Special team visits Godhra, inspects burnt coach

April 25th, 2008 - 9:53 pm ICT by admin  

Ahmedabad, April 25 (IANS) The Special Investigation Team (SIT), formed by the Supreme Court to inquire into cases of the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat, Friday visited Godhra town - where 59 Hindu activists died in a train fire, sparking off violence that went on for weeks. The five-member team led by former CBI director R.K. Raghavan inspected the railway station and the burnt coach of the Sabarmati Express, in which the Hindu activists were travelling, amid heavy police security. The team also visited Masjidya Ali mosque near the station.

Raghavan held a closed-door meeting with his team members Thursday and discussed in detail the genesis of the communal riots. Assisting Raghavan are Gujarat Indian Police Service officers Geetha Johri, Shivanand Jha and Ashish Bhatia and former Uttar Pradesh director general of police C.B. Satpathy.

The team spent about two hours in Godhra before moving to Anand in connection with “102 riot cases,” police sources said. The Godhra deputy superintendent of police accompanied the team.

As many as 151 towns and 993 villages in 16 of Gujarat’s 25 districts were affected by the post-Godhra riots.

Next on the SIT’s agenda is reinvestigation of the riots that took place Naroda Patiya, Gulbarg Society, Visnagar-Mehsana and nine murders.

The apex court appointed the SIT following petitions for reinvestigating the cases of communal carnage that broke out after the burning of two coaches of the Sabarmati Express. At least 1,000 people were killed in the violence that went on for weeks.

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