Hearing in Gulbarg Massacre Case Deferred Again


A house that was burnt and damaged in the riots at the Gulbarg Society in 2002. (Photo: Reuters)
A house that was burnt and damaged in the riots at the Gulbarg Society in 2002. (Photo: Reuters)
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Hearing in Gulbarg Massacre Case Deferred Again

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The Ahmedabad Court has started the hearing in the Gulbarg society massacre case and the defence lawyer has appealed for a second chance for the convicts on the ground of clean criminal record.

Prosecution would need to prove that if the accused step out from jail then they will be a threat to society. The accused should be given a chance to reform, they don’t have past criminal records. 
Abhay Bhardawaj, Defence Lawyer

Bhardwaj has also pleaded that eight of the witnesses could not identify the convicts, demanding minimum punishment.

A special court in Ahmedabad will pronounce the quantum of punishment for the 24 convicts in the Gulbarg Society massacre case.

The court had adjourned the hearing till 9 June as two-and-a-half-hour arguments on quantum of sentence remained inconclusive on 6 June. On 9 June as well, the quantum of the punishment remained unannounced.

On 2 June, the trial court had found 24 persons guilty in the case involving brutal massacre of 69 persons including a former parliamentarian Ehsan Jafri on 28 February 2002.

Snapshotclose

  • Special court pronounced its verdict in Gulbarg Society massacre case on 3 June.
  • Of the 66 accused, 24 convicted, 36 acquitted, 6 died before verdict.
  • Quantum of punishment remains undecided as hearing delayed for a second time after 6 June.
  • The 6 June hearing was delayed till 9 June.
  • Eleven of those convicted charged with murder; remaining 13 convicted of other charges.
  • The court decrees no evidence of criminal conspiracy, drops Section 120 B of IPC.

On 28 February 2002, at the height of the Gujarat Riots, a Hindu mob attacked Gulberg Society, a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood in Ahmedabad. Houses were torched and at least 35 victims were burnt alive. 31 others went missing and were later presumed dead. The total death toll was 69.

The Key Convictions and Acquittals

Convicted:
VHP leader Atul Vaid who was among those who led the violence.

Acquitted:
BJP corporator Bipin Patel, who was also the corporator in 2002 when the massacre took place
KG Erda, the only police inspector accused in the case
Meghsinh Chaudhari, Congress corporator.

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