Frontline

March-April  2002 
Genocide


Ode village, Anand district

Place:
Ode village, Khambolaj police station, Anand
Witness:
Rafiq Mohammed Abdulbhai Khalifa and Rehanaben Yusufbhai Vohra.

(Two FIRs lodged with Khambolaj police station. CC has copies of FIR.)

Narrative

Twenty-six persons were burnt alive here on March 1. The complainants say that only four deaths are confirmed and the bodies of the other victims have been disposed of at some unknown location. Two FIRs have been lodged at the Khambolaj police station. The first is C.R.No.23/2002. U/s. 302, 148, 149 etc. and the name of the complainant is Rafiq Mohammed Abdulbhai Khalifa. The second FIR lodged with the Khambolaj police station is C.R.No.27/2002. The complainantís name is Rehanaben Yusufbhai Vohra. 22 accused were arrested in both cases. Two bail applications have been filed on behalf of the accused before the sessions court.

The remand application was rejected by the judicial magistrate, first class, Umreth, though the crime has been classified as not just grave but heinous. A revision for remand has been made by the police before the sessions court, Anand, in both the cases. The presiding judge is NM Thakore. During the pendency of the remand revision application, 18 accused were released on interim-bail for 8 days to celebrate the festival of Shivratri! Finally, 16 accused who were members of the unlawful assembly which committed this heinous crime of burning alive 26 persons were released on regular bail by the sessions court, Anand. This action of the lower judiciary has generated a sense of injustice and outrage.

The deceased: 26 persons were burnt alive on March 1. The complainants say that only four deaths are confirmed and the remains of the other victims have been disposed of at some unknown location.


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