Fresh chargesheet in Gujarat riot case

Ahmedabad, May 01: The Supreme Court-constituted Special Investigation Team, probing certain Gujarat riot cases afresh, on Friday filed a chargesheet in Naroda Gam case in which BJP leader and former state minister Maya Kodnani is one of the prime accused.

“We have submitted a chargesheet against the accused in a local court here. The charges have been framed under IPC Sections 120 (B) for criminal conspiracy, 302 for murder, 307 for attempt to murder, 395 and 397 for loot and 143 to 147 for rioting,” a senior official in the SIT said.

The chargesheet was filed in the court of metropolitan magistrate G M Patel.

He said all the accused including Kodnani and VHP leader Jaidip Patel were present in the court when chargesheet was filed.

According to SIT sources, chargesheet has been filed against four accused Maya Kodnani, Jaidip Patel, suspended police officer V S Gohil and one Pankaj Parikh in the case.

The chargesheet said Maya and Patel had a led a mob during the 2002 riots which killed 11 people.

Kodnani and Patel are behind bars while V S Gohil, who was a police inspector of Naroda in 2002, and Parikh are out on bail.

The Supreme Court had on Friday lifted the stay on the trial of Gujarat riot cases and ordered the setting up of fast-track courts in five districts for holding day-to-day trial.

The Supreme Court had ordered the filing of additional chargesheets against new accused named by the Special Investigating Team (SIT) appointed by it.

The SC ordered the setting up of designated courts for riot cases in Ahmedabad, Gulbarga, Sabarkanta, Mehsana and Anand districts. The Gujarat High Court Chief Justice would appoint judges for these courts.

The court, however, rejected a plea that the cases be shifted outside Gujarat as demanded by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The SIT, which has investigated 10 cases including the Godhra train burning and subsequent riots cases, had submitted its report before the apex court in March.

The apex court had on March 26, 2008, constituted SIT which besides Raghavan as its head, has former DG of UP Police C D Satpathy and three IPS officers from Gujarat- Geeta Johri, Shivanand Jha and Ashish Bhatia as its members.

SIT was asked to “inquire and investigate” cases relating to Godhra carnage in which 59 people were killed and subsequent riots in places like Godhra, Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad, Naroda Gaon, Naroda Patiya and Sardarpura.

On April 27, the Supreme Court ordered the Special Investigation Team to investigate the role of top Gujarat BJP politicians, including chief minister Narendra Modi, as well as Sangh Parivar honchos, including Praveen Togadia and Babu Bajrangi. The SIT has been asked to give in its report to the apex court within three months.

This sweeping probe into Modi and 62 others was triggered on the basis of a complaint of Jakia Nasim Ahesan Hussain Jafri, widow of ex-Congress MP Ahesan Jafri who was killed by a mob at Gulbarg Society. The investigation order was issued by a Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and A K Ganguly.