The witnesses in the Naroda killings,who have deposed before various investigating agencies stating that they saw both the accused Maya Kodnani and Jaydeep Patel instigating the rioters,said today that their faith in the judiciary had been restored after Justice D H Waghela of the Gujarat High Court cancelled the duos anticipatory bail.
Before this,I found it very difficult to get justice in this state. However,Justice Waghelas judgment has given us some confidence that we will get justice, said Dildar Saiyed from Jawahar Nagar in Naroda Patiya,one of the key witnesses to the Naroda Patiya killings.
I was shocked when the lower court granted anticipatory bail to Kodnani and Patel. I had come to the conclusion that we are not going to get justice, he added.
In a report in The Indian Express on March 9,Saiyed had alleged that he was being lured by Kodnanis supporters to change his statement and absolve her from the case. Kodnanis lawyers had taken strong objection to the report in the High Court.
Another witness to the case,Salim Shaikh,echoed Saiyeds sentiments. Ek tarah se nyay ki kiran nazar aa rahi hain (We have sensed a ray of hope), he said. Ab lag raha hain ki nyay mil payega (Now we feel that we may get justice), he added.
However,like Saiyed,Shaikh also fears that supporters of Kodnani and Patel may attack them. If the mobs supported by Kodnani and Patel can attack our locality and kill so many people,they can carry out a similar attack now also. Fearing this,we are also going to give an application to the Commissioner of Police, said Shaikh.
Another witness,Siddiq Mansuri,who has stated before the SIT that he saw Kodnani instigating the mob and even distributing inflammable material among rioters,said,I am feeling satisfied. Ultimately,they (Kodnani and Patel) must have realised that there is such a thing as law. We are happy and feel grateful to the Supreme Court of India which has set up the SIT to re-investigate the 2002 riots cases.
Mansuri added that the SIT should further investigate the case and interrogate the two leaders to know more details of the entire conspiracy.