Ahmadabad (Gujarat): Pronouncing the quantum of sentence for the 24 convicts in the Gulberg society massacre, a special SIT court in Ahmadabad on Friday awarded life-imprisonment to 11 accused, seven-year jail term to 12 others and a 10-year prison term for another guilty in this case.
The case pertains to the massacre of 69 people, including former Congress lawmaker Ehsan Jafri, during communal riots in Gujarat on February 28, 2002.
During the hearing earlier, the defence said the eight witnesses have not been able to recognize the convicts, adding minimum punishment should be given on this basis.
Appearing for the accused, Rajkot-based senior lawyer Abhay Bharadwaj had earlier said that they should be given a chance to reform themselves as they don’t have past criminal records.
The prosecution had sought nothing less than death sentence or jail term till death for all convicts while the defence lawyers contested that the incident was spontaneous and there were enough provocations for it.
Six accused had died during the trial. Of the 24 convicted today, 11 have been charged with murder, while 13 others have been convicted for lesser offences. VHP leader Atul Vaidya is among the 24 convicted in this case.
Gulberg society case is one of the nine cases of the 2002 Gujarat riots probed by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT. (ANI)