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No police lapse in Gujarat riots: Justice Nanavati
May 18, 2003 18:20 IST
Evidence recorded so far does not indicate any serious lapse on part of the Gujarat Police or administration in handling the communal clashes that erupted followed the Godhra train incident, Justice G T Nanavati, heading the two-member commission to probe last year's riots, said on Sunday.
The commission, which has completed the task of recording evidence in all the areas except Ahmedabad, Vadodra, Bharuch and Narmada, will begin its last leg of recording evidence from July 15.
The commission had given time to all the affected to file additional affidavits on incidents that had taken place in their respective localities during the February-March riots. "An additional opportunity has been given to those who missed the earlier chance to file affidavits, and to all concerned to say whatever they want to say before the commission on the incidents," Justice Nanavati said.
Prior to recording the evidence in Ahmedabad and Vadodra, the two cities most affected in the riots, the commission will complete the task in Bharuch and Narmada, he said.
Justice Nanavati said the commission probing the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, also headed by him, is closely examining the role of officials in police and civil administration as Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee has demanded action against those guilty of dereliction of duty.
Expressing confidence that the report would be submitted by the year-end, he said, "I am writing the report as the recording of evidence has been completed."
Asked about the role of the army in controlling the riots, Justice Nanavati said the Sikhs have contended the army was not deployed in a timely fashion.
He said the witnesses before the commission had said that army had performed its duties well, but it was a lapse on part of the civil administration not to call them in time, resulting in large-scale rioting and loss of lives.
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