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Published in the 1-15 Jan 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Submit status report on British nationals’ killing in Gujarat: SC

New Delhi: The apex court has directed the Central and Gujarat governments to submit status report on the killing of two British nationals during the state-sponsored, anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat last year. The apex court reportedly acted on the petition which sought a CBI [Central Bureau of Investigation] probe into the killings.

The petition filed by Imran Mohamad Salim Dawood, a British national who escaped the communal assault with stab injuries, pleaded that the case be transferred outside Gujarat as "a fair trial was not possible in the state".

Charging the state police with malafide intentions and shielding the culprits from being punished, Imran said that the police report had shown two of the victims as missing in spite of the fact that their remains were recovered from a filed and DNA test reports had confirmed their identity. Statements of eyewitnesses too were not recorded by the police.

Three British nationals besides two other persons were burnt alive along with their vehicle by a Hindu mob at Vadwasa in Gujarat on 28 February 2002.

A bench comprising Chief Justice V N Khare, Justices S B Sinha and S H Kapadia asked the two governments to file their affidavits in response to the petition by January 16 next year. The bench also directed the Gujarat government to provide a status report detailing the number of accused in all the riot cases, the court orders granting bail to the accused and the investigations and the trials.

MG News Desk

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