Ensure protection of Guj riots witness: Setalvad to SIT

Social activist Teesta Setalvad met SIT Chief R K Raghavan to discuss witness protection that would arise once the trial begin in fast track courts.

Written by Agencies | Ahmedabad | Published: May 6, 2009 2:50:06 pm

Social activist Teesta Setalvad on Wednesday met Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) Chief R K Raghavan to discuss witness protection and other logistical issues that would arise once the trial in the riot cases begin in fast track courts.

“I met Raghavan today to discuss mainly the security of the witnesses in different cases that will go to trial in fast track courts as directed by the Supreme Court,” Setalvad said.

“Our main concern is the protection of witnesses in various cases like Gulburg Society,Ode,Sardarpura and Deepda Darwaja (being probed by the SIT),” she said.

“We have requested the SIT to ensure the safety of all the witnesses in the cases. Raghavan said that they are in the process of forming a witnesses protection plan and have also asked us to give our suggestions in a couple of days,” Setalvad added.

She said they have requested Raghavan to assign a nodal officer from his team to deal with complaints once the trial starts.

“Our other concern was that we wanted a local SIT officer whom we can contact,in case there is any threat to witnesses. We have been assured that a nodal officer will be assigned soon,” Setalvad said.

Raghavan is in Gujarat for the first time after Supreme Court gave SIT sweeping powers to overlook the trials of the important riots cases of 2002 and also gave order to investigate the role of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 63 others in Gulbarg society riot case.

Setalvad and Zakia Jaffery,wife of slain Congress ex-MP Ehsan Jaffery,who was killed during 2002 riots,are co-petitioners in the case based on which the SC has ordered SIT to probe within three months if Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi,his cabinet colleagues,police officials and senior bureaucrats had aided and abetted post-Godhra killings.

Name of one of the SIT members Shivanand Jha,who was the Joint Commissioner of Police (JCP) here during riots seven years ago,is in the list of people whose role are to be probed.

Setalvad said that though she has not made any representation against Jha before the SIT chief,she has given them papers related to the case.

“We have given documents related to Zakia Jaffery’s case to Raghavan. Documents presentd by us in Gujarat High Court and the Supreme Court have been given,” she said.

Setalvad met Raghavan at SIT office in Gandhinagar.

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