29/06/2017 10:20 AM IST | Updated 29/06/2017 10:44 AM IST

Was Asked To Hand Over Kar Sevak's Bodies To VHP Leader, Former Godhra Official Tells Court: Reports

The VHP leader in question is also an accused in the Naroda Patiya case.

STR New / Reuters

In the latest revelation in the 2002 Naroda Gam case, then executive magistrate, appearing before a court hearing the case, has said that he was asked by his seniors to hand over bodies of kar sevaks to a VHP leader.

The Indian Express reports that ML Nalvaya, who is now the sub-divisional magistrate in Dahod, told the court that he after visiting the spot where the Sabarmati Coach was set ablaze and examining the bodies, he wrote a letter, under orders from his seniors, for the bodies to be handed over to Jaideep Patel at the Sola Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad.

Nalvaya made the statement on Wednesday.

Fifty-nine people had died in a fire in the Sabarmati Express near the Godhra Railway station.

Then Vishwa Hindu Parishad State general secretary, Patel is an accused in the 2002 Naroda Patya massacre case.

The Indian Express reported Nalvaya as saying that Patel had not signed the letter. He said that he did not know Patel and had never met him.

Outlook, meanwhile, reported Nalvaya as saying that he handed over the bodies of 54 victims to Patel in Godhra on February 27.

After the investigations in the case, amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran had observed that instruction for the bodies to be handed over to Patel must have come from someone in a very high position, but the SIT had rejected these observations.

The Hindu had reported in 2012 that the SIT had observed that Nalvaya, "erroneously" prepared the handing over papers in Patel's name and had ordered action against him.

The newspaper had also reported the SIT as saying that Patel was not allowed to travel with the police when the bodies were taken in five trucks from Godhra to Ahmedabad and they were handed over to the police at the Sola civil hospital.

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