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Bilkis Banu case: PSI in CBI custody

March 06, 2004 19:12 IST
Last Updated: March 06, 2004 19:31 IST

I A Syed, a Gujarat policeman arrested on Friday for allegedly suppressing and destroying evidence in the Bilkis Banu gangrape and massacre case during the post-Godhra communal riots, was on Saturday remanded to five days' CBI custody.

Syed is at present serving as police sub-inspector at Jamnagar. He was produced in Ahmedabad in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (Ahmedabad rural) S M Padhyay.

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Seeking 14 days' custody of Syed, CBI counsel A R Sheikh submitted that the accused had connived with the original investigating official Narpatsinh Patel in destroying bodies of seven victims. The CBI needs to probe deeper into this aspect and Syed's connivance with Patel, as 60kg of salt was also used to ensure the bodies decomposed quickly.

Defending his own case, Syed rejected the allegations and said he cooperated well with the original investigating officer as also the CBI, which is re-investigating the case following a Supreme Court order.

Syed said that at the time of the incident, he was not only the PSI at Limkheda but also the second PSI in Fatehpura and was given the duty of maintaining law and order.

"Why would I have cremated the bodies, if it was my intention to destroy the evidence? Had it been my intention, could I not have burnt the bodies and that too all 15 instead of seven, as alleged," Syed asked.

Syed is the second Gujarat cop to be arrested in the case and was posted at Limkheda police station when the incident took place. The CBI has registered offences under 302, 376, 120 (B) and 201 against him. With his arrest, the total number of arrests in the case has gone up to 14.

The investigation by Gujarat police drew severe flak from the CBI, which recently presented its interim report to Supreme Court.

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