Gujarat court acquits 22 accused in post-Godhra riots case

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Communal riots broke out in different parts of the state on February 27, 2002, a day after a mob torched a bogie of the Sabarmati Express near Godhra town in Panchmahal district. 59 passengers were killed in the bogie burning incident, most of whom were ‘kar sevaks’ returning from Ayodhya

Godhra. A court in Halol town of Gujarat’s Panchmahal district on Tuesday acquitted 22 people accused of killing 17 members of a minority community, including two children, in a 2002 post-Godhra riots case in the state for lack of evidence. Defense counsel Gopalsinh Solanki said the court of Additional Sessions Judge Harsh Trivedi acquitted all the 22 accused, eight of whom died during the trial of the case. Solanki said, “The court acquitted all the accused due to lack of evidence in the rioting and killing of 17 people of the minority community, including two children, in Delol village of the district.”

According to the prosecution, the victims were killed on February 28, 2002, and their bodies were burnt with the intention of destroying evidence. Communal riots broke out in different parts of the state on February 27, 2002, a day after a mob torched a bogie of the Sabarmati Express near Godhra town in Panchmahal district. 59 passengers were killed in the bogie burning incident, most of whom were ‘kar sevaks’ returning from Ayodhya. An FIR was registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections related to murder and rioting following the violence in Delol village.

Another police inspector registered a fresh case almost two years after the incident and arrested 22 people for their alleged involvement in the riots. Solanki said the prosecution was unable to collect sufficient evidence against the accused persons and even the witnesses turned hostile. Defense counsel said the bodies of the victims were never found. Police recovered bones from a deserted spot by a river, but they were charred to such an extent that the identities of the victims could not be established. “Due to lack of evidence, the court acquitted all the 22 accused, eight of whom died during the trial.

Disclaimer:Prabhasakshi has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.



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