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Naroda Patiya verdict likely today

A day before a special trial court’s likely verdict in the Naroda Patiya massacre case, fear has gripped people living in lower middle-class Muslim locality in northern Ahmedabad.

india Updated: Aug 29, 2012 01:34 IST
Mahesh Langa

A day before a special trial court’s likely verdict in the Naroda Patiya massacre case, fear has gripped people living in lower middle-class Muslim locality in northern Ahmedabad.

Rioters had massacred 97 people in Naroda Patiya on February 28, 2002, making it the largest single case of mass murder during the 2002 Gujarat riots that broke out following the Godhra train carnage.

The special trial court had scheduled the judgment for Wednesday. Bharatiya Janata Party's Naroda MLA and former minister Dr Maya Kodnani and Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi are among the 61 accused in the case.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/8/29-08-12-pg-09e.jpg

“We are anxious and scared and don't know what will happen. We are hoping that justice will finally be done to us,” Shakeela Banu, who lost eight members of her family in the riots, said on Tuesday.

Many witnesses in the case are jittery, having told the court how the rioters targeted women and children and set houses on fire. “By deposing, we have taken a big risk because the accused are powerful. But we have faith in the judiciary,” said Salim Sheikh whose son was killed in the riots.

According to state government records, of more than 1,200 people killed in the 2002 riots, nearly 950 were Muslims. So far, trial courts have delivered verdicts in the Sardarpura massacre case, Ode village massacre case and Dipda Darwaja massacre case, besides the Godhra train carnage case.

Verdicts are awaited in the Naroda Gaon massacre case, Gulbarg Society case and Prantij riots case in which three British nationals were killed in north Gujarat.