The special judge hearing the 2002 Naroda Gam riots case on Thursday visited the scene of offence to understand the topography of the area where 11 Muslims were killed by a mob in the aftermath of the Sabarmati Express burning incident.
Judge P B Desai, flanked by lawyers of prosecution, defence and victims, visited all the crucial spots which have been shown in the case’s panchnama. He visited the locality for nearly 40 minutes.
Judge Desai saw the location of areas such the backyard of panchayat office, where the petrol cans were “hid” by the accused, Joshiwada and Panchal ki Khidki from where stones were pelted on Muslim residents, and the houses of 11 victims and witnesses.
On February 28, 2002, a large mob had gathered at the Naroda Gam crossroads, allegedly led by then Naroda BJP MLA Maya Kodnani who became a minister in 2007.
She is among the 82 accused in this case. She has already been convicted for her role in the Naroda Patiya massacre in which 97 people were burnt alive.
For better understanding of the sequence of event, the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) had marked the places in accordance with the panchnama. At Husain Chowk, a chair and table had been placed and after seeing this, the judge said, “I will not sit here as I am not here to run the court.”
The judge was also annoyed with the gathering of a large number of mediapersons for the coverage. While getting into his vehicle, he told the investigating officer and Superintendent of Police, Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad, that such a gathering should not have been allowed.