New Delhi, June 2: A special court in Ahmedabad has convicted 24 persons and acquitted 36 in connection with the Gulbarg massacre case in which 69 persons were killed. The special court while delivering its verdict convicted 11 out of the 24 persons for murder.
The quantum of the sentence would be delivered on June 6, the special court informed today. There have been mixed reactions to the verdict with several including Zakia Jaffri saying that he would prefer an appeal in the High Court against the acquittal of the 36 persons.
The verdict comes 14 years after a mob of nearly 20,000 attacked the Gulbarg society comprising 29 bungalows and 10 apartments in which 69 were killed.
Bipin Patel, a corporator of the BJP who was accused of being part of the mob has been acquitted. The others to be acquitted are police inspector K G Erda, Atul Vaidya a VHP leader among others. In the case there were a total of 338 witnesses who testified. The trial went on for 6 years.
This is one of the nine cases in the infamous 2002 Gujarat riots case. The Supreme Court had appointed a Special Investigating Team to probe all the nine cases.
The SIT while probing the case named 66 persons in all of which 9 are still in jail while the rest obtained bail. The Supreme Court which is monitoring the probe had ordered the special court to give its verdict soon.
The SIT had said in court that 39 charred bodies had been found which is an indication that they had been burnt alive. The SIT further submitted that it had found petrol cans, swords and lathis at the site.