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2002 Naroda Gam case: Probe Team Requests Judge To Visit Riot Site

Ahmedabad:  The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Monday requested the judge, who is hearing the 2002 Naroda Gam massacre case, to visit the site of the incident to understand topography of the area.

Special SIT judge P B Desai agreed to visit the site on an application filed by prosecutor Suresh Shah. Mr Desai asked the lawyers of the accused and the victims to submit a joint application with the SIT regarding the same, which they did.

The court had last week concluded recording of testimonies of 187 witnesses, including BJP chief Amit Shah who appeared as a witness for BJP leader Maya Kodnani, an accused in the case.

The SIT said that it wanted the judge to visit Naroda Gam on the outskirts of Ahmedabad where the riot took place on February 28, 2002, so that he gets a better idea of its topography.

The visit will help the judge verify the claims made by the witnesses, it said.

The SIT has filed a charge sheet against 82 people including Ms Kodnani in the case.

The judge asked the lawyers to specify the places he will need to visit.

The lawyers suggested that the judge may visit areas including Muslim Mohalla, the gram panchayat office, a lane near Bank of India, Mayur Hotel and Nandu Miya’s shop near the mosque which have figured in the descriptions given by the witnesses.

Naroda Gam massacre is one of the nine major 2002 communal riots cases which were investigated by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT.

Eleven Muslims were killed in Naroda Gam during a bandh call given to protest the Godhra train burning incident of February 27, 2002.

Ms Kodnani, who later became a minister in (then) chief minister Narendra Modi’s government, has been sentenced to 28 years in jail in the Naroda Patiya riot case.