Naroda Gam case: SIT judge to visit riot site on October 5 to verify claims

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The judge of the special SIT court hearing the 2002 Naroda Gam case said on Tuesday that he will visit the riot site on October 5.

Judge PB Desai decided on the date after Himanshu Shukla, the special investigation team’s officer, who was asked to remain present in court on Tuesday, said he will be free after October 3.

Shukla, currently posted as ATS SP, was investigating officer in the case.

Judge Desai said that lawyers of SIT, accused and victims will accompany him but no accused will be allowed when he visits the site on October 5. He asked police to submit parts of the punchnama, which carries description of areas in Naroda Gam where the incident took place, so that he can decide which parts of the area he needs to visit.

The SIT had on Monday suggested that the court visit the site to get a better idea about it and verify the claims made by witnesses.

It requested the judge on Tuesday to visit the site to understand the area’s topography.

When the judge asked lawyers to specify the places he needs to visit, they suggested that he may visit Muslim Mohalla, gram panchayat office, a lane near Bank of India, Mayur Hotel and Nandu Mian’s shop near the mosque which have figured in descriptions given by witnesses.

The special court concluded the recording of testimonies of 187 witnesses, including BJP president Amit Shah, who appeared as a witness for former MLA Maya Kodnani.

SIT has filed a charge sheet against 82 people, including Kodnani.Eleven people belonging to minority communities were killed in the Naroda Gam riots in 2002. Kodnani, who was MLA at the time, has been convicted and sentenced to 28 years in jail in Naroda Patiya case in which 97 people were massacred.

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