A city court on Thursday is expected to hand out punishments to 24 people found guilty in the Gulberg society massacre case. The prosecution has sought death for the 11 convicted of murder.
The special investigation team court had on June 2 convicted 24 people in the case in which 69 persons, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were killed on February 28, 2002 in the communal violence that ravaged Gujarat.
Justice PB Desai while acquitting 35, including alleged main conspirator and BJP councillor Bipin Patel, rejected claims that the attack on the predominantly Muslim residential areas was planned. The defence is expected to argue against capital punishment, citing the court’s rejection of the conspiracy theory.
Zakia Jafri, wife of Ehsan Jafri, had termed the judgement as “half justice done’ . The 76-year-old plans to challenge the verdict in higher courts.
The massacre was one of the worst incidents in the days-long riots that left more than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, dead in the state after a train coach carrying Hindu activists was burnt, killing 59 kar sevaks.
A Supreme Court-appointed SIT had investigated Gulberg and eight other riot cases.