Mahesh Langa, Hindustan Times
Ahmedabad, August 29, 2012
A special trial court has convicted 32 people  while 29 accused have been acquitted in the Naroda Patiya massacre case.  The trial court has convicted Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajarangi also. Bajarangi was one of the key accused in the case. Rioters had massacred 97 people in Naroda Patiya on February 28, 2002, making it the largest single case of mass murder during the 2002 Gujarat riots that broke out following the Godhra train carnage.

 The special trial court had scheduled the judgment for Wednesday. Naroda MLA and former minister Dr Maya Kodnani and Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi are among the 61 accused in the case.

Trial in the case had began in 2009 after the Supreme Court appointed SIT carried out further probe in the case.

 “We are anxious, scared and don’t know what will happen. We are hoping that justice will finally be done to us,” Shakeela Banu, who lost eight members of her family in the riots, said on Tuesday.

Many witnesses in the case are jittery, having told the court how the rioters targeted women and children and set houses on fire.

“By deposing, we have taken a big risk because the accused are powerful. But we have faith in the judiciary,” said Salim Sheikh whose son was killed in the riots.

According to state government records, of more than 1,200 people killed in the 2002 riots, nearly 950 were Muslims.

So far, trial courts have delivered verdicts in the Sardarpura massacre case, Ode village massacre case and Dipda Darwaja massacre case, besides the Godhra train carnage case.

 Verdicts are awaited in the Naroda Gaon massacre case, Gulbarg Society case and Prantij riots case in which three British nationals were killed in north Gujarat.

BOX: Case of largest single mass murder during 2002 riots

Rioters massacred 97 people in Naroda Patiya locality on February 28, 2002, a day after the Godhra train carnage in which 57 kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya were charred to death 

Houses were set on fire in the lower middle-class Muslim locality, rendering more than 800 families homeless

Former BJP minister Maya Kodnani — Naroda MLA uninterrupted since 1998 — and Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi are among the 62 accused in the case

Former VHP general secretary Dr Jaidip Patel was not made accused in the case despite demands by witnesses