SIT Knew About Pandya's Statement on Modi: Setalvad

SIT Knew About Pandya's Statement on Modi: Setalvad
The special investigation team was aware of the audio recording of the statement of former Gujarat minister Haren Pandya on Chief Minister Narendra Modi's "complacency" in 2002 riots, but never asked for it, social activist Teesta Setalvad alleged today.

In 2002, a People's Tribunal headed by retd Justice Krishna Iyer and comprising of retired justices Hosbet Suresh and P B Sawant and other members had audio recorded statement of Pandya on the alleged instructions given by Modi during his late evening meeting at his residence on February 27, 2002.

"In my statement before the SIT, I had told them about the audio recorded statement of Pandya, but they have never asked for it from us," Setalvad told reporters on sidelines of an event organised by her NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace (CJP) on the 10th anniversary of Godhra riots.

"It is a legal document, so SIT has to summon it from us. We cannot give it to SIT on our own," she said.

Earlier, Justice Suresh who was present during the event told media persons, that Pandya had made the statement before the People's Tribunal on the condition of confidentiality.

"What he said was very important. When asked why there was no police action during the riots, Pandya had said that in the meeting of February 27, 2002 Modi had asked the police not to take action against the agitators. We had recorded audio of this statement during our probe," Suresh claimed.

He further said that the panel's report had also indicted Pandya for fueling communal violence.

Suresh further said that the tribunal after recording over 2000 statements from various parts of Gujarat has submitted all the records to the CJP, which is the present custodian of it.

Pandya, a former minister of state in Gujarat's BJP government, was shot dead on March 26, 2003, near Law Garden area of the city when he had gone for a morning walk.
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