08, May 2017
Bakery: 1st eyewitness is examined
The Asian Age
Mumbai, Oct. 26:
The prosecution on Tuesday examined the
26th witness in the Best Bakery case, who was the first eyewitness to be
witness was a bakery employee who was inside the premises when the mob set
it on fire along with the adjoining house.
Deposing before designated judge A.M. Thipsay, the 32-year-old witness
said the rioters stormed the bakery at around 8-8.30 pm on March 1, 2002,
and set the ground floor of the premises on fire.
witness, who was injured in the attack, said the rioters also set fire to
the house next door and torched three vehicles belonging to the bakeryÂ’s
owners Â— two autorickshaws and a motorcycle. At the time of the incident,
he said, bakery owner Nafitullah, prime witness Zahira Shaikh, her mother,
three other women, four children and two others were at the premises.
eyewitness, who hails from Navgadh village in Uttar Pradesh, said he saw
rioters hurling bottles filled with kerosene at the bakery rooftop
throughout the night. He told the court that he had gone back to his
village after the incident.
Fourteen people, most of them Muslims, were killed in the Best Bakery
carnage. All the 21 accused in the case were acquitted by the fast track
court in Baroda after the witnesses turned hostile. The Gujarat high court
had upheld the lower court order, but the Supreme Court subsequently
ordered a retrial of the case outside Gujarat on an application made by
Zahira Shaikh with the help of an NGO.