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Godhra panel: Minority community witnesses laud cops

July 20, 2003 05:22 IST

Witnesses belonging to the minority community on Saturday told the two-member Nanavati Commission probing the post-Godhra riots in Ahmedabad that prompt police action had prevented disturbances in their posh Navrangpura area even when the entire city was in the grip of a communal carnage.

Deposing before Justice G T Nanavati (retd) and Justice K G Shah (retd), one of the four minority community witnesses, businessman Mehmood Allahrakha Ansari, said he had closed his garments shop and called the police after rampaging mobs gathered outside his premises.

"There was no damage to my shop, and three to four policemen used to patrol the area," Ansari said.

Another witness Nazir Shamsuddin Sayyed, an autorickshaw driver, said due to police bandobast, the area around his house at Peer Kamal Kabrastan (graveyard) remained totally incident-free.

Yusuf Patel, a garage-owner and Yusuf Sheikh, a painter also lauded the police for their 'co-operation' in controlling rioting mobs.

Considered an upmarket area, Navrangpura had not witnessed any killing during the post-Godhra violence but some big showrooms and shops were looted, police sources said. After recording statements of victims/witnesses in nine police stations areas on July 22, the commission will begin hearing depositions of people from six other police station areas from July 28.

Most of the areas to be covered from July 28 are located in the old city, which saw large-scale communal frenzy.

They are Shahpur (July 28), Karanj (July 29), Kalupur (July 30), Shaherkotda (July 31), Khadia (August 1) and Gaikwad Haveli on August 2, an official release said.

The commission has recorded statements of people residing in seven police station areas till date and the remaining two police station areas - Sabarmati and Madhavpura are expected be covered on July 21 and 22.

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