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2002 Gujarat riots witness stabbed to death

Godhra riot witness Nadeem Sayyed, a leading RTI activist and Congress worker, was killed by unidentified persons in Juhapura, Ahmedabad's predominant Muslim ghetto on Saturday morning.

delhi Updated: Nov 06, 2011 02:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

A Naroda Patiya massacre case witness and RTI activist Nadeem Saiyed was stabbed to death by unidentified persons in Juhapura, Ahmedabad, on Saturday. Saiyed, who was stabbed 28 times, was rushed to VS Hospital where he was declared brought dead, said police. “The attackers are on the run and their identity is not yet known,” said a police official.

The Congress worker was a witness in the 2002 Naroda Patiya case in which 95 people were killed during the communal violence that erupted after the Godhara train burning incident. Saiyed had recently testified in court.

Ahmedabad police, however, suspect that the murder was in connection with a recent clash between some illegal slaughterhouse owners and police. On October 29, a mob in Juhapura set a police jeep on fire and injured 2 policemen when police went there after receiving information that an illegal slaughterhouse was operating in the area. Subsequently, five men were arrested.

Saiyed, however, had reportedly told police the real culprits were roaming free.

A source close to Saiyed said he was also a police informer and had rallied for a Congress ticket in last year's civic body polls in Ahmedabad.

“After the 2002 riots, he emerged as a social activist who would take on politicians and anti-social elements in his community. Over the years, he also became very ambitious politically and a controversial figure,” a police official in Ahmedabad told HT.

He also faced allegations of extortions and blackmail, said the official.

Saiyed had filed several Public Interest Litigations (PILs) in the Gujarat high court over sanitation issues in Johapura. He had also filed many RTI applications seeking details of central funds to the Gujarat government, land acquired for industries, civic amenities in his locality and personal assets of several politicians.

Bhatt wants tight security from SIT
Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt has written a fresh letter to the Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is probing the 2002 Godhra riots case, demanding tight security cover for himself and his family.

“I request to initiate all necessary measures to ensure that adequate security cover is provided to me and my family members,” he stated in a letter written to SIT chairman RK Raghavan.

With agency inputs

First Published: Nov 05, 2011 09:47 IST