Note with the Rejoinder filed by CJP

28, Apr 2010


28, 2010

Petition of the reconstitution of SIT adjourned to May 6, 2010. The
affidavit in rejoinder filed by Teesta Setalvad for Citizens for
Justice and Peace is attached below with a brief note.

Response of
Teesta Setalvad, Citizens for Justice and Peace

Affidavit in
Rejoinder filed on 24.4.2010


Government of
GujaratÂ’s belated response to a six month old application filed by
CJP reveals that it has been shaken by the revelations made before
the Apex Court

Government of
Gujarat is rattled by the revelations contained in documentary
evidence obtained by witnesses through applications in the trial
court that reveal the location and movement of politicians on those
fateful days in 2002 including the movements of the chief minister
of the state

An analysis of the
documentary evidence reveals the fact that the Commissioner of
Police Ahmedabad PC Pande (at the time) was holed up in his office
at the city headquarters at Shahibaug, that despite 302 calls logged
on his mobile alone neither he nor the next in command Shri
Shivanand Jha moved out at the crucial time; that Pande was in touch
15 times with the chief ministerÂ’s close coterie during that period
and also with Joint Commissioner MK Tandon when the latter visited
the Gulberg Society around 11.30 a.m. when the mob violence was
building up. Despite the fact that MK Tandon had a full striking
force with him, he left with the force leaving no re-enforcements
behind, moved to Naroda was there only for a few minutes to impose
curfew before he moved off to Revdi Bazar area where there was no
violence at all. A detailed look at the analysis of the documentary
evidence conducted by CJP and witness advocates reveal that while
DCP of the Zone, P.B.Gondia is shown to be located in the
Meghaninagar and Naroda areas, this senior officer asks for
ammunition etc only around 6 p.m. when the massacres have been
completed and Tandon calls the fire brigade for the first time that
day after 6 p.m. Fires in the home of Shri Ahsan Jafri and others at
Gulberg society were raging for three-four days after the carnage
according to the panchnamas recorded.

 The SIT has failed
to interrogate the circumstances behind the destruction of the phone
records of both Shri Jafri and the chief minister especially when
this litigation was under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court since
May 2002. Under “normal” circumstances no official would “destroy”
documents or relate to matters seized off by a court of law.
Witnesses have testified in court to the fact that among 200
distress calls made by frantic residents of the Gulberg society that
day among the last was one made to the chief minister who abused the
aged former Parliamentarian. It was after thus that Shri Jafri gave
himself up to be killed.

 Curious locational
details have been unearthed by the CJP through its analysis of
documents produced before the court but left uninvestigated by the
SIT. Officials of the Gujarat government have repeatedly held that
the reasons for less force deployment in the Gulberg and Naroda
areas the day of the massacre is because both areas are not
traditionally communally sensitive. Then how come the day of the
Godhra train burning tragedy, key men of the chief ministerÂ’s close
coterie, ministers and even some policemen are found (through a
locational analysis of the phone call records) to be in both these
areas, a whole day before the massacres take place?

Government of
Gujarat is shaken by evidence of more than one secret meeting apart
from the one that took place on February 27, 2002. Evidence of
another meeting at the chief ministerÂ’s residence on the morning of
February 28, 2002 and thereafter other meetings through that day
have emerged through an analytical scrutiny of these documents

The Gujarat
component of officers within the Special Investigation Team (SIT)
prevented insulation of the investigation from pressures from the
political executive and implicated senior officers of the Gujarat
Police (who were and are their seniors)

The Rejoinder emphasises that

The SIT concealed
Records of the Police Control Room (PCR) log books, Station Diary
Entries of Relevant Police Stations Fire Brigade Registers of the
Relevant Police Stations that have jurisdiction over these nine
trials (Meghaninagar, Naroda, Vijapur, Anand, Godhra) afoot
currently in Gujarat and these documents became public only after
applications under 173(8) of the Criminal Procedure Code were filed
by witnesses

Despite directions
from the Supreme Court to investigate and further investigate all
allegations of complicity, the SIT has failed utterly to investigate
serious allegations of high level conspiracy behind these nine
incidents before February 27, 2002 when the tragedy on the Sabarmati
Express (S-6 coach) happened, has failed to go into the systematic
arms and ammunition distribution in the specific areas where Gulberg
society, Naroda, Sardarpura, Deepda Darwaza and Odh are located
despite indicators from state intelligence reports and has failed
utterly to explore the chain of command responsibility in the
failure of senior officials to stem the violence.

The manner of
recording 161 statements was faulty and objected to by witnesses
from the outset. However the whole picture of the SITÂ’s failure
became clear only after charge sheets were filed between July-August

Allegations of
tutoring of over 168 eyewitnesses and victim survivors of the
Gujarat genocidal carnage of 2002 , including Smt Zakia Ahsan Jafri
is an insult to the brave vigour of the survivor who had testified
in an hostile environment within GujaratÂ’s Trial courtÂ’s without

Eight years down
there is not one word from the Gujarat Government that conveys it
regrets the state sponsored carnage of 2002

The fact that all
applications for further investigation or arraigning fresh accused
have been made only by witnesses and not by SIT nor the state,
suggest not just a collusion but a shared interest in not getting to
the bottom of the investigations pointing to the fact that justice
will only be done if the trials move out of the state

There is no real
hope of justice for the witnesses unless the SIT is reconstituted.




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