Manas Dasgupta

Directive to two firms for verification of CDs

It asks for fresh copies of the CDs for the specified 40 names

Next hearing of the Commission fixed for October 11

AHMEDABAD: The G. T. Nanavati and K. G. Shah Judicial Enquiry Commission probing the Godhra train carnage and the post-Godhra communal riots in Gujarat in 2002, has asked two mobile phone companies to submit the list of calls made to and from 40 numbers held by some prominent persons, including Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The order was issued on Saturday to the then Cell Force and AT&T companies, whose names have since changed, to submit within a week the details of the calls made during the riot period.

The list of names included Mr. Modi, the then Minister of State for Home, Gordhan Jhadafiya, and some other Ministers, the then Director-General of Police, the Ahmedabad Police Commissioner, some BJP and the Vishwa Hindu parishad leaders and a few others.

The names were by and large the same as earlier analysed by the Jansangharsha Manch, which represents the riot victims, on the basis of the two CDs made by the former police crime branch official, Rahul Sharma.

The Commission asked for the fresh copies of the CDs for the specified 40 names after government pleader Arvind Pandya doubted the authenticity of the CDs on which the Manch advocate, Mukul Sinha, has submitted details of the analysis alleging collusion of some senior political leaders and police officials with the rioters.

Summon Modi call

Dr. Sinha also demanded summoning of Mr. Modi and others before the Commission for cross-examination on the strength of his analysis showing proximity of these leaders with the sites of major carnage, particularly Naroda-Patiya and Gulberg Society, where Muslims were burnt alive.

Before the Commission issued the order, Mr. Justice Shah, however, raised some doubts about the utility of the CDs since it contained only the list of the numbers called and not the conversation between the callers.

Dr. Sinha pointed out that the locations of the mobile phone holders and the frequency of the numbers called could raise reasonable doubts about what could have transpired during the conversation. He recalled the analysis of the CDs submitted by him to raise a question as to why the then Minister of State for Home spoke 20 times with a riot accused, Bipin Panchal, on the day when the Muslim housing societies were attacked by mobs.

The next hearing has been fixed for October 11 when it was expected to pass orders on the authenticity of the CDs and Dr. Sinha’s demand for summoning Mr. Modi and others.

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