Court orders 3-day remand to 8 accused in Sardarpura massacre case

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Ahmedabad, May 27 (UNI) A local court today ordered 3-day police remand of all the eight key accused in the Sardarpura massacre case, pertaining to the post-Godhra riots of 2002.

The eight key accused were arrested yesterday by The Special Investigation Team (SIT), formed on orders of the Supreme Court to reinvestigate 10 major cases of the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat, from Sardarpura village of Mehsana District for their alleged involvement in killing of 33 members, including 11 members of one family, on night of March 1-2, 2002.

The SIT had demanded 10-days police remand for the accused but the court granted only three-days' remand.

The eight accused were part of a huge mob which burnt alive 33 people in a communal frenzy as a backlash of burning of 58 Hindu Karsevak in Sarbarmati Express on February 27, 2002.

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

Those re-arrested by the SIT are Joitaram Patel (39), Natwar Patel (38), Ashwin Patel (40), Baldev Patel (40), Kanu Patel (38), Daya Patel (43), Ramesh K Patel(35), and Babu Patel (42).

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 on February 27, 2002.

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