Gulbarg Society case: 24 accused guilty, 36 acquitted


Ahmedabad: Special court convicted 24 people over Gulbarg massacre during religious riots in 2002 on Thursday.

The killing of 69 people including then Congress MP Ehsan Jafri in the predominantly-Muslim Gulberg Society colony on February 28, 2002 was one of the worst single incidents in the days-long riots that left more than 1,000 people dead in the state.

Out of 66 accused in the case, the court acquitted 36 for lack of evidence. Five accused died during the trial period and one went missing.

“This judgment is half done and I will continue my fight for justice. I will fight till my last breath,” Jafri said after the verdict was delivered by the court.

She further added the judgment was not in favour of the victims. I trust the judiciary but expected that all those involved in the killings would be convicted.

The massacre was one of the single worst incidents of the days-long riots that swept across Gujarat and left more than 1,000 people dead in total.

More than 300 witnesses gave evidence during the years-long trial that was delayed for so long by petitions and appeals that several of the original accused died.

Prosecutors are seeking life in prison for all accused of storming the Gulbarg Society complex and burning and hacking to death Muslims who were hiding there.

The riots have long dogged Modi who as Gujarat chief minister was accused of turning a blind eye to the violence, claims that he denies. The violence was triggered by the death of 59 Hindu pilgrims and nationalists in a train fire on Feb 27, 2002 that was initially blamed on Muslims.