September 8, 2021 3:52:32 am
Gujarat Police has revoked security to around 25 persons from the affected areas of the 2002 riots, after a review by the Special Investigative Team (SIT) that investigated the cases.
None of the 25 persons are witnesses in any case related to the riots investigated by the SIT, said a top police officer. Earlier, the Supreme Court had given discretionary powers to the SIT to provide police security to the witnesses and their families.
Among the persons whose security has been withdrawn is 47-year-old Firoz Khan Pathan, brother of a key witness in the Gulberg Society massacre case, who lodged a protest on Monday over the removal of security over the past one week. Six of them earlier the residents of Gulberg Society while the remaining were in Naroda Gam and Naroda Patiya during the riots.
Firoz Khan Pathan, a resident of Vejalpur in Ahmedabad, claimed that he had three policemen as security since 2003 in the wake of post-Godhra riots in Gujarat. Pathan is the son of Saeed Khan Pathan and elder brother of Imtiyaz Khan Pathan, who are key witnesses in the Gulberg Society case. Saeed and Imityaz had two and one policemen respectively as security since 2003.
The security to the three members of Pathan family was initially provided by the Gujarat government in 2003 and later at the behest of SIT that was set up to probe the riots in 2008-09. As per police, Firoz Khan Pathan is not a witness in any of the cases related to Gujarat riots investigated by the SIT.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Firoz said, “I was given police security since 2003 as I have been receiving threats to my life from people of my community as well as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh… The police security given to me was revoked a week ago. There are 25 more survivors of the Gujarat riots pertaining to Gulberg Society, Naroda Gam and Naroda Patiya cases whose security has been revoked. On Monday, I went to Gandhinagar to speak to the top police officials and members of the SIT to request them to reinstate the police security.”
The Indian Express has learnt that over 200 witnesses of the Gujarat riots cases in different cities are being given police security.
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