21 sentenced to life term in Gujarat

A local court sentenced 21 persons to life imprisonment setting 61 free in Deepda Gate carnage. 85 persons were accused of the riots in which 11 persons were brutally killed.

The court of special judge S.C. Shrivastav found 22 persons guilty of the crime. One of them has expired while the case of a minor accused has been sent to a children court. Muhammad Iqbal Baloch who had lodged the complaint expressed his disappointment, because none were sentenced for murder. They were found guilty of offences such as attempt to murder, misuse of position and power and possession of arms. The victims felt that the SIT constituted by the Supreme court failed to produce substantial evidence.

It may be recalled that in Visanagar town of Mehsana district of north Gujarat rioters had killed 11 persons of a family including an aged lady of 65 years and two children on 28 February 2002. The Visanagar police had began a probe against 83 persons including three women. Later on, on Baloch’s complaint a former MLA Gosa and police inspector M.K. Patel were also included among the accused. While Gosa has been given benefit of doubt Patel has been sentenced for misusing his position.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 September 2012 on page no. 7

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