Gulberg society massacre witnesses' plea
The Gujarat High Court Thursday rejected a petition by witnesses
of Gulberg society massacre in Ahmedabad during the 2002 Gujarat
riots, seeking to summon some government officials as witnesses
and cross-examine them.
The Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has termed as unfortunate
the rejection, by the Gujarat Sessions and Gujarat High Court, of
the eyewitness’ pleas to examine those witnesses who could throw a
light on the destruction of police control room records of 2002 as
also the station diary entries of the critical period relating to
the carnage of 2002.
According to Teesta Setalvad, eye witnesses and victim survivors
had, through an application for further investigation under
Section 173 (8) of the CrPC on 17.9.2009 first recovered evidence
from the State to admit that records of the PCR and other
documentary evidence were destroyed while the Supreme Court was
seized of the matter in 2007. This documentary evidence had not
been part of the charge sheet submitted by the Special
Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Apex Court before the
witnesses approached the Trial Court.
"Applications to the Special
Investigation Team (SIT) to probe this destruction of records,
revealed after the agency was compelled to submit details before
the Court, went unheeded", Teesta said in a press statement.
"Formal Pleas to the Trial Court and
thereafter to the High Court in September 2010 and October 2010 to
examine lower down police officials, as to the motives and
instructions behind destruction of valuable documentary evidence,
have been rejected", she said.
"These pleas by eyewitnesses and
victim survivors also argued for the examination of those two
persons who had spoken to Shri Ahsan Jafri, former Member of
Parliament before he was butchered by a pre-organised and bloody
mob", she added.
The matter will now be appealed before the Apex Court.
"Transparency and accountability in
the investigation process requires that every aspect of the
available evidence, including the allegations of deliberate
destruction of evidence should be probed dispassionately instead
of being swept under the carpet", she said.