08, May 2017
Zahira not in our
custody: Gujarat cops
– By Our Correspondents in Ahmedabad, Baroda
Key witness in the Best Bakery case Zahira Sheikh, who arrived in
Ahmedabad late on Thursday night, remained cooped up in her room the whole
day on Friday at Silver Oak Resort on the Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar highway.
IB sources confirmed that she was still based at the resort though there
was speculation that she had left for Mumbai by road on Friday afternoon.
Ms Sheikh arrived with
two family members on Thursday but the purpose of her visit to Ahmedabad
could not be ascertained. The gates of the resort were locked up even as
journalists kept a vigil outside the compound. Director-general of police
A.K. Bhargav said the police was providing protection to Ms Sheikh as per
the directive of the Supreme Court and that she was not in its custody. He
also said he did not know the purpose of her visit to Ahmedabad.
Meanwhile, the Muslim
population of Ekta Nagar in Baroda, where Ms Sheikh and her family resided
after the riots in 2002, burnt an effigy of Ms Sheikh to protest her
volte-face in the Best Bakery case on Friday. A group of protestors flayed
Ms Sheikh for “shaking hands with communal forces.” They even labelled her
as a “blot on the community.”
Ekta Nagar is a colony of
riot-affected Muslims built by city-based Muslim leaders and Islamic
Relief Committee members after the Gujarat riots in 2002. Houses were
provided to the riot victims on subsidised rates in October 2002.
The Sheikh family was
also allotted a house here. They had stayed at Ekta Nagar for about eight
months. However, the familyÂ’s relations with others in the colony were not
cordial, the locals said.