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Gulbarg charge-sheet filed 

AHMEDABAD: The city Crime Branch on Monday filed charge-sheets in the Gulbarg Society massacre of February 28, in which former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was killed along with 38 others. 

The charge-sheet in the Naroda-Patia case was filed shortly thereafter. They added that some ringleaders of the mobs in both Gulbarg and Naroda-Patia were common. 

Police said the charge-sheet included the FSL report of the gun used by Jafri when he fired at the mob in self-defence. A report on charred bodies recovered from the site also drawn up by FSL and another on contents of the near-empty cannisters recovered from the site were the other submissions made by the police along with the chargesheet. 

The chargesheet also mentions valuables like gold ornaments recovered from Jafri's residence. This is included in a list of goods and personal effects recovered from Gulbarg Society in the aftermath of the massacre.
Choosing Monday to file charge-sheets in the highly sensitive case was no happenstance, given that the 90-day deadline since the first arrest was to expire at the end of the day. Police sources said if the charge-sheet had not been filed, the 25 who had been arrested and the 25 others who are absconding, could have got bail. 

The 50 persons who were charge-sheeted have been accused of murder, rape, arson, looting, criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly and attack on police. 

The charge-sheet, submitted before a metropolitan court on Monday morning, also includes post-mortem notes of 39 bodies and injury reports of the victims. "The case is water-tight. With so many eye-witnesses giving their statements before the Crime Branch ever since this department took over the riot investigations on May 1, the accused look destined for the gallows," police officials said.

The investigators have recorded the statements of no less than 360 eye-witnesses in the Gulbarg Society case. Sources said though attempts were made to file the charge-sheet in the Naroda-Patia case on Monday as well, lengthy documentation necessary for the charge-sheeting delayed the process by a day. 

Twenty-eight people have been arrested in the Naroda-Patia case. The last date for filing a charge-sheet in the Naroda-Patia case is Wednesday.

Crime Branch officials also set a record of sorts on Monday. Sources said in order to complete formalities required to file charge-sheets in the Gulbarg Society case, it had to get no less than 1.2 lakh documents (mostly statements of eye-witnesses, names of accused and charges against the latter) photocopied.

A number of Crime Branch clerical staff were set aside to complete this task on time. The two charge-sheets also include a couple of maps that depict the layout of the scene of crime, the route taken by the mobs to attack Gulbarg Society and the exact locations where residents, houses and vehicles were burnt during the communal flare-up.

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