‘Recall senior policemen before Nanavati-Mehta panel’

Saturday, August 14, 2010

AHMEDABAD - Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), which has taken up the cause of the 2002 Gujarat communal riot victims, Saturday urged the Nanavati-Mehta judicial inquiry commission to re-call some top police officers for cross-examinations in the light of fresh evidences culled from the police control room records.

CJP general secretary, Teesta Setalvad said that records of the police control room, which had recently come to hand, showed that there were at least 15 phone calls from the chief minister’s office to the then Ahmedabad police commissioner, P.C. Pande, between 11.30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Feb 28, 2002. This was the time the worst killings took place in Naroda-Patiya, Gulberg Society and other areas in Ahmedabad.

According to Setalvad, there could only be one of two reasons for such a frequency of calls.

“Either the chief minister wanted police to move fast fast to deal with the situation or go slow to allow the rampaging mobs a free way to allow the genocide. The police commissioner and other officers need to be questioned before the Nanavati-Shah commission to get at the truth,” she added.

The CJP demanded fresh examinations, among others, of the then state director general of police, K. Chakravarthi, Pande, the former joint police commissioner, M.K. Tandon, the then deputy police commissioner, P.B.Gondia, and the retired director general of police, R.B.Shreekumar.

She said the commission was expected to hear the arguments for the recall of the top police officers Aug 25.

Setalvad also said that the mobile phone records showed that at least six senior officials of the chief minister’s office (CMO) were in the vicinity of Naroda and Meghaninagar on the evening of Feb 27 when Chief Minister Narendra Modi was in Godhra visiting the train carnage site.

“What were the CMO officials doing in Naroda. Were they hatching a conspiracy for the next day?” she asked.

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