Godhra panel tells Gujarat to assess CDs

Updated on May 12, 2007 04:58 PM IST
Gujarat Govt will analyse its contents containing crucial records of calls made during 2002 post-Godhra riots.
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PTI | By, Ahmedabad

The Godhra Inquiry Commission directed Gujarat government to analyse the contents of CDs containing crucial records of calls made through mobile phones during 2002 post-Godhra riots and submit the findings on July 21.

When the matter regarding the CDs came up for hearing before the two-member commission, probing the Sabarmati train carnage at Godhra and communal riots in 2002, the chairman of the panel G T Nanavati asked the government to get the contents of the CD analysed.

Fifty-nine people were killed in S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express after a fire broke out inside after a mob attack on February 27, 2002.

The Commission also asked the NGO Jan Sangharsh Manch (which represented a section of the riot-affected families) to also conduct their own analysis of the CDs and submit a statement about the findings to the panel on July 21.

These CDs were submitted to the Commission by CBI officer Rahul Sharma (the superintendent of police of Bhavnagar district during the riots) a couple of years back.

The telephone data in the CDs are expected to reveal the conduct of top Gujarat police officials, senior politicians and perpetrators of riots that had broken out in Gujarat in 2002.

"We have already submitted a list of mobile phone numbers of 37 prominent persons, including chief minister Narendra Modi, senior politicians, top police officials and a number of persons who were named as accused in post-Godhra riot cases," Mukul Sinha, the advocate representing the NGO in the Commission, told reporters.

Sinha said of the total data of 10 million calls in the CDs, records of these 30-odd names would be analysed by the NGO and submitted before the Commission.

According to Sinha, the mobile phone call data of these 37 persons during the period between February 25, 2002 and March four, 2002 could reveal evidence about the alleged nexus between the riot accused, policemen and the politicians.

Among these 37 persons, names of two state cabinet ministers like Ashok Bhatt and IK Jadeja feature in the list along with BJP MLAs Gordhan Zadaphiya and Mayaben Kodnani and VHP leader Praveen Togadia.

The list also contains names of bureaucrats, top police officials and some of the riot accused like Babu Bajrangi, and Ashok Sindhi who are accused in the Naroda Patiya massacre case.

The CDs containing the data of telephone calls were prepared by the Ahmedabad police for investigating into some of the massacres in Ahmedabad like the Naroda Patiya and Gulbarg society massacres, Sinha said.

The data was collected from the two mobile companies--Celforce and AT & T who were operating in Gujarat during that period.

The NGO Jan Sangarsh Manch had first moved the application to conduct a detailed inquiry into the contents of the CDs in the year 2005.

Meanwhile, the Commission also conducted a public hearing for riot victims from Anand, Kheda, Panchmahal and Dahod districts. The panel heard about 11 riot-affected persons on Saturday.

The Commission will conduct public hearings for riot affected from Banaskantha district (May 28), Sabarkantha (May 29), Mehsana (June 8), Vadodara city (June 29-30) and Ahmedabad city (July 21).

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