Social activist and Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar was cross-examined in Ahmedabad on Tuesday by the defence lawyer in the 2002 Sabarmati Ashram assault case. The cross-examination lasted for five hours.
BJP youth wing president Amit Thakar, BJP corporator Amit Shah, president of city-based NGO National Council for Civil Liberties VK Saxena, Congress leader Rohit Patel and some BJP workers are accused in the case. In April 2002, a mob had stormed a peace meeting at Sabarmati Ashram in the aftermath of Gujarat riots and vandalised it.
Asked whether she complained to the policemen on duty as just before the attack some protesters allegedly misbehaved with her, Patkar said she did not remember.
"The peace meeting was held in April, 2002 when the situation was peaceful. Yet you (Patkar) came uninvited. Do you remember the persons who all had come to the meeting?" asked defence lawyer Ajay Choksi.
Patkar replied that she had got `a joint invitation'. She did not remember the exact number but the members of Lok Samiti, Sarvoday Mandal, Darpana Academy, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Sarvoday Samaj and PUCL were there.
The defence has claimed that the assault was only an outcome of public anger against Patkar and NBA and their activities "against" Gujarat. The cross-examination would continue on September 16 before Metropolitan Magistrate AS Desai.