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Plea to make Gujarat cops accused in Gulberg Society killing rejected

Tuesday May 31, 2011 09:49:41 PM, IANS

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Ahmedabad: A Gujarat court hearing the 2002 Gulberg Society killings Tuesday rejected a plea filed by survivors of the violence seeking arraignment of four police officers, two now retired, as accused for negligence in stopping communal riots.

Additional Sessions Judge B.J. Dhandha rejected the plea on the ground that the Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) was yet to file its report in this regard before the apex court, therefore, the application could not be entertained at this stage.

Sixtynine people were killed in the Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad Feb 28, 2002.

The petitioners sought the arraignment as accused of the then Ahmedabad police commissioner P.C. Pande, the then joint commissioner of police M.K. Tandon, the then deputy commissioner of police P.B. Gondia and the then assistant commissioner of police S.S. Chudasama. Pande and Tandon have now retired.

The SIT earlier told the sessions court that there was no evidence of dereliction of duty against Pande.

The petitioner' plea sought to make the police officers accused for their negligence in controlling the massacre, destruction of evidence and failure to perform their duty.

It was alleged that Pande, as the then city police chief, failed to control the riots. "He remained sitting in office Feb 28, 2002 when the Gulberg Society was burning and large scale killing was taking place," said the petition.

"We have proof from the telephone call CD that Pande had not visited the areas when the city was in the grip of rioters," victims' advocate S.M. Vora said earlier.

He accused Chudasama of ignoring vital evidence while he was investigating the case.

According to the petition, Chudasama failed to collect landline telephone call records of slain former parliamentarian Ehsan Jaffri, who made numerous requests to police, political leaders, chief minister's office and his well wishers, when the society was attacked.

Public Prosecutor R.C. Kodekar opposed the application saying there was no evidence on record against Pande and others. He claimed that out of over 300 witnesses examined during the trial, none had implicated them.




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