SIT arrests 8 key accused in Sardarpura massacre case

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Ahmedabad, May 26 (UNI) Eight key accused in the Sardarpura carnage case were arrested today by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), formed by the Supreme Court to reinvestigate into ten major cases of the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat.

It is alleged that 33 people, including 11 members of one family, were burnt alive by a mob, in a communal frenzy, at Sardarpura village in Mehsana District, on the night of March 1, 2002, as a backlash of the burning of 58 Hindu Karsevaks in the Sabarmati Express, on February 27, 2002.

In the FIR, the police had named nearly 90 persons, but only 28 were arrested. However, these 28, including the eight key accused, were released on bail later.

Those re-arrested by the SIT are Joitaram Patel, Natwar Patel, Ashwin Patel, Baldev Patel, Kanu Patel, Daya Patel, Ramesh Patel, and Babu Patel.

The five-member team, led by former CBI director R K Raghavan, have so far reinvestigated several cases, including that of the Gulburg Society, where former Congress MP Ehsan Jaffri, along with 38 others, was killed six years ago.

The team also comprises three Gujarat IPS officers Geetha Johri, Shivanand Jha and Ashish Bhatia and C B Satpathy, former director general of the Uttar Pradesh police.

The SIT has to submit its report within three months to the Supreme Court.

The appointment of the SIT followed petitions in the apex court for reinvestigation of the cases of the communal carnage that broke out, following the burning of Hindu activists in a coach of the Sabarmati Express at Godhra February 27, 2002.

UNI MP SR SBC HS2237

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