Naroda case: Witness retracts petition

A witness in the Naroda Patiya riot case withdrewhis petition seeking status report from the Special Investigation Team on further probe.

Ahmedabad: A witness in the Naroda Patiya riot case on Friday withdrew from the Gujarat High Court his petition seeking status report from the Special Investigation Team on further probe conducted in the 2002 massacre of 95

Justice Anant S Dave hearing the petition observed that the petitioner Salim Mohammed Sheikh should agitate his grievance before the designated trial court where the Supreme Court-mandated SIT would place its reports.
Sheikh in his petition had claimed that he had sought further probe in 2009 and 2011 from the designated court hearing the Naroda Patia case, but his pleas were rejected as the SIT "dodged" the issue claiming further probe was underway.

The witness had further claimed that he also sought to know from SIT at what stage the further probe was. But the special court did not issue specific directions to SIT on either of the occasions.

Sheikh in his petition before the high court had sought that the SIT file the Action Take Reports (ATRs) on the further investigation done so far.

However, as the court was not inclined to interfere with the matter at this stage and was of the opinion that the petitioner should raise the issue again before the SIT court, Shaikh did not press for his demands and withdrew his application.

Sheikh had also contended that the supreme court-appointed agency did not address the issue of further investigation for the last three years and the delay caused might have resulted in destruction of evidence.

Speedy investigation is the foundation of speedy trial and justice, especially in the cases of mass murders where the evidence is difficult to gather, he had claimed.

The very purpose of constituting designated court for trial of riot cases as per the SC order would be defeated if action is not taken within stipulated time, Sheikh said, adding the SIT has not even indicated before the designated court at what stage the investigation was.

A magisterial court, which is seized with SIT`s final report with regard to Zakia Jaffery`s complaint against Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others, is likely to give its verdict tomorrow on whether it should open the the report and read out its content in the open court.


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