Best Bakery case witness puts ex-DGP Sreekumar in dock
A key witness in the 2002 Best Bakery case--Yasmin Sheikh--has sought investigation against former Gujarat DGP R B Sreekumar, alleging that he gave misleading information for personal gains to the Nanavati Commission, which was probing post-Godhra violence.
Ahmedabad: A key witness in the 2002 Best Bakery case--Yasmin Sheikh--has sought investigation against former Gujarat DGP R B Sreekumar, alleging that he gave misleading information for personal gains to the Nanavati Commission, which was probing post-Godhra violence.
In a complaint application submitted to the office of the State Director General of Police (DGP) P C Thakur on June 9, Sheikh (31) alleged that Sreekumar, who served as ADGP-Intelligence in 2002, changed his stand to reciprocate favours extended to him by former UPA-led Central government, which according to her, closed all cases against him related to an espionage case involving an ISRO scientist.
City crime branch has initiated probe on the basis of the application after recording the statement of Sheikh.
Along with Sreekumar, Sheikh has put activist Teesta Setalwad in the dock by alleging the both Sreekumar and Setalwad worked hand-in-glove for their personal gains in the name of fighting for the sake of post-Godhra riot victims.
The alleged Best Bakery carnage took place in Hanuman Tekri area of Vadodara where 14 persons were burnt alive by an angry mob on March 2, 2002, two days after the train burning incident at Godhra railway station.
Sheikh claimed that she was among the key witnesses who had later testified before the court.
According to her application, Sreekumar filed three different affidavits before the Nanavati-Shah Commission, which was appointed by the Gujarat government to inquire into the post-Godhra communal violence.
In the first two affidavits, filed in June 2002 and October 2004 respectively, Sreekumar praised Gujarat government, political leaders, and police department for taking prompt action to prevent riots, stated her application.
But, in his third affidavit, filed in April 2005, he completely changed his earlier stance and blamed the state government for the riots. He also alleged harassment and vindictive attitude towards him by the government, stated the application.
Giving her logic, Sheikh said that Sreekumar suddenly changed his statement, turned against the Gujarat government after the Ministry of Home Affairs in the past UPA government withdrew all the charges against Sreekumar in the ISRO espionage case during 2005.
Sheikh has claimed that changing of statement by a senior officer like Sreekumar means that either it was given under the influence of Setalvad, who was closely working with him, or it was part of some quid pro quo.
Sheikh then requested the DGP to initiate investigation
against the duo to find out the truth and take necessary action against them.
According to her lawyer Javed Jumani, the application has been forwarded by the DGP office to the city Crime Branch for further probe.
According to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP)-Crime Deepan Bhadran, Sheikh has given her statement in this regard. "After receiving the application, we have called Sheikh and recorded her statement on June 24. Further investigation is on," said Bhadran.
Sreekumar had taken a stand against Gujarat government on the 2002 riots and fought against it on various fronts along with social activist Teesta Setalvad.