Gulburg case: IPS officer says phone records are genuine

The state government has questioned the authenticity of CDs submitted by Sharma.

Ahmedabad: IPS officer Rahul Sharma on Wednesday told the special court hearing Gulburg riot case that mobilephone records on the CDs, which he had given to Nanavati Commission and Special Investigation Team (SIT), were authentic and contained data provided by telecom companies.

The state government has questioned the authenticity of CDs submitted by Sharma, before the Commission and SIT, saying the data recorded on them was not original.

Sharma, who was DCP (Control) during the post-Godhra riots, made the statement while deposing before the special judge B U Joshi hearing the 2002 Gulburg society riot case.

During cross-examination by Mitesh Amin representing some of the accused in the case, Sharma said cellphone records on CDs given by him to the Nanavati Commission and Supreme court appointed SIT were authentic as data on it was the same which the telecom companies had provided to the police.

Sharma told the court that he did not know about state government doubting authenticity of his CDs.

He said after he got the data on CDs from two mobile phone companies Cellforce (now Vodafone) and AT&T (now IDEA), he
copied the data on his personal computer.

Sharma said after that he sent the original CDs (from the telecom companies) to his senior officer P P Pande through one of his subordinate officer.

According to him, since mobile phones were widely used during the riots, an analysis of call records could help in investigation.

Sharma, an engineer from IIT-Kanpur, said it was a common practice among police officers in Gujarat to maintain a copy of the evidence collected during investigation, when asked why he copied data on his personal computer.

The 1992-batch IPS officer, also told the court that he had merely collected that data and not analysed it.

On his letter to then city police commissioner KR Kaushik, he said the letter dated June 4, 2002 was part of his duty and responsibility and not a step against the system.

In the letter, Sharma described his meeting with Pande in June 2002, where the latter had asked him to examine the case papers of Naroda Patiya case and give opinion.

Sharma told the court that he first resisted when Pande insisted. He found that in the chargesheet it was mentioned that the riot in Naroda Patiya broke out after a truck ran over some people in the area.

He told Pande that he disagreed with the cause behind the riots and suggested that it required investigation.

Sharma said during the meeting, the investigating officers in the case S H Chudasama and ACP crime D G Vanzara, an accused in the Sohrbuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, were also present.

He said Pande along with Vanzara and Chudasama, did not agree with his view that the reason behind riots needs to be probed. They, however, agreed to the reason mentioned in the chargesheet.

Sharma is presently posted as DIG of the police armed unit in Rajkot and is also incharge commander of the marine task force.

The court today also cross-examined two investigating officers of Gulburg case which include H R Muliyana presently posted as SP Amreli district and G L Singhal who is serving as SP of the state Anti Terrorist Squad.


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