AHMEDABAD (TIP): Eleven of 24 people convicted for their participation in the Gulbarg Society massacre were sentenced to life in jail by a special SIT court on Friday.
In addition, one convict was sentenced to 10 years in jail while 12 were given seven years in jail. All 24 were involved in the murder of as many as 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri. The court said all the convicts will serve their sentences concurrently.
“They are not a menace to society, the accused can be reformed,” said the court while delivering the sentence.
Gulbarg Society, a Muslim residential pocket of about 30 bungalows and 10 apartment blocks in Ahmedabad, was attacked a day after the Sabarmati Express train was torched in Godhra. The massacre was committed on February 28, 2002 when Narendra Modi was Gujarat Chief Minister. This case’s trial lasted seven years and was conducted in front of four different judges.
The public prosecutor, representing the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), had asked the court for nothing less than the death sentence or a jail term till 24 convicts are dead.
The lawyer for the victims, S M Vora, had also sought the maximum punishment for the accused and argued that sentencing for each offence should not run concurrently. That’s so that the convicts spend their entire life in jail, he said.