September 30, 2009
Prosecution finds holes in Dipda Darwaza case
The trial of the infamous Dipda Darwaza massacre case of 2002 has
exposed serious lacunae in police investigation. The special court
where the trial of the case is going on was told recently that not a
single identification parade for any of the accused was conducted by
the then probe officer.
The Dipda Darwaza incident had taken place in Visnagar town of Mehsana
district on February 28, 2002, when 14 people, including five
children, were burnt alive by a mob. This is one of the few cases,
which have gone for trial in the SIT-constituted special court of
judge BN Kaya. An investigation by the SIT is also going on
simultaneously in the case. Another hole that has been exposed in the
case is that most of witnesses are closed relatives or friends of the
accused who didn’t support the prosecution. Of the 70 witnesses, it
has emerged that at least 20 are close relatives of the accused.
Special public prosecutor (SPP), PR Agarwal, said: “After close
reading of the case papers, I found that most of the witnesses in the
case are close relatives and family members of the accused.” Agarwal
also said that most of the accused in the case are Patels and the
witnesses in the case are also Patels. There are 83 accused in the
case and the then PI of Visnagar and investigating officer, MK Patel,
is also one of the accused.