Gulberg Society massacre: 11 awarded life imprisonment, 12 others get 7 years in jail

Ahmedabad(PTI): A special SIT court in Ahmedabad, today sentenced eleven convicts to life imprisonment , twelve others to seven years and one more to ten years in jail in the Gulberg Society massacre in which 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were killed.

The Gulberg Society massacre, which took place here on February 28, 2002, shook the nation when a mob of 400 people set about attacking the society in the heart of Ahmedabad and killed the residents including Jafri. PTI file photo

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. It had acquitted 36 others in the case.

During the argument, public prosecutor representing the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), R C Kodekar asked the court for nothing less than death sentence or jail term till death for all 24 convicts.

Lawyer of the accused, Abhay Bhardwaj, has refuted the demand of capital punishment or maximum punishment in his arguments saying that the incident was spontaneous and there were enough provocations for it.

The Gulberg Society massacre, which took place here on February 28, 2002 when Narendra Modi was the Gujarat Chief Minister, shook the nation when a mob of 400 people set about attacking the society in the heart of Ahmedabad and killed the residents including Jafri. It was one of the nine cases of the 2002 Gujarat riots probed by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT.

The incident had taken place a day after S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express was burnt near Godhra train station in which 58 ‘kar sevaks’ returning from Ayodhya were killed.

During the course of trial, as many as 338 witnesses were cross-examined, with four different judges having presided over the case.