Police ban broadcast of riot footage on Godhra judgement day
Ahmedabad: The city police on Saturday restricted the media from telecasting and printing the 2002 riots-related footages and photographs on February 22, the day when the court will pronounce its verdict in the Godhra train carnage that triggered large-scale communal violence nine years ago.
"The notification restricts electronic media from broadcasting 2002 riot-related file footages and also restricts print media from publishing any riot-related photographs on February 22 and 23," Joint Commissioner of Police Satish Sharma said.
"Non-compliance of the notification could lead to prosecution," he warned.
Police have also imposed Section 144 of CrPC in the city prohibiting any kind of public gatherings and rallies.
Special judge P R Patel, who presided over the trial court set up inside the high-security Sabarmati Central Jail here, will deliver the verdict in the nine-year-old incident.
With a view to maintain peace, the police have made elaborate security arrangements on the judgement day.
"Vigil shall be intensified on all the sensitive points in the city. Close to 10,000 police personnel shall be deployed, including 20 companies of SRPF (around 2,000 men) and one company of Rapid Action Force," Sharma said.
One platoon of SRPF (around 30 personnel) has been deployed at the jail, the venue where the judgement will be pronounced, and vigil shall be maintained on people visiting the prisoners, he said.
"Fifteen Police Control Room (PCR) vans will be positioned at strategic locations. Three Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) have also been deployed," he said.
Sharma appealed to the people to refrain from rumour mongering and report any trouble witnessed in their respective localities to the Police Control Room.
On February 27, 2002, 58 people, mainly karsevaks returning from Ayodhya, were burnt to death when a mob set ablaze to S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express near Godhra station, around 120 km from Ahmedabad.
The trial against 94 accused, all lodged in the jail since, began in June 2009. They have been charged with murder and criminal conspiracy.
The train burning had triggered riots across the state in which over 1,000 people, mainly from the minority community, were killed.
Similar notification of ban on broadcast of riot- related footages by electronic media has also been issued in Panchmahal district under which Godhra town falls.