Gulbarg massacre: Ehsan Jafri’s firing angered the mob, says court

Updated - December 03, 2021 10:47 am IST

Published - June 18, 2016 08:06 pm IST - AHMEDABAD

The Special trial court which conducted trial in the Gulbarg Society massacre case >convicting 24 persons for brutal killings of 69 people has concluded that firing by >former parliamentarian Ehsan Jafri infuriated the mob that went on killing spree.

While awarded life sentence to 11 persons found guilty of murder, the court has observed that Jafri fired from his private weapon which acted as a “catalyst” and >provoked the mob that unleashed a bloodbath, >killing 69 people in the society .

The trial court judge P.B. Desai also stressed that the mob had gathered spontaneously following rumors that several people were killed in Jafri’s firing.

The court has not only blamed the slain parliamentarian's firing for killings, but also ruled out negligence or inaction on the part of the police, saying “limited police force had no means to control or disperse the mob that had specifically targeted Jafri's house in the society.”

According to the court, until Jafri fired, the mob was involved only in stone pelting and damaging properties belonging to the members of the minority community, But once he started to fire, the mob turned violent and indulged into massacre of men, women and children of the minority community.

The court also noted that over a dozen persons were seriously injured in Jafri’s firing and one person succumbed to the injuries, while dismissing the prosecution's submission that firing was in “self-defence.”

It may be noted that the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), while examining the role of the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and other top officials based on Zakia Jafri's petition, had also observed that the mob at Gulbarg Society had turned violent “only after Jafri fired from his weapon.”

Ruling out at larger conspiracy on the part of the State administration against the minority community, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by former CBI Director R.K. Raghavan eventually >gave clean chit to Mr. Modi and others of any role in the >2002 riots .

Similarly, the trial court also ruled out conspiracy in the second worst massacre case and observed, “the controversy in my opinion has been laid to rest and is required to be given its due burial.”

The court came down heavily on some witnesses noting that “they suffered from selective amnesia” regarding role played by the accused during the massacre, but failing to recall firing by Jafri that exacerbated the situation.

On the various controversies surrounding the Gulbarg massacre case and attempts made by the victims to implicate the top leadership of the State in the ghastly riots, the court held that such “proceedings were found without merit.”

“Many attempts have been made to rake up the issue time and again and applications were made during the trial and independent proceedings were initiated but they have been found without merit by all court, including the Supreme Court. In my opinion, the controversy has been laid and is now required to be given its due burial,” the court observed.

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