Key witness in this case, Imtiyazkhan Pathan and four other witnesses have sought withdrawal of security cover on the ground that Setalvad, her former aide Rais Khan, the lawyers and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri's widow Zakia and son Tanvir have never faced threat. Moreover, Zakia and Tanvir are not eye witnesses to the case, and there is no point in extending such heavy security cover to them.
Pathan is the only witness that has implicated Modi during the trial of 2002 riots cases. He told the court that when Jafri called Modi for help, the later abused him on phone and did not send any help when the colony in Chamanpura area was surrounded by rioters. Sixty-nine persons including nine persons from Pathan's family lost their lives in this massacre. He identified 23 accused persons during the trial.
In his application, a copy of which is also sent to the Union Home Ministry and the Supreme Court-appointed SIT and Gujarat chief minister, Pathan has alleged that the social activists throw around their weight with the CISF cover with them. He has asserted that the eye witnesses like him are required to be given CISF cover. When contacted, Pathan told TOI, "The witnesses are guarded by a constable and three constables work to protect them in three shifts. But in most of the cases, the policemen spend hardly a few hours with witnesses, and leave them exposed to danger."
Another signatory in this application, Firozkhan Pathan cited example of Nadeem Saiyed, who was a witness in the Naroda Patia massacre case. "He was given security of one constable, but the guards usually stayed with him during day time. When he was assaulted and killed in the open, no guard was present to protect him. The reason behind assault on Nadeem could be different though," he said.
Few witnesses in the Gulbarg Society case and Setalvad fell apart fall apart after Setalvad's NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) kicked out Rais Khan in 2008. Last year, they lodged an FIR against Setalvad, her husband and office bearers of the society accusing them of duping them by giving false promise to purchase the society land to construct a museum of conflict.
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