2011: A year of important verdicts in Gujarat

Burning train
Ahmedabad, Jan 4: The year 2011 will be remembered in Gujarat for verdicts related to the Godhra train burning incident and the riots that followed. A trial court awarded death penalty to 11 people and life imprisonment to 20, nine years after the incident in which 59 people, mostly karsevaks died.

The carnage triggered riots in the state killing over 1,000 people, mostly Muslims. Another major verdict came in one of the post-Godhra riots case of Sardarpura village in Mehsana district where the special court sentenced 31 people to life imprisonment.

Both these cases were probed by the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT). The year also turned to be one of setbacks for the Narendra Modi government as higher courts transfered probe in three police encounter cases -- Tulsi Prajapati, Ishrat Jahan and Sadiq Jamal Mehtar, to the CBI, doubting the investigation of the Gujarat Police.

There was also a setback for the CBI in the Haren Pandya murder case, when the high court dropped murder charges against 12 convicted in the case, while coming down heavily on the central agency by calling its investigation "botched up" and "blinkered".

The face off between Gujarat Governor Kamla and Modi also reached the high court over the issue of appointment of Lokayukta. The year also saw a battery of IPS officers from the state speaking up against the Modi government.

These included suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court and deposed before the Nanavati Commission; Rajnish Rai and Rahul Sharma who have approached against the government, while Kuldeep Sharma and Satish Verma have sought recourse from the high court. 


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