As the camera lenses were set on some of the high-profile accused,lawyers and police officers,very few people could recognise a face which was known to almost every officer involved in the proceedings in the Godhra train burning case.
Sub-Inspector Ramesh Patel,now posted at the Prevention of Crime Branch at the Vadodara police Commissionerate,had together with Sub-Inspector Mohan Varia from the Vadodara Rural Local Crime Branch,taken up the challenging work of documenting the entire case. Varia had retired in 2006 and spends time at home.
Varia said: I was called up by DySP Noel Parmar,who was with Vadodara Rural Police when I was a writer. He was aware of the fact that I had secured conviction of the accused in 90 per cent of the cases I had compiled and knew that my paper work was perfect. So,when he was given the charge,he immediately got in touch with me and asked me to get ready for this challenging role. He wrote to the Director General of Police and I was immediately called on deputation, said Varia.
He added: There were heaps of papers,but to make it convenient we had divided them into different categories and for each accused there was a specific system through which it was made easier to get all the relevant information.
Ramesh Patel said: We had close to 3,000 pages of different documents,excluding the chargesheets,and it was a Herculean task to manage them and get the right document at the right time. We have even laminated some of the documents which are examined extensively so that they don’t get soiled and the weight of those documents itself is close to 50 kg. I still remember that once the judge had asked for the typed copy of the documents and for six days we worked round the clock.
Varia and Patel are happy that 31 of the total accused have been convicted. The judgment gave us a sense of satisfaction. I know each and every date of the case,each and every accused arrested and their statement by heart and I am ready to work with equal zeal, Patel added.
J R Tiwari,In-charge DCP ,CID Intelligence,Vadodara Region,said: These two officers have set an example for the young recruits. Both Patel and Varia played a pivotal role in the case by writing down thousands of pages and that too not on computer but with pens. It was not an easy job; they had to spent countless nights in preparing those documents later used during the arguments in the court.
As the LCB Inspector at Western Railways,Vadodara,Tiwari himself had neatly prepared a large number of documents related to the case.