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.
In February 2002, a mob of 2,000 mob consisting of armed members of Hindutva forces had attacked Gulberg Society killing 69 people.
Gujarat was governed by Narendra Modi, who’s now the prime minister of India. More than 4,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in what many called a state-sponsored genocide. The official figure for those killed in the massacre was little over 1,000.
While Zakiya Jafri described the verdict only half justice, activist Teesta Setalvad said that the option to appeal against those acquitted was open.
Social media users too have been quick to react on the verdict.
Here are some reactions:
— Mohammad Ali (@hindureporter) June 2, 2016
Gulbarg accused Mangilal Jain is convicted. I had stung him confessing to brutally murdering Ehsan Jafri & many innocent women & children.
— Ashish Khetan (@AashishKhetan) June 2, 2016
Expecting as if verdict would incarcerate or give death penalties to all with real culprit on the noose around neck
— jinder (@jinder788) June 2, 2016
On this day let us remember what happened in Godhra that set a chain reaction leading to riots in #GulbergSociety.
— siya♔ (@siyatara) June 2, 2016
I call this distorted justice. Foot soldiers convicted, commanders never tried. #GulbergSociety
— AMadumoole (@AMadumoole) June 2, 2016
Spare a thought for Dara and Rupa Mody: son went missing, never found in Gulberg massacre. Till today, no neta has ever condoled with them.
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) June 2, 2016
What you see on court verdicts on Gujarat riots is just the Tip of the Gulberg
— Madhavan Narayanan (@madversity) June 2, 2016
— Darab Farooqui (@darab_farooqui) June 2, 2016