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11 of 24 convicts in Gulbarg Society massacre sentenced to life in jail

Saeed Khan & Shailaja Neelakantan

HIGHLIGHTS

  • All 11 convicted for murder have been sentenced to life in jail till death.
  • One convict has been awarded 10-year jail term.
  • 12 have been sentenced to 7-year imprisonment.
  • All the convicts will serve their sentences concurrently.
The Gulbarg residential society in Ahmedabad was set on fire during the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat in February 2002.

11 of 24 convicts in Gulbarg Society massacre sentenced to life in jail

AHMEDABAD: Eleven people convicted of murder in the Gulbarg Society massacre were sentenced to life in jail by a special SIT court on Friday.

Of the 13 people convicted for lesser crimes, one was sentenced to 10 years in jail and 12 were given seven years in jail. The court said all the convicts will serve their sentences concurrently.

Also, the court didn’t bar the state government from remitting the convicts’ sentences. That means, the convicts could end up serving shorter terms than they were sentenced to.

As many as 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri were killed in 2002 in an attack on Gulbarg Society , a Muslim residential pocket here.

“They are not a menace to society, the accused can be reformed,” said the court while delivering the sentence.

Gulbarg Society, a Muslim residential pocket of about 30 bungalows and 10 apartment blocks in Ahmedabad, was attacked a day after the Sabarmati Express train was torched in Godhra. The massacre was committed on February 28, 2002 when Narendra Modi was Gujarat Chief Minister.

This case’s trial lasted seven years and was conducted in front of four different judges. On June 2, the court had convicted 11 persons for murder and other offences, while 13 others, including VHP leader Atul Vaidya, were charged with lesser offences. The court has also acquitted 36 in the case.

The 11 who were convicted of murder and who got life in jail are Kailash Dobhi, Yogendra Shekhwat, Jayesh Jinger, Krishna Kala, Jayesh Parmar, Raju Tiwari, Naran Channelwala, Lakhansinh Chudasma, Bharat Teli, Bharat Rajput and Dinesh Sharma.

Maniglal Jain is the only one who is convicted of ‘attempt to murder’ and he has been sentenced to 10 years in jail.

The remaining 12, who were convicted of arson, communal hatred and rioting, and who were given seven years in jail are T Surendrasinh Chauhan, Dilip Parmar, Sandeep Mehra, Mukesh Shankhala, A K Jingar, Prakash Padhiyar, Manish Jain, Dharmesh Shukla, Kapil Mishra, Suresh Dobhi, Atul Vaidya and Babu Marwadi.

Quantum of sentence Number of convicts Names
Life in jail till death 11 Kailash Dobhi, Yogendra Shekhwat, Jayesh Jinger, Krishna Kala, Jayesh Parmar, Raju Tiwari, Naran Channelwala, Lakhansinh Chudasma, Bharat Teli, Bharat Rajput and Dinesh Sharma.
10-year in jail 1 Maniglal Jain
7-year imprisonment 12 Surendrasinh Chauhan, Dilip Parmar, Sandeep Mehra, Mukesh Shankhala, A K Jingar, Prakash Padhiyar, Manish Jain, Dharmesh Shukla, Kapil Mishra, Suresh Dobhi, Atul Vaidya and Babu Marwad

The public prosecutor, representing the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), had asked the court for nothing less than the death sentence or a jail term till 24 convicts are dead.

The lawyer for the victims, S M Vora, had also sought the maximum punishment for the accused and argued that sentencing for each offence should not run concurrently. That’s so that the convicts spend their entire life in jail, he said.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/11-of-24-convicts-in-Gulbarg-Society-massacre-sentenced-to-life-in-jail/articleshow/52791745.cms

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