Gulbarg massacre verdict: Zakia Jafri expresses disappointment; says ‘fight will continue’

NEW DELHI:With the acquittal of 36 people in connection the 2002 post-Godhra riots case of Gulbarg Society, former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri’s wife Zakia Jafri on Thursday said that her fight would continue.

Gulbarg Society Massacre

Source:India Times

Zakia said the accused should have been punished as only then they would have understood the severity of their crime.

Recalling the horrific incident, she told ANI the accused should have been given some strict punishment.

“I am not asking for capital punishment, but at least there should be some strict action against them. If they stay ten-twenty years away from their family and children, they will understand the pain of separation,” she added.

Meanwhile, former IPS officer turned lawyer Y.P. Singh lauded the Gujarat Police while calling the verdict to be satisfactory and a reasonable step in the right direction.

Gulberg Society massacre: 24 including VHP leader convicted, 36 acquitted; Zakia Jafri says ‘fight will continue’
“It is in given circumstance that in mob violence cases, it is not easy to get convictions. Mumbai riots were much more serious, but they were unable to get such type of conviction. But in Gujarat?s society case if this has happened, certainly this is a very good achievement on behalf of the Gujarat Police,” Singh told ANI.

“Such investigations are conducted amidst a lot of adverse circumstances and these things happen at the spur of the moment and with the passage of time the witnesses do not support the prosecution case,” he said.

“Not withstanding such negative factors if Gujarat Police has done the investigation and based upon the SIT investigation if the conviction has been achieved, I think this is certainly a reasonable step in the right direction,” he added.

A special SIT court in, Gujarat, Ahmedabad, earlier in the day convicted 24 of the 66 accused in the 2002 post-Godhra Gulberg society riots case, which left 69 people including former Congress MP Eshan Jafri dead.

Special Court Judge P.B. Desai also acquitted 36 others, including sitting BJP corporator Bipin Patel, and also dropped the conspiracy charge against all accused.

The court said there is no evidence of criminal conspiracy in the case, while dropping Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Out of the 66 accused, six had died during the trial. Of the 24 convicted today, 11 have been charged with murder, while 13 others have been convicted for lesser offences.

The 24 convicted includes VHP leader Atul Vaidya. The quantum of punishment for those convicted in the case will be delivered on June 6.

With ANI

Gulbarg Society Massacre

The Gulbarg Society was a Muslim pocket in Chamanpura, Ahmedabad. It had 29 bungalows, 10 apartment buildings, home to mostly Muslim upper middleclass business families.

Gulbarg Society Massacre
In the riot on February 28, 2002, most of the houses were burned down and the entire society, with its houses which were damaged or burned, was abandoned.Of the 18 houses burned, one was repaired.None of the families have returned to their homes.On the day of the massacre, hearing the mob, many of the residents took refuge in the home of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, also a resident. By noon, the mob turned violent, breached the boundary wall and set fire to the houses 69 died over the following six hours.