March 1, 2010
The application of the witnesses and survivors of the 2002 post-Godhra
riots, seeking reconstitution of the special investigation team (SIT)
will be heard in the Supreme Court on March 15.
The survivors and Teesta Setalvad of the Citizen for Justice and Peace
had filed the application, accusing SIT of having ‘biased’ attitude.
Talking to DNA Setalvad said, “We have asked for reconstitution of the
SIT and appointment of members with a direction to them that they
should spend at least 15-20 days in a month in Gujarat during the
investigation and trial period.”
The application further states that considering the nature and
sensitivity of the cases, senior judicial officers be appointed so
that the trials could conclude as soon as possible, and in a
Imitiaz Khan Pathan, a witness in the case, will file an application
in the Gujarat high court on Tuesday demanding transfer of the trial
from the special court of BU Joshi, alleging that he is ‘biased’ in
favour of the accused. Earlier, the application was rejected by
principal sessions judge GB Shah.
Retired IPS officer RB Sreekumar said the survivors are disappointed
with the SIT as the inquires/investigations have not been carried out
properly in the case, especially regarding the involvement of police
officers, civil servants and politically-influential individuals.
The victims also alleged that FIRs have not been recorded properly and
names of the accused officers and those politically connected have
been dropped or excluded. They said some prosecutors appointed in the
case had either appeared for the accused or were associated with
organisations involved in the offences.
The other plea of witnesses is that some significant issues were not
reinvestigated by the SIT.