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Gujarat riots 2002: 7 declared guilty by HC

Ahmedabad: Gujrat High Court, while overruling the verdict of the lower court, has pronounced 7 persons guilty of murder in riots that had erupted in a town of Veeramgam district of Gujrat in 2002 and in which three persons were killed. These riots were part of the widespread anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat in consequence of the fire in coach No. S-6 of Sabarmati Express when 59 karsevaks were burnt to death. Sentences against the 7 guilty persons will be announced on 25 July. In the riots of Veeramgm’s town a crowd of about 40 persons had attacked a Muslim locality and killed 3 persons. Ten persons were accused in these riots of whom the lower court had declared 2 accused persons guilty of murder, light sentence were given to 4 persons and 4 were acquitted. Eye witness to these riots, one Dost Muhammad Bhatti had challenged the lower court’s verdict in the High Court. Justice Harsh Diwani and Justice B. Vishnu in their verdict on 28 June declared the 7 persons guilty of murder. Their names are Satyabhai, Narainbhai, Ranchhod bhai Thakur, Vitthal Bharwad, Meerabhai Gelabhi Bharwad etc. After the eye witness Dost Muhammad Bhatti’s petition in the High Court challenging the lower court’s verdict, the High Court in fact had directed the then Police Superintendent (Rural) Sandeep Singh in 2010 to re-investigate this matter and on his report the above mentioned High Court Justices had pronounced this verdict, declaring 7 accused persons guilty of involvement for the murder of 3 persons.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 July 2016 on page no. 15

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