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Godhra: Minister was unhappy with ratio of deaths

Source: PTI
November 02, 2004 10:22 IST
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A former Bhavnagar district superintendent of police on Saturday told the Godhra Commission that the then minister of state for home Gordhan Jhadafiya had told him that the 'ratio of the death figures in police firing was not good'.

Deposing before Justice G T Nanavati and Justice K G Shah, Rahul Sharma said he had received a phone call on March 16, 2002 from Jhadafiya, wherein the latter said, "You are doing a good job. But the ratio of the death figures in police firing is not good."

When asked by advocate Mukul Sinha what he understood from the statement, Sharma first gave the break up of those who died in police firing: six persons died of which five were Hindus and one Muslim.

"I presume that he (Jhadafiya) was referring to this ratio," the official said.

On being asked as to what he replied to the MoS (Home), Sharma said, "I told him that it would depend on the constitution of the crowd at which the firing was resorted to."

Narrating another incident that occurred on March 23, 2002 when a violent crowd had attacked a madrassa in Bhavnagar town and 21 persons were arrested in this connection, Sharma said there was heavy public pressure to release these persons and even a local inspector and the Deputy SP had reportedly assured that they would be released by evening.

"However, I learnt of this and made it very clear to the accused persons that they would not be released and even if they were granted bail by the court they would be placed under preventive arrest," Sharma said.

Sharma, at present serving as SP with the CBI in Gandhinagar, also described how the locals provoked women to gherao (picket) the division police station for the release of these persons.

"Then I passed specific instructions on the loudspeaker that police should take whatever required action in spite of women gheraoeing the police station," he said adding it caused the crowd to disperse.

Sharma said the then Range Inspector General and Director General of Police had sought a report about this particular incident and indirectly expressed their unhappiness over the arrests of local leaders.
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