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Published in the 16-30 Nov 2004 print edition of MG; send
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Zahira Shaikh episode
The latest U turn by Zahira Shiekh on the eve of her crucial witness in the Mumbai court speaks volumes about the type of pressures working on her. It is a travesty of justice that we have to transfer the case to another state because of the prevailing intimidating situation in Gujarat. It is time that Zahira is left alone. No democracy can sustain unless justice is done and also seen to be done.
In case of Gujarat in addition to Best Bakery there are hundreds of other cases, which require to be looked at. Supreme court suo motto should take cognizance of these and go to the depth of the reasons of witnesses turning hostile, else this flip flop will not only delay the deliverance of justice but will also make the mockery of the whole process.
It is one of the greatest tragedies of communal riots that in these riots innocents get killed and the guilty get away without any punishment. This has been the fate of most of the earlier riots. We have to wake up to modify our laws in such a way that the political authorities in state should be made culpable for these crimes, and the process of justice is spruced up.
Ram Puniyani, Mumbai email@example.com
Supreme Court should order arrest and lie-detector test for key-witness Zahira Shiekh to notorious Best Bakery case of post-Godhra incidents of Gujarat because this lady has been befooling nation and its people together with complete judicial and law-enforcing system of the country by regular change of her statements. She must not be allowed to make mockery of the process by accusing different persons in her different statements. It is a well known fact that Zahira Sheikh is now very adequately secured not only in strict supervision of the Apex Court but also by most effective media vigil. Probe should also be done if money plays some role in changing statements of riot-witnesses of Gujarat. Non-government organisations (NGOs) are regularly losing their creditability by proving them to be publicity-oriented by attracting media-attention. Government-funding to NGOs should be totally banned also because of misuse of funds by their office-bearers. Even apart from Zahira Sheikh, other riot-victims of Gujarat have blamed such NGOs for misusing victims according to their selfish motives.
Subhash C Agarwal, Delhi firstname.lastname@example.org
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