02, Mar 2006
March 2, 2006
Maqsuda Yusuf Shaikh, widow of Yusufbhai files as affidavit in the main Pandharwada matter (Special Criminal Appln 1875/2005) pointing out shocking and grave efforts by the Gujarat police to doctor records and in fact falsely create evidence justifying the petitioners’ claim that the Gujarat state police simply cannot be trusted to handle an investigation against itself in a fair and impartial manner.
In this affidavit, Maqsuda states that
- She made applications on dated 1.2.2006 and 6.2.2006 to the Prant Officer, Lunawada, Collector, Panchmahal at Godhra, D. S. P. Panchmahal, Dy. S. P. Lunawada, C. P. I. Lunawada etc. to get the dead body of her husband Yusufbhai Ahmedbhai Shaikh, and after following legal procedure, the same may be handed over to C. B. I. and after carrying out its analysis in the Laboratory of Hyderabad through C. B. I. the dead body should be handed over to her for burying in the local Kabrastan as per Muslim law
- The dead body of her husband Yusufbhai Ahmedbhai Shaikh was not handed over to her either on dated 5.3.2002 or on any other day by any police, she has not made my any thumb impression regarding receipt thereof. She states that the police is trying to make a false case against her and refusing to process her application to exhume/remove the body.
- She states that the police has not handed over dead body of her husband Yusufbhai Ahmedbhai Shaikh to her or her mother-in-law (her mother in law also files an affidavit) and she has not made any thumb impression anywhere thereof.
- She states that she and her in-laws sent some applications and made representations to concerned authorities to get dead body of my husband, however, till today they have not been handed over the dead body of her husband Yusufbhai Ahmedbhai.
- She states that the police claim that they have handed over the dead body of her husband to her on dated 5.3.2002 is absolutely false and an irresponsible statement; if the dead body of her husband Yusufbhai Ahmedbhai Shaikh was handed over to her, then, male members of my community should have cleaned his dead body i.e. should have performed the final bathing rites and then, by wrapping him in the traditional white coffin cloth, and after performing the Namaz of ‘Janaza’, the final prayer, they would have buried him at the family’s Kabrasthan of their village or in Kabrastan of Pandarwada at distance of 5 kilo meter from Lunawada. It is very clear that nothing of this sort has happened and the police has no record of it’s so called version of handing over the body to me. It appears therefore that the police is suppressing the truth.
- She further submitted that if the dead body of her husband was handed over to her on dated 5.3.2002 then where was no need for her mother in law to make an application in writing on dated 19.3.2002, and before making that application, why would she have given copy without her thumb impression to her, which was also produced by her before the Prant Officer on February 2, 2006. Moreover, if the body had been obtained and buries why would the family have made applications inquiring whether he (Yusufbhai) is alive or dead to the Collector, Godhra, Kheda etc. on many occasions after March 1, 2002. She also questions as to why the police not even dignified her applications with a response at the relevant time. In a daily newspaper namely “Gujarat Today” dtd 3.4.2002 at page No.10 it was reported that there is possibility that dead body of her husband Yusufbhai Ahmedbhai Shaikh along with the dead bodies of three other young men are buried in the nearby jungles, and though guardians of all four young men informed Collector, Godhra in writing about the same, no reply whatsoever has been given.
- She states that if the police version if handing over the body of her husband on 5.3.2002 was true, why then would her mother in law Umravbibi make applications dated 19.3.2002 to the Collector, Panchmahal etc. and how did this matter come to be reported in Gujarat Today News paper dtd. 3.4.2002.
- This victim survivor also points out that when the police carried out inquest panchnama dated 5.3.2002, she was not called to the site nor was she present. However, her false name and presence has been recorded. No thumb impression or signature of hers can be found o this inquest panchnama. The Police inquest panchnama is said to have been carried out on 5.3.2002 during hours 16.00 to 16.45 P.M. and it has also been stated at serial no.6 of the police report that the police had seen that dead body on 5.3.2002 at hours 14.30 in and sent it to the Medical Officer, Pandarwada
- She points that this is an act of obvious falsification of records in terms of her presence shows that the police has, in fact, not carried out any inquest panchnama. Besides this, I further state that, if so called inquest panchnama was carried out during hours 16.00 to 16.45 on dtd 5.3.2002 then how come the post mortem was performed at hours 4.30 PM (16.30) on dtd 5.3.2002. It also apparently appears that even the date of receipt of the dead body mentioned in column no. 4 of the post mortem report shows that the date of receipt of the dead body was written as 6 th March, 2002 and the 6 was changed to 5. She concludes that from the material and facts mentioned above, it is clear that the police or the administration has not handed over the dead body of my husband to me either on date 5.3.2002 or on any other day thereafter.
Victim survivors and CJP file 600 pages of detailed affidavits, contradicting point by point all the claims made by the respondent 1, state of Gujarat in their affidavits. Ameenabehn Habib Rasool in her Rejoinder to Rejoinder Affidavit dated March 2006 filed by respondent, state of Gujarat states that:
the dead bodies were buried in the survey no. 69 on the banks of the river ‘Paanam’.
Through their own investigations, petitioners learned that the said land is ‘forest land’ as per the 7/12 village form. They have annexed the copy of the village form. This proves that the local administration ought not to have buried the dead bodies without handing over the same to the survivors of the deceased.
Ameenabehn Rasool states categoricallythat it was the victims who learnt about the place where the dead bodies were actually buried, informed the villagers and soon in presence of the electronic media the skeletons were unearthed. Further, the petitioners state that it was only because of the electronic media’s exposure that the police could not tamper with the skeletons and the local administration was caught on wrong footing especially because the skeletons were found from the forest land. Thus it was wise decision for the victims to avoid the competent authorities under the control of the state government.
The petitioners state that the CBI, which is Respondent no. 2 be asked to seized the case diaries and the weekly diaries of the police are required to be seized immediately or they be asked to produce the same forthwith so that the role of the state’s police and the local administration can be properly appreciated. The petitioners further state that the respondent no. 1 has been given enough chance to ‘tamper’ with the evidence.
The petitioners state that the ‘role’ of thestate government in not protecting its citizens and in defending the accused has shown its ugly face in several matters. The non-governmental organizers had to venture and make sincere attempts to wipe of the tears of poor victims. That the Hon’ble Supreme Court while deciding Criminal M. P. No. 3740-42/2004 in Writ Petition (Cri) No. 109/2003 in the matters of National Human Rights Commission v/s The State Of Gujarat and allied matters had observed that the non-governmental organizations be asked to do the needful for poor victims; though the petitioner craves leave to rely upon the said order at the time of the hearing of this writ petition. Moreover, the petitioner no. 2 has made strenuous efforts to enable justice to absolutely poor victims of the state.
Special Criminal Application Nos. 408 of 2006, petitioners who are also victims survivors , Mehboobbhai Rasoolbhai Chauhan and Rasoolbhai Ashrafbhai Sheikh have prayed for a transfer of entire investigation of the alleged offences to the CBI