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Gulberg massacre: Zakia Jafri cries foul over injustice

Zakia-Jafri

Ahmadabad : Zakia Jafri, the wife of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, today expressed her disappointment over the verdict in the Gulberg society massacre case and hinted that she might approach the higher courts.

Ehsan Jafri was one of the 69 persons killed during the 2002 communal violence in Ahmadabad’s Gulberg society.

Zakia said that she was a witness to Gulberg society massacre, where the people were ‘brutally slaughtered’ and ‘burnt alive’.

“All would like to say is that the people were brutally slaughtered there, I saw it all. I was a witness when the people were being burnt. And now, only 11 have been punished. I am not happy with it,” she said.

“After all this happened, the punishment given is very less. Only (11) were punished, the rest were let-off,” she added.

When asked about the future course of action, Zakia said she would hold consultation with her lawyers.

“This is injustice. I was there I saw it all. Even a parliamentarian, Eshan Jafri, wasn’t spared,” she added.

Pronouncing the quantum of sentence for the 24 convicts in the Gulberg society massacre, a special SIT court in Ahmadabad earlier today 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.

Gulberg society case is one of the nine cases of the 2002 Gujarat riots probed by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT. (ANI)

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