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Trial resumes in Gulberg society case

Ahmedabad, Gujarat, 15/02/2012:FRONTLINE: Scene at Gulberg Society one of the key place which witness the Gujarat riots in Ahmedabad on 13 February 2012. Photo Janak Patel   | Photo Credit: Janak Patel

The prosecution in the Gulberg society massacre case presented the incidents of violence to a special SIT court here on Friday. The trial has resumed following the Supreme Court’s directions to conclude it in three months.

Special prosecutor R.C. Kodekar told the court that the communal atmosphere around Gulbarg society had become charged following the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s call for a bandh the day before.

The prosecution stated that a total of 69 people had died in the massacre, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri.

While 39 persons were burnt alive, 30 others, including Mr. Jafri went missing. However, after the legal waiting period of seven years, he and the other missing persons were presumed dead.

“Till date, the body of Mr. Jafri has not been found or identified. He was last seen amidst the [rioting] mob,” Mr. Kodekar told the court.

“Unruly mobs” had begun torching and vandalising shops and property of the minority community on February 28, 2002. Around Gulberg society, a large mob of nearly 22,000 persons had gathered. They broke down a rear cement wall with an explosive substance, breached the gates and attacked two people before heading for Mr. Jafri’s bungalow, the prosecution said. In a bid to escape from the mayhem, a large number of residents had taken shelter at Mr. Jafri’s bungalow number 19.

“The mob first attacked a disabled person Anwar sitting outside the bungalow. They then went inside the bungalow, killing 69 people. There is direct evidence of injured persons and eyewitnesses, who have categorically identified the assailants and described how the carnage took place. There is evidence on record that Mr. Jafri was dragged by some persons, but after that there is no evidence,” Mr. Kodekar said.

In the hearing on Monday, the court will hear a pending application seeking the inclusion of four police officers in the list of the accused. There are 66 accused in the case of which two have died.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 8:56:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/trial-resumes-in-gulberg-society-case/article6644132.ece

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