Sreekumar for more security for Guj riot witnesses

RB Sreekumar has written a letter to SC-appointed SIT and sought a review of the security provided to witnesses in 2002 Gujarat riots cases.

Updated: Nov 10, 2011, 22:25 PM IST

Ahmedabad: Former Gujarat DGP, RB Sreekumar
has written a letter to Supreme Court-appointed Special
Investigation Team (SIT) and sought a review of the security
provided to witnesses in 2002 Gujarat riots cases, following
the murder of Nadeem Saiyed.

"There is urgent need for revitalisation of Witness
Protection Scheme (WPS) ordered by the Supreme Court for the
witnesses of 2002 riots," Sreekumar, who was Additional DGP
before he retired, has said in the letter to SIT chairman RK
Raghavan.

"The brutal murder of Nadeem Saiyed, a key witness to
Naroda Patia riots case, on November 5, was a major setback to
WPS....This ghastly incident has sent shock waves among other
witnesses, besides exacerbating the fear complex among the
riot victim-survivors," he further said.

"Many witnesses and riot victims, who gave substantial
evidence to judiciary and investigating officers on the role
of BJP and its sister organisations have been contacting me,
expressing their feeling of helplessness, about the
solvable inadequacies of WPS.

"According to witnesses, the policemen detailed for
their security are keener to know the protected person`s
movements, tours, persons meeting them, instead of (taking
care of) their security," he says in the letter.

"There is no periodical monitoring of the security
system. Supervisory officers hardly interact with protected
persons, and due to shortage of manpower, very often the
security personnel are found to be working for longer hours."

"Considering the state of competence, integrity and
morale of the Gujarat government officials vis-a-vis 2002 riot
cases, it will be counterproductive and self-destructive to
entrust the responsibility of witness protection to the State
Administration," Sreekumar has said.

"So, for urgent revitalisation of witness security
infrastructure, a special team has to be constituted by SIT."

He says this team should consist of competent and upright
senior police officers from the State Intelligence Branch,
Central Intelligence Bureau (from Gujarat unit), District
Police Commissionerate and SIT officials.

"The Central IB has well-established expertise, skill,
intelligence resources and experience in the field of
Personnel and Departmental security and their inputs should be
taken from time to time on the issue," the letter says.

"This team should make general and person-specific
recommendations about level and grade of security to persons
to be protected (witnesses)."

"A system of monthly review of WPS in the light of
intelligence obtained also needs to be introduced," he has
said in the letter.

PTI