January 29, 2009 12:49:41 am
It is the first case of the 2002 post-Godhra riots where such a notice has been issued as the six are reportedly hiding in foreign countries
The Interpol has issued Red Corner Notices (RCNs) against six accused in connection with the 2002 Ode massacre case in central Gujarat. This came following a representation by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT).
After the Sabarmati Express carnage of February 27,2002 and the murder of former state Home Minister,Haren Pandya in March 2003,the Ode riot case has become the only case of the post-Godhra communal riots in the state where RCNs have been issued.
The SIT team first procured arrest warrants for the six absconders and later got RCNs issued against them by the Interpol. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was the nodal agency in the process, said an officer on condition of anonymity.
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The six are accused of killing 27 people on the morning of March 1,2003. Some of them got out on bail and are learnt to be hiding in Singapore,the US and the UK. A resident of Ode in Anand district,Dilip Babu Patel,who was in jail and had fled to the UK after the Anand district court granted him bail,is also included in the list, said the officer.
Ode massacre is one of the 10 most heinous cases of the Gujarat riots that the SIT is further investigating. The final SIT report is expected to be submitted before the Supreme Court by February 15 this year.
The SIT had begun investigating the case by undertaking a massive search operation around the village in May 2008. Thorough excavations were done at the site,including a house at Piruwali Bhagol that was burnt down by rioters,a step-well in Ode main bazaar and a dry well located in the Malav Bhagol area. Even expert divers were roped in to help search for human remains in the step well, said the officer.
Several bone samples were collected,but in vain. A highly placed source in the SIT said that scientific scrutiny of the bones first by the Directorate of Forensic Science (DFS) in Gandhinagar and later by a senior Human Anatomy professor in the SSG Hospital confirmed that they were animal bones. The finding has been appended to the SIT report that was filed before a court in Umreth around December last year. The case is now with a Sessions Court in Anand, the source added.
While 24 people were killed in the rioting case no 23/2002,three lost their lives in the case number 27/2002 of the Ode police station that year. Of 44 people accused in the case,one died and another remains untraceable. We want to get custody of the six as soon as possible and are working on the legal process, said a source in the SIT.
Haren Pandyas murder on March 26,2003,according to the police,was a fall out of the 2002 riots .
The POTA case has been included in the list of post-Godhra communal riots in the state,whose planning was done during the alleged ISI conspiracy to avenge killing of Muslims in Gujarat.
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