A special SIT court delivered its verdict on Friday sentencing 11 people to life imprisonment for 14 years that were found guilty of murder in the Gulbarg society massacre in which 69 people died during the Gujarat riots in 2002. 12 persons awarded seven years jail who were convicted of firing and rioting. While one convict sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
Ruling out capital punishment to any of the convicts, the court said, “The accused posed no danger to the society.” And also the court rejected the charge of criminal conspiracy against all 66 accused, saying no evidence of conspiracy found.
The court has also longed to government not to pardon any of the convicts awarded life imprisonment by the trial court.
The prosecution demanded the court judge P.B Desai for exemplary punishment to the convicts, terming the bloodbath a case of mass murder that took 69 people belonging to the minority community, including a former parliament member, being burnt alive, on 28 February 2002 without any provocation.
The law judgment was delivered on June 2, more than 14 years after the massacre. The court found 11 people guilty of murder while remaining 13 was convicted for rioting and 36 accused were acquitted.
Zakia Jafri — widow of Ehsan Jafri, a former MP who was killed in the riots — said she was unhappy with the verdict. Talking to the media from Surat, Ms. Jafri said "I was there when Ehsaan Jafri was killed; it's not justice at all. I didn't like it."
The Gulbarg massacre is among the 10 major 2002 Gujarat riot cases re-investigated by a Special Investigation Team or SIT appointed by the Supreme Court.