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Authenticity of CDs needs to be determined: Godhra panel
September 03, 2007 20:43 IST
Three years after a couple of compact discs containing data of all mobile phone calls made during the 2002 post-Godhra communal riots were submitted to the inquiry commission by a senior official of Gujarat police, questions related to their authenticity still remain unresolved.
"The question, whether these CDs are authentic or not, has to be cleared first," Justice G T Nanavati, chairman of the two-member commission probing the Godhra train carnage and the subsequent riots said while hearing the matter on Monday.
The commission also looked up at all the applications filed by different parties in the past in connection with the CDs which IPS officer Rahul Sharma, (supervising the Naroda Patiya and Gulbarg society massacres during the communal riots) had submitted to it in October 2004.
According to Sharma, these CDs contain data of millions of calls made during the riots and were procured from the two mobile companies Cellforce and AT&T (which were in existence during 2002) for investigation into the Naroda Patiya case.
The commission on Monday sought for greater clarity on the issue of authenticity of the CDs to proceed further on the matter.
On August 5, the Gujarat government in a reply filed before the commission denied having original copies of the CDs and raised questions on their authenticity.
NGO Jan Sangharsh Manch, representing a section of the riot-affected families, on Friday had asked the commission to summon ministers of the Gujarat government including Chief Minister Narendra Modi based on the telephone records in the CDs which, according to them, shows a collusion between politicians, police officials and rioters.
Representing the NGO, advocate Mukul Sinha said, "If (Rahul) Sharma is lying (about the originality of the CDs), then he should be taken to task and if the state is lying then it is the worst suppression of material facts."
In order to clear the air on the authenticity, Sinha suggested that the then heads of the two mobile companies Cellforce and T&T be summoned.
He suggested all the inward and outward registers of crime branch (which was earlier investigating the Naroda Patiya massacre case) for the period of May and June 2002 be called for to find out if there is any information on the CDs on record.
Sinha said the case dairies of the Naroda Patiya case also be made available, three policemen including the then in-charge of crime branch PP Pandey, investigating officer of the Naroda Patiya case SS Chudasama, supervising officer A K Surolia, PSI Chandana, be summoned or be asked to clarify their individual stands in this matter.
The panel later directed the state government to file a statement regarding the versions of the police officials in this matter and to find out if they had any role in the making of the CDs.
The next hearing of the commission on the CD issue has been fixed on September 17.