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Seven more get life imprisonment in Gujrat 2002 riots

Ahmedabad: Gujrat High Court, in the case of Gujarat 2002 large scale communal riots convicted 7 more accused persons and sentenced them to life imprisonment. It may be recalled that after the fire in a coach of Sabarmati Express train at Godhra on 27 February 2002 in which 59 karsevaks were burnt to death and large scale communal riots had erupted the next day i.e. 28 Feb all over the state in which thousands of Muslims were killed. In addition to riots and deaths at many other places, three persons belonging to minority community were killed in an attack by a mob near Balna railway crossing in Ahmedabad district’s Veeramgam town at that time. In this murderous attack ten persons were identified as accused. A lower court had declared two of these ten guilty of murder and had sentenced them to life imprisonment, 4 were given lighter punishments where as four were acquitted. An appeal against lower court’s verdict was filed in High Court. On 25 July (2016) High Court’s constitution bench of Justice (Mrs) Harsha Diwani and Justice Viren Vaishnav while upholding lower court’s life imprisonment of two, overruled this (lower) courts verdict and finding others guilty of involvement in murder of the three, sentenced all the 4 acquitted persons and also 3 of the four accused who were given lighter punishments, to life imprisonment. In other words, 7 of remaining 8 (in addition to the two accused who were sentenced to life imprisonment by the lower court) were also sentenced to life imprisonment by the Gujrat High Court’s Bench and lighter punishment of one was upheld by this Bench.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 September 2016 on page no. 14

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