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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Modi grilling: Gujarat asked to reply by Sept 12

The Nanavati-Shah Commission have asked the Gujarat Govt to submit by Sept 12 its response to the demand for cross-examination of CM Modi on the basis of the analysis of CDs of call records during the riots, reports Rathin Das.

india Updated: Sep 04, 2007 02:03 IST
Rathin Das
Rathin Das

THE NANAVATI-SHAH Commission probing the Godhra train fire and riots on Monday asked the Gujarat government to submit by September 12 its response to the demand for cross-examination of Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others on the basis of the analysis of CDs of call records during the riots.

Counsel for the riot victims and survivors Dr Mukul Sinha had last week demanded the cross-examination of Modi and the then Minister of State for Home Gordhanbhai Zhadaphia on the plea that the CDs were proof of their complicity with the 2002 rioters.

The ruling came after the state government questioned the authenticity of the two CDs allegedly containing cell phone call records that allegedly prove ministers, BJP leaders and senior police officers were in touch with prominent rioters from the Sangh Parivar. The Commission also ruled that government counsel Arvind Pandya and Sinha could jointly examine the register of the Crime Branch in order to probe the authenticity of the CDs.

Opposing the demand for cross-examination, Pandya told the commission the Ahmedabad City Crime Branch, on whose behalf IPS officer Rahul Sharma had ordered the preparation of the two CDs, did not have any such CD in its possession. He also pleaded that Sharma had got the CDs prepared in his personal capacity and, hence, its contents need not be considered official or authentic.

Sharma, who was shunted out of Bhavnagar soon after the killing of Hindus in police firing, had got the CDs prepared as part of his investigation into the Naroda Patiya and Gulbarg Society massacres during his stint with the Crime Branch. Ever since he submitted the CDs to the commission, the counsels for the state government, BJP and VHP have been jittery about its contents, claiming that the cell phones at that time might have been with the spouses or children of the concerned ministers, leaders and police officers.

Sinha, in turn, alleged the government's opposition to the CDs was "dilatory tactics" to avoid establishment of the connivance between the top political leadership and rioters. The commission will deliver its ruling by September 17.

First Published: Sep 04, 2007 01:58 IST

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