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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Gujarat HC admits appeals in 2002 Visnagar rioting case

PTI  Ahmedabad, April 18, 2013
First Published: 22:56 IST(18/4/2013) | Last Updated: 22:59 IST(18/4/2013)

The Gujarat high court has admitted two appeals challenging a fast track court order which acquitted 120 accused in the 2002 post-Godhra riot of Visnagar, where two elderly Muslims were killed and their bodies were never recovered.

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A division bench of Justices MR Shah and SH Vora, on Wednesday admitted the appeal filed by Mustakali Mohamedbhai Shaikh, sole eye-witness of the case.

The high court had on March 14, 2013 admitted the state government petition in the same case and had ordered to issue bailable warrants aganist all the accused who were acquitted by the trial court.

The court has ordered that both the appeals will be heard together.

"On February 28, 2002 a mob of 150 people had attacked Muslim Mohalla in Umata town of Visnagar (in Mehsana) in which two elderly men, including one retired school teacher, were killed and attackers took away their dead bodies which has never been recovered till date," said advocate Iqbal Sheikh who is representing Mustakali in the case.

During the mob attack, which saw the killings of Mohammad Ibrahim Shaikh (65) and Mansuri Abdul Ibrahim (60), more than 100 houses were burnt down after looting.

Then assistant sub-inpector of Visnagar police registered the complaint and had filed three charge sheets against 120 accused. The trial was held in a fast track court in Visnagar.

On April 27, 2012 third additional sessions judge KB Magnani acquitted all the accused giving them benefit of doubt.

Appeals against this judgement will be heard jointly by the court soon.

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