Ahmedabad: The Naroda Massacre that took place on February 2002 during 2002 Gujarat Riots, has two new muslim witnesses came forward to give alibi for one of the accused, Dinesh Patel in the case, in Special SIT Court.
The riot that lasted 10 hours murdering, burning many and raping women was deemed “the largest single case of mass murder” during the 2002 Gujarat riots.After the communal violence, a curfew was imposed in the state and army troops were called in to contain further violence.
Maqbulkhan Gulabkhan Pathan and Nizam Gulamali Ansari were issued summons to be present in the court on the request of the accuse.
Pathan, a resident of Jahapura in his statement in the court says, back then in 2002 when the Massacre happened he was working with a private company in GIDC in Naroda. He reached his organization around 7.30am in the morning on 28 Feb, 2002. He received a call from his family an hour later stating the current communal tension in the city due to a day earlier’s Godhra Train fire that took place. The family asked him to return home to avoid getting caught in the ongoing conflict.
He further says that on receiving the warning from his family he along with another co-worker Nizam Gulamali Ansari, a resident of Chiloda Village approached their union leader Amrutkala to ask him to grant them leave for the day due to rising communal tensions in the city.
Amrutha sent them to Dinesh Patel, with whom they stayed until afternoon at the company and later left for Dinesh’s home together. They stayed in Dinesh’s home until next morning and then started for their respective homes. Dinesh the next morning accompanied the Pathan to his home in Jahpura.
Ansari too gave the statement that he was with Dinesh till the afternoon and also recognized Dinesh in the courtroom.
During the cross-examination by the prosecution, Pathan said he was unaware of the communal tensions in the city on that day due to the train fire neither he had any clues about the bandh on Feb 28 since he came to work in the morning, he dint find any such hatred that day between the two communities. He was also unaware of the riots that took place in Naroda Gam.
Another witness, Gautam Patel, stated that his brother and the then BJP corporator, Vallabhbhai Patel, was with him at a maternity home in Vadaj during the riots.
Vasram Patel also one of the witness’s for the prime accuse in the case, told the court that the prime accused Babu Bajrangi was with him in Sabarkantha on the day of rioting. When the SIT prosecutor pressurized Vasram during the cross-examination, he told the court that he did not remember in which vehicle,they both took his nephew’s dead body from Sola Civil Hospital to Derol Kampa near Khedbrahma and also he doesn’t remember the vehicle’s registration number.
Eleven persons were killed in the Naroda Gam massacre and more than 80 persons are facing trial, according to Times of India.