Gujarat court blames SIT set up by SC for biased probe in the 2002 post-Godhra riots case

The court said the presence of the main accused at the site of the crime and the criminal conspiracy angle had not been proved during the inquiry undertaken by the SIT.
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

A'BAD:  A special court that freed all 67 accused in the killing of 11 Muslims in the 2002 post-Godhra riots case in Naroda Gam on April 21 has accused the Supreme Court-appointed Special Inquiry Team (SIT) of biased inquiry in its 1,728-page judgment whose copy was made available on May 2.

The court said the presence of the main accused at the site of the crime and the criminal conspiracy angle had not been proved during the inquiry undertaken by the SIT. “The major witnesses’ accounts of the incident’s timing and complicity were judged to be inconsistent and incoherent. The witnesses were unable to effectively defend their decision to withhold the identity of the accused from the local police. Additionally, the prosecution’s claim that there was a ‘private shooting’ at the Naroda crime scene was not proven,” said the court.

“The presence of the accused at the scene of the crime had not been confirmed, and the SIT had performed a biased inquiry.” the court added. “The SIT primarily looked at the accusations of the few witnesses who did not see the incident, for instance, Maya Kodnani (former BJP minister), and Jaydeep Patel (a leader of a religious organization).

A few days back, the victims’ lawyer Shamshad Pathan told this newspaper that they would file another petition in the High Court on behalf of the victims even if the SIT launches an appeal against the special court’s ruling.

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