Gulberg massacre:Hearing adjourned,quantum of punishment on June 9

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Ahmedabad: A special SIT court on Monday adjourned the hearing in the Gulberg society massacre case to June 9. The court was to pronounce the quantum of punishment for 24 convicts in the 2002 post-Godhra Gulberg society massacre case in which 69 persons including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri were killed.

Out of the 66 accused, six had died during the trial. Of the 24 convicted on June 2, 11 have been charged with murder, while other 13 have been convicted for lesser offences. The court said that there is no evidence of criminal conspiracy in the case, while dropping section 120 B of the IPC.

The 24 convicted includes VHP leader Atul Vaidya, BJP corporator Bipin Patel, Congress corporator Meghsinh Chaudhary and KG Erda, then police inspector of the area under which the Gulberg Society was located, are among those acquitted.

Last week, the court had turned down pleas moved by two accused — Narayan Tank and Babu Rathod — to conduct narco analysis and brain mapping tests on them to prove their innocence. The court maintained that it was not required when the verdict was imminent.

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 defence had refuted the conspiracy theory of prosecution and claimed that the mob resorted to violence only after slain Congress MP Eshan Jafri fired several rounds on them.

The Gulberg Society case is 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, where in 58 ‘karsevaks’ were killed.

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