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Gulberg Society verdict: 24 convicted, BJP leader Bipin Patel acquitted along with 35 others

The trial in the Gulberg Society massacre case has seen several ups and downs.

By: Express Web Desk | Ahmedabad/new Delhi |
Updated: June 3, 2016 4:27:25 am
gulberg society verdict, gulbarg society verdict, gulbarg society, gulbarg society massacre, gulberg society massacre, gujarat riots, godhra riots, BJP The Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad where the massacre took place during the 2002 Godhra riots (Express Photo by Javed Raja)

A special designated court today convicted 24 accused in the Gulberg Society massacre case involving the killing of 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, during the 2002 post-Godhra riots. While 11 of the 24 accused have been found guilty of murder, 13 others were convicted for lesser crimes.

Of the 66 accused, 36 people, including BJP corporator Bipin Patel, were acquitted by the court today. Patel was from Asarva area where the Gulberg society is located. Police inspector KG Erda, who had lodged the first FIR in the case and who was arraigned as an accused, was also acquitted by the court.

The case has seen several ups and downs during the trial. P B Desai, who pronounced the verdict, was the fourth judge who presided over the trial. The previous judges had concluded the hearing, but couldn’t pronounce the judgment due to Supreme Court’s stay and also superannuation. The current judge took over the trial in November 2014 and concluded the final arguments in September 2015.

Click here to see Express archive photos from 2002


3.05 pm: Zakia Jafri, widow of ex-Congress MP Ahsan Jafri said she was prayed on Wedesday night and was heartbroken to hear the verdict. “We prayed thinking the verdict would be in our favour. But when I watched on TV that 36 had been acquitted and 24 convicted, my heart broke. We are all unhappy with this judgment. There might have been something wanting in the police investigations”.

3.00 pm: Chief of the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) R K Raghavan reacted to the judgment saying, “We have a mixed feeling on the judgment. But overall we are happy with the conviction. We will decide out next move once we get the copy of the judgment.”

After pronouncement of judgment advocate SM Vora, who represented victims in the case, said, “We are happy with the judgment. We will challenge the acquittal of 36 people in the high court.”

1:30 pm: Yes, we will appeal against the verdict in higher courts, Ehsan Jafri’s widow tells ANI. Read story here

12 noon: Police officer KG Erda has been acquitted.

11:45 am: Quantum of punishment to be pronounced on June 6.

11:39 am: BREAKING – 24 accused convicted by special court. 36 others have been acquitted.

11:30 am: 59 out of the total 66 accused are present at the court. Six people have died and one is absconding for past three months.

11:20 am: Special court packed with accused, lawyers and journalists awaiting judgment

10:50 am: There’s massive security outside the court premises.

10:45 am: Accused and their kin shout ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ and ‘Jai Shree Ram’ outside the court premises, reports Satish Jha from Ahmedabad.

10:40 am:

10:25 am:

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