Family of UK victims says Gujarat riots verdict not a surprise

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Feb 28, 2015 07:52 IST

The family of two of three British nationals who were killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots said that Friday’s verdict acquitting the accused did not come as a surprise because the local police had allegedly failed to investigate the murder properly.

In February 2002, two family members, Sakil Dawood, Saeed Dawood and their childhood friend, Mohammed Aswat and the Indian driver, Yusuf Palagar, were killed. Another family member, Imran Dawood, was left for dead but miraculously survived though suffering serious and long-term injuries.

Suresh Grover, a spokesperson for the Dawood Family Justice Campaign, said the family was aware of Friday’s verdict, and said: “Unfortunately and sadly the verdict does not come as a surprise. It is an established fact that the Gujarat police failed to investigate the murders properly and thoroughly”.

He added: “This negligence was especially noticeable in two key aspects of the investigation: the police’s unwillingness to identify, interview and support crucial witnesses and their apparent inability to collect forensic evidence”.

Grover said it was a ‘tragedy’ that the mob responsible for the was ‘still loose on the streets’.

“The family will not rest until the Indian Government fulfills its legal duty and responsibility of bringing the real culprits to justice,” he added.

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