Some of the residents claimed a group of people owing allegiance to the accused visited their locality late Wednesday night and threatened them with dire consequences if the court gave harsh punishment to those found guilty.
On Thursday, women stayed indoors while the menfolk huddled outside their houses in small groups.
Sharifabanu Iqbal Sheikh, a resident, said, “Local politicians have threatened us that if harsh punishment is awarded to their leaders, we will have to face the wrath.”
Pesh Imam at local Noorani Masjid, Maulana Shamshuddin Sheikh, said, “After the evening namaaz, movements of other community members had increased. In the night, Patiya residents come to us to discuss the threat.”
The Iman said he was not expecting a a huge crowd that usually comes on Friday since Muslims in neighbourhood were scared.
Babu Ahmed Hussain, who owns a pan shop outside Noorani Masjid, said, “After the judgment on Wednesday, members of a particular community from the neighbourhood started taking rounds of Patiya. We fear their activities after the sentences are pronounced on Friday.”
Those running small shops inside Patiya were sitting without customers on Thursday in the otherwise bustling area.
Farooq Mansuri, who owns a grocery shop, said he had not kept much stock in his shop lest it’s torched again if violence broke out.
Salim Sheikh, an old resident of Patiya, said, “The accused who have been keeping a tab on us even know the houses we have got in the resettlement colonies. Even if we go there to hide, they would come after us. So, we would rather stay back here, like we stuck to our ancestral homes for the last 30 years in Patiya.”
Late Wednesday night, locals got together at a local school and decided to patrol the area in shifts.
The police, meanwhile, claimed they are probing the alleged threats.
Convict at large, cops pick up his ‘surety’
The police have picked up Bhikhabhai Parmar, who had furnished the surety for absconding Naroda Patiya massacre accused Suresh alias Sehjad Danubhai Netalkar against whom the special court has issued a non-bailable warrant.
According to public prosecutor Gaurang Vyas, the court warned Parmar and two advocates to bring Netalkar on Friday or face legal action. Netalkar was convicted by the court on Wednesday.
Give all documents to Zakia: Court to SIT
A local court on Thursday directed the SIT, which probed the complaint against Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others with regard to their alleged roles in 2002 riots, to furnish “complete and legible copies” of the documents to Zakia Jafri, the complainant in the case.
“SIT is directed to furnish the complete and legible copies of the documents, which it submitted with the (closure) report, to the complainant by September 7,” Metropolitan Magistrate B J Ganatra said in his order on Jafri’s plea.
The court also directed SIT to file a detailed affidavit on the issue of documents it had collected during the probe.
Following the probe-closure report filed in February by SIT, Jafri, whose husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri died in the riots, was provided with copies of final report and other documents including statements of witnesses, running into over 20,000 pages.
Jafri then filed an application, saying that several of the documents were illegible.
Bandh in Naroda Patiya today
AHMEDABAD: Various Sindhi market associations have called for a bandh in Naroda, Patiya, Kubernagar, Panch Kuva Sindhi Market and Revdi Bazar on Friday in protest against the verdict in Naroda Patiya riots case, in which Naroda MLA Maya Kodnani has been found guilty. They have asked all the shopkeepers in the areas to down their shutters to show their solidarity with Kodnani.