Friday, May 27, 2011

No evidence of neglecting duty against Pande, says SIT on Gulbarg riot case

In what could mean a clean chit to former Gujarat DGP P C Pande, the Supreme Court appointed special investigation team (SIT) has told a special court here that there was no evidence of dereliction of duty by the IPS officer during the 2002 riots.

The submission was made yesterday by the SIT in the court of Special Judge B J Dhandha, hearing the Gulburg society riot case, where 69 persons including ex-MP Ehsan Jaffery were killed on February 28, 2002.

Some of the victims of the Gulburg society riots had filed an application in the court early this month demanding that Mr. Pande and three other police officers be made accused in the case on charges of dereliction of duty.

Special Public Prosecutor R C Kodekar made oral submission opposing the application moved by the riot victims, contending that there was no evidence on record against Mr. Pande and others, including P B Gondia the then DCP Zone IV, S S Chudasama, who was ACP (crime branch) in February 2002, and former Joint Commissioner of Police M K Tandon (now retired).

Also, out of the over 300 witnesses examined during the trial in the case, none had implicated Mr. Pande or others nor was any complaint filed against them, he said.

Mr. Kodekar further said that the victims’ application to make Mr. Tandon an accused in the case was already rejected by the court last year as the SIT had said that investigation with regard to Mr. Tandon was on and a report regarding this was submitted to the Supreme Court.

The court has reserved order on the victim’s application for May 31.

In their application, the victims said that Mr. Pande, who after retirement was appointed as chairman of the Police Housing Board, deliberately did not send additional forces to Gulburg society for protection of the people and ignored seriousness of the situation.

They further alleged that though Mr. Pande had visited the society around 1030 hrs on the day of the incident and assured Mr. Jaffery of providing adequate security, he sat in his office from 1100 hrs to 1600 hrs till the rioters finished their job.

The victims have also alleged that though Mr. Gondia was DCP in charge of the Meghaninagar area where the Gulburg Society was located, he did nothing to stop the mob from acting.

Mr. Gondia an IPS officer is presently posted as Joint Director Civil Defence.

For Mr. Chudasama, who was the former investigating officer in the case, the victims have alleged that he did not investigate the incident properly and avoided taking statements of victims who survived the incident.

Mr. Chudasama has also been alleged of destruction of crucial evidence in the case like the CD containing phone call records of important persons prepared by IPS Rahul Sharma while he was in-charge of police control room in 2002.

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