New Delhi: It is a big day today for the families of 69 victims of 2002 post-Godhra riots. The case pertains to the Gulberg Society in Gujarat in which these people including the former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri were killed.
A special SIT court is likely to pronounce its verdict on Thursday.
Suspected political angle:
BJP is watching the same with bated breath as 'conspiracy' charges are on test. Former Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri and 68 others were burnt alive by a mob a day after the February 27 Godhra train burning. Incidentally, Bipin Patel, who is an accused in this case had won Asarva seat of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for the fourth consecutive term on a BJP ticket. He was the BJP corporator in the same year this incidet took place. According to the chargesheet, Patel was spotted in the mob outside the Society. He faces charges of unlawful assembly and murder, among others.
The Gulberg Society case:
The Gulberg Society case is one of the nine cases of the 2002 Gujarat riots. The case is being probed by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT. The incident occured a day after S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express was burnt near Godhra train station, in which more than 50 ‘karsevaks’ had succumbed to their burn injuries.
Of the 66 accused named by the SIT, 9 are behind bars since past 14 years and rest are out on bail.
According to the SIT, a furious mobs vandalised shops and property of the minority community in 2002. The probe into the matter was earlier set aside by the Gujarat govt. However, in 2008 the Supreme Court had appointed SIT to probe into nine riot cases again.
During the six-year trial, 338 witnesses were deposed, according to the reports. The judgment was reserved and arguments were concluded in September 2015. In February 2016 the apex court had finally cleared all decks for pronouncement of the judgment.