Gujarat Riots 2002 Cell Phone Records – Does the Physics hold up

It is worth paying attention to the time horizon and the distances travelled as claimed in the analysis of the Gujarat 2002 Riots Cellphone Records. Let us take for example The Indian Express reporting on the movements of Joint commissioner of police (sector II), Ahmedabad, M K Tandon.

Feb 27th

11.31 am: Tandon reaches the commissionerate

3.49 pm: Minutes later leaves the commissionerate and goes to Revdi Bazaar

4.25 pm: Tandon goes to the New Cloth Market

5.20 pm: Tandon leaves and heads towards Bapunagar and Naroda areas

6.05 pm: Tandon is then in the Rakhial area.

6.46 pm: Tandon reaches Bapunagar

6.59 pm: Tandon reaches the Naroda area

7.17 pm: Tandon returns to the commissionerate

So it takes the DCP less than 13 minutes assuming he spends no time in Bapunagar to reach Naroda area and then less than 18 minutes to reach the Commissionerate assuming once again he has no time or reason to stop anywhere.

Offstumped with its limited knowledge of the Geography of Ahmedabad undertook a simple exercise on Google Earth to measure a straight line distance between Bapunagar and Naroda to be about 7.46 KMs. Natives of Ahmedabad are requested to correct if this is way off mark or incorrect location but presumably by road the distance would be greater than the straight line estimate of 7.46 Kms

Assuming the actual distance by road was around 10 Kms it would take the DCP to be travelling as fast as 45 to 50 Kmph without making any stops anywhere to traverse this distance.

Now from Naroda to the Commissionerate Offstumped once again using Google earth has estimated a straightline of about 11.27 KMs, given that this requires crossing the River it is safe to assume the actual distance is much higher than that, again Natives of Ahmedabad can please correct.

So in less than 18 minutes assuming no halt in Naroda the DCP gets back to the Commissionerate traversing atleast 13 to 14 Kms again driving at 45 to 50 Kmph without making any stops anywhere.

Offstumped has no idea if these speeds are reasonable under Ahmedabad driving conditions but then this story in the Times of India of July 2002 talks of rather poor driving conditions.

Be that as it may another trip on the 28th of Feb is worth analysing as well when the DCP travels from Meghaninagar at 12:06 to reach Naroda at 12:11 in a span of 5 minutes. Again from Google Earth a straightline measures 6.11 Km.

Assuming actual distance travelled by road is at least 7Kms in a span of 5 minutes assuming no stoppage anywhere you are looking at an incredible speed of 84 Kmph. Either the distances here are completely off the mark or the physics of the analysis is highly suspect ?

Yesterday Offstumped examined the chronology of events and the incredible nature of the analysis done by a novice to raise questions on the source of the analysis and the need for independent scientific scrutiny. This follows this post and subsequently this challenge and these scientific facts.

For those unaware Mr. Sinha is contesting the 2007 Assembly Polls under the banner of NSM. With Mr. Mukul Sinha and his Jan Sangharsh Manch upping the ante in the Nanavati Commission hearings by demanding Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP Leader Narendra Modi be summoned, the stakes on these phone records are as high as they can get.

This crude analysis by Offstumped should be reason enough for the Indian Express and Stavan Desai to reflect on their investigative story from 2004 to raise serious questions if they were taken for a ride ?

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