Ahmedabad: The city police on Saturday restricted
the media from telecasting and printing the 2002 riots-related
footages and photographs on February 22, the day when the
court will pronounce its verdict in the Godhra train carnage
that triggered large-scale communal violence nine years ago.
"The notification restricts electronic media from
broadcasting 2002 riot-related file footages and also
restricts print media from publishing any riot-related
photographs on February 22 and 23," Joint Commissioner of
Police Satish Sharma said.
"Non-compliance of the notification could lead to
prosecution," he warned.
Police have also imposed Section 144 of CrPC in the city
prohibiting any kind of public gatherings and rallies.
Special judge PR Patel, who presided over the trial
court set up inside the high-security Sabarmati Central Jail
here, will deliver the verdict in the nine-year-old incident.
With a view to maintain peace, the police have made
elaborate security arrangements on the judgement day.
"Vigil shall be intensified on all the sensitive points
in the city. Close to 10,000 police personnel shall be
deployed, including 20 companies of SRPF (around 2,000 men)
and one company of Rapid Action Force," Sharma said.
One platoon of SRPF (around 30 personnel) has been
deployed at the jail, the venue where the judgement will be
pronounced, and vigil shall be maintained on people visiting
the prisoners, he said.
"Fifteen Police Control Room (PCR) vans will be
positioned at strategic locations. Three Quick Reaction Teams
(QRTs) have also been deployed," he said.
Sharma appealed to the people to refrain from rumour
mongering and report any trouble witnessed in their respective
localities to the Police Control Room.
On February 27, 2002, 58 people, mainly karsevaks
returning from Ayodhya, were burnt to death when a mob set
ablaze to S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express near Godhra station,
around 120 km from Ahmedabad.
The trial against 94 accused, all lodged in the jail
since, began in June 2009. They have been charged with murder
and criminal conspiracy.
The train burning had triggered riots across the state
in which over 1,000 people, mainly from the minority
community, were killed.
Similar notification of ban on broadcast of riot-
related footages by electronic media has also been issued in
Panchmahal district under which Godhra town falls.