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'Absconding' Gujarat minister skips Cabinet meet

February 04, 2009 23:08 IST

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Complete coverage: Gujarat riots
Gujarat Minister Maya Kodnani wanted in a probe into the gruesome attacks during the 2002 post-Godhra riots, remained elusive and skipped the weekly cabinet meeting in Ahmedabad [Images] on Wednesday, as two police officers were grilled for their role during the communal clashes.

The Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team is hot on the trail of Kodnani, the minister of state for higher education, and she has already been declared as an absconder. The SIT is probing afresh some of the worst incidents during the riots.

"She was not present in the Cabinet meeting today," a government official told PTI.

"She is on tour," said an official at her office in the state secretariat. However, he refused to give details of her tour, saying that he was not authorised to talk to the press.

Kodanani, a three-time member of the Legislative Assembly from Naroda constituency in Ahmedabad, is wanted by the SIT  as she is an accused in Naroda Gram and Naroda Patia massacre cases in which 95 people were killed on February 28, 2002.

Two police officers--K K Mysorewala and V S Gohil--who were the then police inspectors in Naroda police station at the time of the riots were summoned and questioned by a SIT team, official sources said. Mysorewala, currently a deputy superintendent of police, was grilled for the second time in two days.

Maya was summoned twice by the SIT to appear before it on January 29 and 31 this year,  but she did not turn up, forcing the team to declare her as an absconder on February 2.

According to SIT officials, Mysorewala and Gohil were summoned by the team for interrogation pertaining to their role in the 2002 post-Godhra riots cases which had occured in the areas of their jurisdiction.

The interrogation was underway on Wednesday, official sources said. Sources said Mysorewala was grilled by agency officials for more than five hours on Tuesday.

Mysorewala had served as a police inspector in Ahmedabad city, Naroda Patia and Naroda village, the scene of some of the most gruesome riots, triggered by the Sabarmati train carnage seven years ago. Gohil was also posted as police inspector at Naroda Patia at the time of the riots.

The sources said a number of police officials were under the  SIT's scanner as the agency was examining their role during the riots and was in the process of scrutiny of the evidence collected by it.

"The role of those who are under scanner includes two India Police Service officers--P B Gondia and B D Vaghela--" a senior official said.

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