Monday, December 4, 2023

Gulbarg massacre verdict after 14 years… 24 convicted, 36 acquitted

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A Special SIT court in Ahmedabad convicted 24 people and acquitted 36 others on Thursday in the Gulbarg Society massacre case of 2002 that resulted in the death of a former Congress parliamentarian.

Among those convicted include VHP leader Atul Vaid.

On 28 February, 2002, a day after 59 people were charred to death in the Godhra riots, a mob of around 20,000 people attacked Gulbarg Society in the Chamanpura area of Ahmedabad killing 39 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri. Most of the people staying in the Society were Muslims.

Post attacks, 31 people went missing, out of which 30 were pronounced dead, seven years later.

Thereafter, 66 people were accused out of which six died during the course of the trial that was finally completed in September 2015. A total 338 witnesses had been examined by the court during the trial.

The Supreme Court had lifted a stay on the verdict last year, and consequently, the judgment was pronounced on Thursday.

The special court also ruled that the massacre “was not a pre-planned conspiracy” and concluded that the mob had spontaneously gathered at the scene.

BJP Councilor Bipin Patel and former police inspector KG Erda were amongst the ones who were acquitted.

This is the only case in which the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was questioned.

The court will pronounce the sentencing on June 6 2016.

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