National

HC acquits 12 in Ghodasar riots case

The Gujarat High Court on 20 April has acquitted all 12 persons earlier convicted by a trial court in Nadiad in December 2003 for the massacre of 14 Muslims at Ghodasar village in Kheda district on 3 March 2002. Fourteen Muslims were brutally killed in five separate incidents in various agricultural fields. This was among the first post-Godhra riots cases in which the accused had been sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, rioting and unlawful activities. According to the police statement members of the minority community were picked up and killed by armed men while they were hiding in the agricultural lands in villages of Ghodasar, Jinjir, Jalanpur, Sindhoda and its adjoining places. The Nadiad sessions court in its 2003 judgement had convicted 12 people and acquitted 51 others citing benefit of doubt. The two main accused Bhima Lakha and Mera Rama were absconding for almost eight years. They were tried for murder and rioting but later got acquitted because witnesses turned hostile. Advocate Sameer Khan, who represented a witness in the high court, has alleged that a deal had been struck between the witnesses and the accused and requested the judges to look into the issue. A division bench of Justice AL Dave and Justice NV Anjaria acquitted 12 persons citing lack of conclusive evidence against them.

MG News Desk

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2012 on page no. 3

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