Police in Gujarat’s Vadodara city have filed an FIR against Godhra train carnage convict Salim Yusuf Zarda’s brother for allegedly submitting forged solvency certificates to jail authorities to secure his release on parole, officials said on Wednesday. While the FIR under various sections related to forgery and criminal conspiracy was registered with the Raopura police station on Tuesday, the probe has now been transferred to the Vadodara city crime branch.
“I have just received the papers related to the complaint against Salim Zarda’s brother. No one has been arrested yet," Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime, Jaydeepsinh Jadeja, told PTI.Salim Zarda is one of the 31convicts serving a life sentence in the case related to the death of 59 train passengers after two coaches of Sabarmati Express were set on fire by a mob at Godhra station on February 27, 2002.
The convict, currently lodged at the Vadodara Central Prison, and ten others were given the death penalty by the special trial court in March 2011. On their appeals, the Gujarat High Court in October 2017 commuted the death sentence of the 11 convicts to life imprisonment.As per the FIR, lodged by the Raopura police on a complaint submitted by jailor NP Rathod, the HC on June 16, while hearing Salim Zarda’s plea, had ordered his release for a period of three weeks on parole.
The High Court had directed Salim Zarda’s brother Aiyub Zarda, who became the guarantor, to deposit Rs 1 lakh in cash and solvency certificates of two sureties to the jail authorities within 15 days of getting the HC order.On June 30, Aiyub Zarda, a resident of Godhra in Panchmahal district, approached the jail authorities in Vadodara and submitted solvency certificates of two sureties - Kantibhai Vasava and Iqbal Belim, according to the police.
When the jail staff sought their Aadhaar cards, Aiyub Zarda claimed the prison’s security had taken and kept these identity documents along with his mobile phone at the entry gate, they said.Though he went to get the cards from the security personnel as directed by the jail clerk, Aiyub Zarda did not return, which raised suspicion, said the FIR.
When the jail staff sent the solvency certificates to the Executive Magistrate of Godhra to check their authenticity, the latter told them the papers were forged and not issued by his office to Aiyub Zarda, the police said.On July 2, the jail authorities informed the High Court about the alleged forgery by Salim Zarda’s brother, said the FIR.