Godhra panel gets extension, Nanavati hopes to wrap up by April

December 20th, 2008 - 10:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Dec 20 (IANS) Justice G.T. Nanavati, who is heading a commission probing the Godhra train burning tragedy and the ensuing communal violence in 2002, Saturday said the final report was likely to be completed by March or April, as the Gujarat government granted the panel a one-year extension.”With the Gujarat government giving a one-year extension (to the inquiry commission), I hope to finish my work by March or April,” Nanavati told IANS.

He said the inquiry now would relate to the violence in the state and the role of the police after the Feb 27, 2002 tragedy in Godhra.

“Probing the role of the police may take extra time as the policemen defending themselves may go to court. Delay is likely and my work therefore may extend beyond March/April,” the jurist said.

He, however, added that he had the cooperation of all and hoped the inquiry would not drag on until the end of the term.

the state government Saturday gave a one-year extension to the Justice Nanavati and Justice Akshay Mehta Commission.

The panel, after submitting the first part of its report in September, had sought more time to submit the second part.

This is the 11th extension for the commission after it was constituted by the state government in March 2002.

The first part of the report had created a controversy after it gave a clean chit to Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

It also said said the Godhra carnage was pre-meditated and not spontaneous - contrary to the findings of a committee appointed by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad.

The train burning claimed 59 lives, leading to one of the worst instances of communal violence in India in recent years.

The two-member panel has so far examined over 1,000 witnesses over six years.

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