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The Supreme Court was told by the Maharashtra government Tuesday that it was making its senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer K. Venkateshan available to the Special Investigating Team (SIT) probing the 2002 post-Godhra riot cases.

The court was told that the state government has already written to the union home ministry about it.

An apex court bench of Justice D.K. Jain, Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Aftab Alam was told that Venkateshan would be relieved shortly.

When the court asked if relieving Venkateshan could be expedited within a week, state government counsel Sanjay Kardia said that the officer would be available to SIT within the said period.

Venkateshan is currently posted as inspector general of police (IGP) in the Office of Maharashtra police chief.

The SIT is an apex court appointed investigating team that probing the Godhra and post-Godhra riot cases. It needed two senior ranking officers after Gujarat cadre IPS officers Geetha Johri and Shivanand Jha were moved out of the probe panel by the apex court.

A senior Assam cadre IPS officer Y.K. Modi has already joined the SIT.

During the course of the last hearing of the matter, the SIT chairman and former CBI director R.K. Raghavan told the court that Maharashtra government was not willing to release Venkateshan for the SIT.

Thereafter, the apex court issued notice to the Maharashtra government on this issue.


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