The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Wednesday completed its arguments in the post-Godhra riot case of the killing of British nationals near Prantij in Himmatnagar district. This is among the nine riot cases probed by the SIT.
Britain has been pushing for speedy justice in this case. In August last year, the Supreme Court had directed the district to wrap up the case within three months. The court has sought extension.
Special Public Prosecutor R C Kodekar narrated the entire event before the Himmatnagar district court while reading out statement of complainant and victim Imran Dawood.
Dawood was attacked during his visit in India, along with his UK-based uncles – Saeed Dawood, Shakeel Dawood and Mohammed Aswat – in 2002. He said that on February 28, they were returning to their native village Lajpur, near Navsari in Gujarat, when a mob attacked them.
Saeed, Shakeel and Aswat Nallabhai and their driver Yusuf Sulaiman were burnt to death on the National Highway-8 on that day while Dawood sustained injuries in his head and thigh. He was saved by the patrolling policemen.
Kodekar narrated that the victims were travelling in a private vehicle which was halted by a mob. “They asked their names. When the victims said they were Muslims, the mob – that also included a dozen motorcylists – chased the vehicle and dragged the victims out.”
There are six accused in the case while SIT has produced 81 witnesses. However, the main three eye- witnesses, who identified the accused, have turned hostile.
Kodekar said that he has appealed the court to rely on the statement of Dawood, who is the only surviving victim in this case. “Looking at the honesty of Dawood who has identified the accused as somewhat looking like them, we have requested the court to rely on his statement.”
The next hearing of the case has been scheduled on January 12 when defence will argue its case.