//VHP leader was in touch with Modi's office during riots

VHP leader was in touch with Modi's office during riots

Ahmedabad : Senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Jaideep Patel was in constant touch with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s office during the Godhra riots in the state, an affidavit filed by lawyer Mukul Sinha Wednesday before G.T. Nanavati Commission probing the 2002 riots said. Sinha, the counsel for riot victims, said that Patel, an accused in Naroda Gam rioting case, was in constant touch with Modi’s office Feb 28, 2002. At least 1,180 people were killed in the violence sparked by the burning of a train bogie at Godhra Feb 27, 2002.

The one-member G.T. Nanavati commission, which started hearing the affidavits filed by the Gujarat government and lawyers representing the riot victims Wednesday after the Lok Sabha polls, had an hour-long session here hearing arguments of both sides.

The state government’s representative then asked for permission to allow the state advocate general Kamal Trivedi to appear personally before the commission during the next hearing to put forth the government’s reply on the affidavits filed on behalf of the victims.

The commission fixed June 22 as the next date of hearing.

The Gujarat government had constituted the probe commission in March 2002 to probe the post-Godhra riots. The first report submitted to the Gujarat government Sep 18, 2008 stated that the burning of the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express was a “pre-planned” conspiracy.

The commission, since 2002, has already examined more than 1,000 witnesses.