Plea for probe into alleged Godhra mass burial dismissed

NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court Thursday dismissed a plea for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into allegations that the Gujarat government had secretly buried 22 minority community members in Godhra, killed during the 2002 communal riots.

A bench of Justices B.N. Agrawal and J.M. Panchal dimissed the plea saying that it was “too late” to order a probe.

“After how many years have you come? Its seven years,” the bench said while dismissing the lawsuit filed by Ammenabi Habib Rasool, a family member of one of the riot victims.

Rasool had claimed that over 100 Muslims had been hacked to death by mobs March 1, 2002, at Pandharwada and Limadiya Chowky area in Godhra district during the riots.

Out of those killed, 22 had been buried by the state machinery secretly in a mass grave, Rasool alleged in his petition.

Rasool had sought a CBI probe to identify and prosecute the police and other officials responsible for the alleged secret mass burial.

Rasool also sought the apex court direction to the state government to exhume the bodies from the secret graves and hand over the skeletal remains to their relatives.

The court asked Rasool to rather go to a lower court which had already given the same direction to the state government in December 2008 to hand over the skeletal remains of the bodies to family members.

“You are not remedyless. Why do you want to come to this court? You can go to the trial court for your relief,” the bench said.

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