Gulberg Society massacre: Life term for 11; case not over for me, says Zakia Jafri

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While 12 others were awarded seven years of imprisonment, one accused has been accused to ten years.

A special trial court in the Gulberg Society massacre case today awarded life imprisonment to 11 out of the 24 convicts, who were found guilty on June 2.

While 12 others were awarded seven years of imprisonment, one accused has been accused to ten years.

“We welcome the verdict but we are disappointed with the lesser sentence,” activist Teesta Setalvad told ANI.

 

   

 

 

 

Earlier, the court had convicted 11 persons for murder and other offences, while 13 others, including VHP leader Atul Vaidya, were charged with lesser offences. It had also acquitted 36 others in the case.

Among those acquitted are BJP corporator from Asarva, Bipin Patel, who was also the corporator in 2002 when the massacre happened. He had won the election for the fourth consecutive term last year.

The court had concluded the arguments on quantum of sentence on Friday last week after taking into consideration submissions made by both the prosecution and defence lawyers as well as the lawyer of the victims.

During the arguments, special public prosecutor and counsel for Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), R C Kodekar, had asked the court for nothing less than death sentence or jail term till death for all 24 convicts. He said all 24 convicts were found guilty of offence under section 149 of the IPC, and therefore required to be treated at par when the sentence is pronounced.

The Gulberg Society was attacked a day after Coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express was torched in Godhra on February 27, 2002. A mob attacked residents of the Gulberg Society situated in Chamanpura area of Ahmedabad and burnt down most of the houses. 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were killed in the incident.

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