Police ban broadcast of riot footage on Godhra judgement day

Ahmedabad, Feb 19 (PTI) The city police today restrictedthe media from telecasting and printing the 2002 riots-relatedfootages and photographs on February 22, the day when thecourt will pronounce its verdict in the Godhra train carnagethat triggered large-scale communal violence nine years ago.

"The notification restricts electronic media frombroadcasting 2002 riot-related file footages and alsorestricts print media from publishing any riot-relatedphotographs on February 22 and 23," Joint Commissioner ofPolice Satish Sharma said.

"Non-compliance of the notification could lead toprosecution," he warned.

Police have also imposed Section 144 of CrPC in the cityprohibiting any kind of public gatherings and rallies.

Special judge P R Patel, who presided over the trialcourt set up inside the high-security Sabarmati Central Jailhere, will deliver the verdict in the nine-year-old incident.

With a view to maintain peace, the police have madeelaborate security arrangements on the judgement day.

"Vigil shall be intensified on all the sensitive pointsin the city. Close to 10,000 police personnel shall bedeployed, including 20 companies of SRPF (around 2,000 men)and one company of Rapid Action Force," Sharma said.

One platoon of SRPF (around 30 personnel) has beendeployed at the jail, the venue where the judgement will bepronounced, and vigil shall be maintained on people visitingthe prisoners, he said.

"Fifteen Police Control Room (PCR) vans will bepositioned at strategic locations. Three Quick Reaction Teams(QRTs) have also been deployed," he said.

Sharma appealed to the people to refrain from rumourmongering and report any trouble witnessed in their respectivelocalities to the Police Control Room.

On February 27, 2002, 58 people, mainly karsevaksreturning from Ayodhya, were burnt to death when a mob setablaze to S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express near Godhra station,around 120 km from Ahmedabad.

The trial against 94 accused, all lodged in the jailsince, began in June 2009. They have been charged with murderand criminal conspiracy.

The train burning had triggered riots across the statein which over 1,000 people, mainly from the minoritycommunity, were killed.

Similar notification of ban on broadcast of riot-related footages by electronic media has also been issued inPanchmahal district under which Godhra town falls.

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