2 post-Godhra accused acquitted in doctor's murder

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Palanpur, Mar 16: A fast track court has acquitted two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists, accused of involvement in the murder of a doctor during the post-Godhra violence, for want of evidence.

The two -- Mahesh Katilal Dave (resident of Deesa) and Velji Patel (resident of Ramsan village near Deesa) -- had been accused of killing Dr Yaqub Khan Motamiya Sindhi in Kotada village, 73 km from here on March 2, 2002.

Fast Track Judge S R Sodha acquitted the duo for want of evidence, after doctor's wife Noorbai (39) and a GEB employee - Afzalkhan Bihar turned hostile.

According to the FIR, the doctor was repeatedly stabbed by three persons who had barged into his dispensary at around 2300 hrs that night. Hearing his screams, his wife Noorbai had rushed to the spot but the assailants had fled-off in a jeep.

Though she and another neighbour Afzalkhan Bihari had claimed that they could identify two of the killers, they later turned hostile.

A total of 64 witnesses were roped in for the case, but as the main two eyewitnesses turned hostile, the judge acquitted the two for want of proof on Tuesday.


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