Gujarat riots: Panel’s refusal to quiz ex-minister to be challenged

Monday, October 4, 2010

GANDHINAGAR - An organisation, representing the 2002 communal riot victims in Gujarat before a probe commission, plans to move court against the panel’s decision not to quiz a former minister, a lawyer said Monday.

The Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM), which appeared before the Nanavati-Mehta judicial enquiry commission, plans to knock the doors of the Gujarat High Court over the panel’s decision not to summon former minister of state for home Gordhan Jhadapia for questioning, JSM counsel Mukul Sinha said.

The commission, which is probing the Godhra train carnage and the statewide communal riots that followed it, Sep 27 rejected the JSM’s plea for summoning Jhadapia, who was the minister of state for home during the 2002 riots.

The committee had agreed to summoning R.J. Sawani, the then deputy police commissioner responsible for security at Naroda Patiya and Gulberg Society neighbourhoods in Ahmedabad which reported at least 160 deaths during the riots.

The commission order had come at a time when a division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice Akil Kureshi was dealing with a prayer for its direction to the commission to summon key witnesses, including Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

JSM counsel said it would challenge the commission’s order of rejecting the demand for summoning Jhadapia, a key witness in the riot cases.

Jhadapia, has since resigned from the BJP and heads a break-away group.

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