Trial of six major cases to conclude

Nine years after the 2002 communal riots that flared up in the state, trials of the six major riot cases are about to conclude and their judgment will in all likelihood be delivered within six months.

“We are expecting judgment of the six major riot cases this year itself as most of them are in their last phase,” said a senior official of the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT).

The official further said, “There might be delay in the Gulbarg Society massacre as the Supreme Court has put a stay over the delivery of its judgment.”

Large scale riots had spread across the state on February 28, 2002 onwards following the incident of the Sabarmati Express train carnage that happened at Godhra railway station on February 27. The apex court handed over the investigation of ten crucial riot cases to the SIT under the chairmanship of RK Raghavan, former director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The ten cases were the Godhra carnage, Gulbarg Society, Naroda Patiya, Naroda Gam, Sardarpura, Dipda Darwaja, British national’s killings and 3 separate incidents of killing in Ode village in Anand district. The legal proceedings in the cases, apart from Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam, are in their last stages.

Gulbarg case’s verdict depends upon the outcome of a petition before the apex court. Judgment on the SIT investigated Godhra carnage case will be pronounced on March 1. The investigation of the cases was handed over to the SIT by the Supreme Court on the ground of biased probe done by the Gujarat police.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 March 2011 on page no. 10

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