SIT files charge sheets against Kodnani, Patel (Lead)

May 1st, 2009 - 9:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, May 1 (IANS) The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) Friday filed a 300-page charge sheet against 24 people, including former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Jaideep Patel, for their role in the 2002 communal violence, officials said here.
Kodnani, who had to step down as minister of state for women’s welfare and higher education, and Patel face charges of abetting communal violence in Naroda on the outskirts of the city Feb 28, 2002.

The charge sheets were filed hours after the Supreme Court asked the SIT to help set up fast-track courts for speedy trial of key cases of violence.

“Both Kodnani and Patel were informed in Sabarmati jail today (Friday) that the SIT has filed a chargesheet against both,” a senior police official in the jail department told IANS.

He said that the former minister and VHP leader may have to spend more time in jail and even go through some more rounds of questioning by the SIT if required.

Kodnani’s bail application is pending before the Gujarat High Court.

The five-member SIT comprises former Central Bureau of Investigation chief R.K. Raghavan, former Uttar Pradesh director general of police C.B. Sathpathy, and senior serving police officers of the Gujarat state Gita Johri, Shivanand Jha and Asish Bhatia.

A senior SIT official said that the team is investigating nine major rioting cases including the carnages at Naroda Patia and Gulbarg Society.

The SIT was constituted by the Supreme Court in March 2008 to re-investigate 14 rioting cases after the Godhra communal clashes.

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