The Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) on Wednesday arrested an absconding accused wanted in the Gulberg Society massacre case during 2002 riots. The accused, identified as Ashish Pandey, a resident of Krishnanagar, who was “absconding” since 2002, was caught by the DCB officials.
According to DCB officials, Pandey’s name was mentioned in the FIR registered at Meghaninagar police station, along with 60 other accused. Police said that Pandey was part of the mob that went on a killing spree at the Gulberg Society in which 69 Muslims were killed, including former Congress Rajya Sabha member Ehsan Jafri.
Officials said that Pandey was among the five accused who are absconding for the past 16 years. Pandey is said to have lived in various cities, including Haridwar in Uttarakhand, where he worked in transport business. The DCB officials have handed him over to the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) which probed the case.
In Gulberg Society massacre case, a special trial court convicted 24 accused in June 2017. Out of them, 11 were sentenced to life imprisonment. The convicts have challenged the judgment in the Gujarat High Court, while the SIT is still awaiting the state government’s approval to file an appeal against the acquittal of 36 others accused and the enhancement of sentences.