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Riots: SC wants Gujarat to form probe team in 10 days
March 26, 2008 12:04 IST
Last Updated: March 26, 2008 20:24 IST
The Supreme Court on Wednesday set a 10-day deadline for the Gujarat government to constitute a special investigation team to 'inquire and investigate' into 14 cases related to the 2002 communal riots, including the Godhra train carnage.
The 14 cases include the one in which Mohd Rafudan Ansari and another person are named in FIR No 09/2002 as the accused who torched the Sabarmati Express at Godhra.
"The SIT shall inquire, further investigate into these cases," a bench headed by Justice Arjit Pasayat said while directing it to submit its report in a sealed cover within three months.
The court's directives follow a bunch of petitions filed by the National Human Rights Commission, individuals and NGOs which had sought transfer of the trial of the riots cases outside Gujarat and further investigation or re-investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The petitions were filed after several witnesses turned hostile amidst allegations of threat, coercion and inducement to derail the investigation.
The SIT would be free to evolve its own modalities for the purpose of carrying out investigations into the cases, the apex court said.
The team would comprise ex-CBI chief R K Raghavan and former DG of UP Police C D Satpathy besides three IPS officers from Gujarat - Geeta Johri, Shivanand Jha and Ashish Bhatia.
While Raghavan would be the chairman of the SIT, Johri would be the convener of the team.