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Bilkis case: Lapses in Gujarat police investigation

February 07, 2004 01:40 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation has detected several lapses on the part of the Gujarat police in the investigation into a gang rape-cum-murder case, known as the Bilkis Banu case, pertaining to the post-Godhra riots.

Despite having clear acknowledgement from a hospital that rape had occurred, the state police chose to turn a blind eye and close the case, sources said on Friday. This had prompted the CBI to arrest the investigating officer head constable Narpatsinh Patel.

Other lapses include improper handling of the rape victim and not taking proper steps before the burial of the bodies of the people allegedly killed by rioters.

Bilkis Banu Yakub was among three persons who survived the ire of the mob. The other two are Saddam (7) and Hussain (5).

The CBI has found photographs of nine of the 15 people killed in the riots while the Gujarat police had declared that only seven were dead and recorded eight persons as 'missing'.

On February 2, the CBI had recovered some bones from a rivulet near village Panivela. There were no skulls but only bones, which would help the agency in identifying the age and sex of the deceased.

It has begun a scientific examination of the skeletons recovered from a rivulet near Ahmedabad. A bone-marrow test is likely to be conducted by the Central Forensic Science Lab.

The other impending task before the agency is to recover the other bodies as Bilkis has claimed that 15 people had been massacred.

The agency, which began a fresh investigation into the entire case, after registering the first FIR in connection with the Gujarat riots following a directive by a Supreme Court bench comprising Justice S Rajendra Babu, Justice A R Lakshmanan and Justice G P Mathur, which was acting on a complaint by Bilkis Banu.

In the FIR, Bilkis Banu Yakub has alleged that when she, along with her relatives, was moving around village Panivela post-Godhra, they were chased by a mob, which beat them and raped her sisters.

The CBI charged Jaswant Nai, Govind Nai and Naresh Moriya under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including rape and murder. The three accused and nine others are under arrest.

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