Guj HC admits petition by terminated policemen in Godhra case

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Ahmedabad, Oct 23 (UNI) The Gujarat High Court today admitted a writ petition filed by five policemen, whose services were terminated by the government on the ground that they were negligent in performing their duty as Mobile Police Squad of the Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002.

Justice K S Jhaveri admitted the writ petition filed by Jabir Shaikh, Kishor Pattani, Kishor Devani, Rasikbhai Rajabhai and Gulabsinh Devusinh. The High Court admitted the petition and fixed it for final hearing along with another similar petitions filed by several other policemen.

While terminating the five policemen from the service, the government had alleged that these policemen were to travel by the Sabarmati Express as part of a Mobile Police Squad. Instead, they travelled by another train, Shanti Express, due to which there was no police protection available to the 'kar sevaks' who were travelling by the Sabarmati Express on that day.

The government had specifically alleged that the burning of the Sabarmati Express could have been easily prevented had these policemen were present on the train, as the incident was of ordinary nature.

Advocate Mukul Sinha, representing the policemen, today submitted in the petition that as part of a Mobile Police Squad, they had travelled to Dahod from Ahmedabad on the earlier day. They had reached there at the midnight of February 26, 2002. The Sabarmati Express was reportedly running late and later the train was indefinitely delayed.

As per their regular practice, they had, therefore, travelled back by the Shanti Express as they were once again required to report for duty the next day at Ahmedabad at 1800 hrs.

The petition also stated that they were not given any instruction or information regarding the travel of the 'kar sevaks' by one Sabarmati Express or any apprehended danger to the 'kar sevaks'.

In fact, no higher officer had given them any message and therefore they could not be held responsible for the alleged negligence of the event of which they had no Information. It was urged that no evidence whatsoever was led in the enquiry to establish deliberate burning of S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express by any person as a result of any conspiracy, it alleged.

UNI PVN SSS GT SB KP1536

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