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Erda, ex-Dy SP arrested for role in 2002 Gujarat riots

Feb 10, 2009 05:04 PM IST India India

New Delhi: K G Erda, the police officer who had been accused of being involved in the year 2002 communal riots has been arrested.

The officer had been accused of indulging in violence at the Gulbarg society in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

But he wasn't the only cop involved and people demand to know if there are others who are still at large.

Erda was the first police officer to be arrested by the SIT investigating the 2002 Gujarat riots. Erda was a Deputy Superintendent of Police with the Gujarat police.

He has been arrested on charges of dereliction of duty and for tampering of evidence. Survivors allege that Erda not only allowed the Gulbarga society killings to happen but also helped rioters to burn the dead bodies.
Saeed Khan Pathan, a survivor from the alleged massacre said, “There were dead bodies lying all over but they could be recognized. Erda supervised the burning of all the dead bodies.”

As many as 39 people including a former Congress MP Ehsan Jaffri were killed and 31 went missing in the massacre at Gulbarga society in Ahmedabad.

Surviviors say not even higher police officials tried to save them. P C Pande, who was then the Ahmedabad city police commissioner is now state DGP.

Imtiyaz Pathan, another survivor said, “M K Tandon is also responsible. So is P C Pande. In fact, the entire political leadership and police were hand in glove.”

Retired DGP R B Sreekumar who was allegedly victimised for criticizing the Gujarat government’s handling of the communal riots, said that the SIT needs to do much more.

“This is a miniscule action and only the tip of the iceberg. There is a need to go beyond the bureaucracy. One needs to go up to the political leadership to go to the root of this conspiracy,” Sreekumar said.

Clearly, K G Erda was not the only police officer responsible for destroying evidence at Gulbarg society.