A special designated court on Thursday convicted 24 of the 66 people accused in the Gulberg Society massacre case involving the killing of 69 people, including a former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri.
According to Indian Express, 24 of the 66 people were convicted on Thursday of which 11 were found guilty of murder and 13 others for lesser crimes.
A PTI report said that 36 accused were acquitted that included the BJP corporator Patel.
There was tight security deployment both inside and outside the court premises ahead of the judgement.
Accused and their kin shouted ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ and ‘Jai Shree Ram’ outside the court premises.
Two prominent accused in the case was BJP corporator Bipin Patel from Asarva area where Gulberg Society is located and Atul Vaidya, a member of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP).
Patel, according to NDTV, was acquitted on Thursday.
Police inspector K G Erda, who first lodged the FIR in the case, too was later arraigned as an accused. Four other accused died during the trial.
Today’s judge P B Desai, who pronounced the verdict, is the fourth judge presiding over the trial.
The previous judges had concluded the hearing, but couldn’t pronounce the judgment due to Supreme Court’s stay and also superannuation.
Judge Desai had taken over the trial in November 2014 and concluded the final arguments in September last year.
During the trial, riots victim’s lawyer had argued that the massacre was a pre-planned criminal conspiracy hatched by the accused to kill minority community members of the Gulberg Society.
The verdict comes 14 years after a mob led by Hindutva forces consisting of nearly 20000 armed militants attacked Gulbarg society – a cluster of 29 bungalows and 10 apartment buildings housing mostly Muslims – killing 69 people on 28 February 2002.
Jafri’s wife, Zakiya Jafri, now 77, has been fighting to get her deceased husband the justice despite her failing health. She has asked for the death penalty for the killers of her husband.
Zakiya has always alleged that Narendra Modi, who was the chief minister in 2002, was complicit in the anti-Muslim carnage that killed more than 2000 people unofficially and little over 1000, according to official figure.