Ahmedabad: 14 years after a mob of nearly 20,000 attacked Gulbarg
society in Ahmedabad killing 69 people, including former Congress
lawmaker Ehsan Jafri, 24 people were convicted today. Bipin Patel, a
BJP corporator, is among 36 people who have been acquitted.
Here are the 10 latest developments in this story:
The Ahmedabad court will sentence those convicted today on June 6.
Eleven have been convicted for murder and 13 for lesser offences.
Public prosecutor RC Kodekar said he would seek the death sentence for
those convicted for murder.
The court rejected the charge of criminal conspiracy against all the
66 accused, saying there was no evidence. Five of the accused died
during trial, one is missing.
Ehsan Jafri’s wife Zakia said after today’s verdict, “I am very
unhappy with the judgement. I will carry on the fight, will do
whatever it takes.”
Bipin Patel, acquitted today, is a four-time BJP corporator from the
Asarwa area. He was accused of being part of the mob and was charged
with murder. Mr Patel was the corporator in 2002 too and has won
multiple elections since.
Among those convicted is Atul Vaid, a prominent Ayurveda doctor from
the area and a member of the right-wing Vishwa Hindu Parishad or VHP.
The large mob had attacked Gulbarg society on February 28, 2002, a day
after coaches of the Sabarmati Express train were burnt at Godhra
station leaving 59 people dead.
Houses were set afire and Ehsan Jafri was dragged out, hacked and
burnt to death. His frantic phone calls to police officers and senior
politicians for help allegedly went unanswered.
Zakia Jafri had alleged the complicity of then Gujarat chief minister
Narendra Modi and other ministers in the 2002 Gujarat riots that left
more than 1,000 people dead, and has moved the High Court after the
lower court gave them a clean chit.
The lower court agreed with the SIT that Mr Modi and his state
government took all necessary steps to control law and order after the
The Gulbarg massacre is among the 10 major Gujarat riot cases
re-investigated by a Special Investigation Team or SIT appointed by
the Supreme Court.