Gujarat Ode killings: Court convicts 23, acquits 23.

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  1. Poseidon

    Poseidon Regular Member

    May 28, 2011
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    New Delhi
    Gujarat Ode killings: Court convicts 23, acquits 23.
    Saeed Khan, TNN | Apr 9, 2012, 12.03PM IST

    AHMEDABAD: A special court in Anand has pronounced its verdict in the Ode massacre case in connection with the post-Godhra riots, wherein 23 persons belonging to minority community were burnt to death.

    The court has convicted 23 people in the case and has acquitted 23 for want of evidence. It will pronounce the quantum of punishment for the convicted persons on April 12.

    An agitated mob of about 2,000 gathered near Pirawali Bhagol in the Ode town of Anand district on March 1, 2002 and set a house on fire in which a small group of Muslims had taken shelter. Altogether 23 persons, mostly women and children, were killed in the incident.

    The same court also heard the case against 15 of these accused in connection with another incident that occurred the next day, in which an old person was killed. The special court hearing Ode massacre case today acquitted 14 persons in a murder case of one Ghulam Rasool Saiyed on March 2, 2002. The police lodged only one FIR for both the cases but two chargesheets were filed for which two separate trials were sought.

    Since the victims of the Ode killings were not content with the investigation carried out by Gujarat police, the case was taken up along with other major cases by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) before the Supreme Court which formed a special investigation team (SIT) to conduct further probe in the case.

    After the investigation was over, special judge S Y Trivedi charged 47 persons with murder, conspiracy, rioting, unlawful assembly, attempt to murder and destruction of evidence. One undertrial passed away during the proceedings.

    A red corner notice has been issued against Hirubhai Patel, one of the two accused who have fled abroad. SIT had recommended discharge of one of the accused Arvind Satabhai.

    During the trial, prosecution examined 158 witnesses, out of them 35 turned hostile. More than 160 documentary evidences were produced before the court by the SIT. After the hearing was over on March 21 last year, special judge Trivedi was transferred, and she resigned from judiciary the next month. Even the special prosecutor in the case also quit. The Gujarat high court appointed sessions judge P B Singh as special judge and senior advocate P N Parmar was selected by SIT as prosecutor in this case. Additional arguments on part of defense counsel ended in December last year.

    One more case in Ode town is being probed by SIT, and the final verdict in this case is likely on April 16.

    Out of the nine cases probed by the SIT, judgements have been pronounced in two cases, including the Godhra train burning incident where 11 people were awarded death sentence and 20 life imprisonment.

    The second case was that of Sardarpura village in Mehsana district where 31 persons were awarded life term and 42 others were acquitted.

    Gujarat Ode killings: Court convicts 23, acquits 23 - The Times of India

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