Sting op: Godhra convict picks holes,HC may hear plea

The Supreme Court-appointed SIT has relied on the CD of a sting operation — carried out by a private media house on certain 2002 riots accused

Ahmedabad | Published: January 23, 2012 3:04 am

The Supreme Court-appointed SIT has relied on the CD of a sting operation — carried out by a private media house on certain 2002 riots accused — in Gulberg Society and Naroda Patiya massacre cases,even as the Investigation Officer (IO) of the same SIT in the Godhra carnage case had reportedly found the CD “inaudible”.

In the sting operation,a prime prosecution witness in the case is seen as making a statement that he was given Rs 50,000 by the then IO in the case,Noel Parmar,to change his statement as per the wishes of the latter. J R Mothaliya,the IO of the Godhra train burning case,had found the CD contents “inaudible”.

This revelation has been made by one of the 31 convicts in the case,Salim Zarda,who has challenged his conviction in the Gujarat HC while also moving a petition to bring further evidence on record in the case,including the CD. The plea is expected to come up for hearing on Monday.

He has demanded to bring the evidence related to the sting operation. The sting reportedly recorded statement of a prosecution witness,Ranjit Patel,who was a petrol pump staffer in Godhra.

Referring to the SIT probe into the sting ,Zarda has stated,“The investigation officer,SIT,also claimed to have investigated the CDs of the sting operation… by looking at the same without actually having seized it,and as the CD of the said sting operation was inaudible,PW-245 (J R Mothaliya,the IO) forwarded a report in this regard to (SIT chairman) Mr R K Raghvan…”

According to the prosecution case,the convicts bought 140 litres of petrol from the petrol pump and had carried it in seven carboys on February 26,2002,a day before the attack on the Sabarmati Express. And this version was inter alia based on Patel’s statement recorded by Gujarat Police in 2003. This was in contradiction to Patel’s earlier statement recorded by police in 2002 when he had said,“loose petrol in carboys is not sold from their petrol pump.”

Zarda’s petition states,in the sting,Patel is seen admitting there was no sale of loose petrol as claimed by the prosecution. Patel also said he was paid Rs 50,000 by Parmar to falsely implicate the accused.

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