A special SIT court on Thursday convicted 24 accused and acquitted 36 in connection with a 2002 post-Godhra riots case of Gulberg Society in which 69 persons including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri were killed.
Special Court Judge PB Desai delivered the judgement over eight months after the trial concluded on September 22, 2015.
Of the 24 convicted today, 11 have been charged with murder, while other 13 have been convicted for lesser offences.
Out of the 66 accused named by the SIT in the case, six had died during the trial and nine are behind bars since 14 years, while others are out on bail.
The court said that there is no evidence of criminal conspiracy in the case, while dropping section 120 B of the IPC.
VHP leader Atul Vaidya have been convicted for lesser offences. However, one of the accused, Bipin Patel, a sitting BJP corporator from Asarva seat has also been acquitted. He was also the corporator in 2002 when the massacre happened and won the election for fourth consecutive term last year.
The quantum of sentence for those convicted in the case will be delivered on June 6.
Reacting to the judement, Zakia Jafri, wife of Ehsan Jafri, expressed disappointment over the verdict, saying her fight would continue and all of them should have been punished because they killed people and destroyed their property.
“I saw them doing so with my own eyes,” she said, adding as a woman she does not have the courage to demand capital punishment but they should get stringent punishment.
The Gulberg Society case is one of the nine cases of the 2002 Gujarat riots probed by the Supreme Court appointed SIT.
The incident had taken place a day after S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express was burnt near Godhra train station, where in 58 ‘karsevaks’ were killed.