Darwaja riot case in Mehsana district.

Eleven people were burnt in a house in this riot case.

Recently, the Supreme Court had directed the SIT to probe within three months into a complaint that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, his cabinet colleagues, police officials and senior bureaucrats aided and abetted post-Godhra riots.

The complaint was filed by Zakia Jaffery, widow of the slain Congress MP.

Based on the SIT report, the Apex court had lifted the ban on the trials on nine cases including the Godhra train carnage case and ordered setting up of fast track courts to conduct trial on day-to-day basis.