Gulburg case: No evidence of neglecting duty against Pande

The submission was made by the SIT in the court of Special Judge BJ Dhandha, hearing the Gulburg society riot case.

Ahmedabad: In what could be a clean chit to
former Gujarat DGP P C Pande, Supreme Court-appointed Special
Investigation Team (SIT) has told a 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 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 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 Pande or others nor was
any complaint filed against them, he said.

Kodekar further said the victims` application to make
Tandon an accused in the case was already rejected by the
court last year as the SIT had said that investigation with
regard to 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 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 Pande had visited the
society around 1030 hrs on the day of the incident and assured
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 Gondia was DCP
in charge of the Meghaninagar area where the Gulburg Society
was located, he did nothing to stop the mob from acting.

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

For 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.

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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