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NEW DELHI,MAHESH LANGA:A special SIT court, which convicted 24 persons in the Gulbarg Society massacre case, on Monday adjourned hearing on the pronouncement of the quantum of punishment to June 9. The prosecution demanded either capital punishment or life imprisonment for the convicts.
The incident of a mob attacking Gulbarg Society in the heart of Ahmedabad on 28 February 2002 and killing many of the residents, including the former Congress MP, Ehsan Jafri, shook the nation.
As it happened:
1:55 p.m.: Hearing on quantum of punishment adjourned to June 9.
12:37 p.m.: The prosecution demands either capital punishment or life imprisonment for the convicts.
12:29 p.m.: Advocate S.M. Vora, appearing for the victims, also demands exemplary punishment to the 24 found guilty.
12:24 p.m.: Public prosecutor submits that capital punishment be awarded to the convicts.
12:15 p.m.: Special public prosecutor finishes his submission on quantum of punishment to the convicts. Court’s order shortly.
11:51 a.m.: It’s a case of mass murder so exemplary punishment should be awarded to the convicts: public prosecutor.
11:49 a.m.: Special public prosecutor demands severe punishment for the convicts, saying the victims were roasted alive.
11:48 a.m.: The court had dropped conspiracy and rape charges against the accused.
11:20 a.m.: Convicts have been brought to the court room and judge P.B Desai has started the proceedings.
10:55 a.m.: Those acquitted include sitting BJP corporator Bipin Patel, the then police inspector of the area under which the Gulbarg Society was located, K G Erda, and former Congress corporator Meghsinh Chaudhari.
10:52 a.m.: While pronouncing the judgment, the court had said there was no evidence of criminal conspiracy in the case and dropped charges under section 120-B of the IPC.
Gulbarg society massacre timeline
February 2002: During the Gujarat riots a Hindu mob attacked the Gulbarg society in Ahmedabad in which 69 people were killed. Among the deceased was former parliamentarian Ehsan Jafri.
November 2007: The Gujarat High Court dismissed a petition of Zakia Jafri, wife of the former Congress MP, Ehsan Jafri, seeking the court’s directive to the police to register a complaint against the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others for their alleged involvement in the Gulberg Society massacre.
March 2008: The Supreme Court directed the Gujarat government to set up a special investigation team (SIT) for a further probe into 14 Godhra and post-Godhra communal riots cases. The SIT was asked to investigate the incidents that occurred in Godhra, Sardarpura, Gulberg Society, Ode, Naroda Gaon, Naroda Patiya, Deepla Darwaza and the one involving British nationals.
August 2010: The Supreme Court permitted the Special Investigation Team to conduct further probe on the complaint by Zakia Jaffrey that Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others orchestrated the 2002 riots in Gujarat.
March 2010: The trial put on hold because of the resignation of the special prosecutor and his assistant. Both had alleged bias on the part of the trial judge and have also accused the SIT of not properly coordinating their efforts with them.
March 2011: Gujarat Deputy Inspector-General of Police Sanjiv Bhatt, who is claimed to have spilled the beans on Modi’s alleged controversial orders to the police on the eve of the 2002 communal riots, appeared before the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team. Read more
February 2012: The SIT in a “summary closure report” — says there was no “prosecutable evidence” against Mr.
March 2012: The Ahmedabad Metropolitan Court rejects Zakia Jafri’s plea to making public the SIT report.
December 2013: Ahmedabad Metropolitan court rejects the petition of Zakia Jafri against the closure report of the Special Investigation Team giving a clean chit to the Gujarat Chief Minister in a case relating to the 2002 communal riots.
December 2013: Reacting to an Ahmedabad trial court verdict, R.K. Raghavan, head of the Special Investigation Team appointed by the Supreme Court to go into Gujarat riots, says SIT’s stand has been vindicated.
November 2014: The trial in the Gulbarg Society case, resumed following the Supreme Court’s directions to conclude it in three months.
November 2014: The Supreme Court asks the Sessions Court to complete the trial in the Gulbarg case, one of the nine cases connected to the 2002 post-Godhra riots, in three months.
August 6, 2015: Supreme Court grants three-month extension to Ahmedabad court to complete trial proceedings in the case.
June 2, 2016: A Special court convicted 24 persons and acquitted 36 persons.