Gulberg Massacre: Unhappy With The Verdict, Zakia Jafri Says Her Fight Will Continue

02/06/2016 2:49 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST
Amit Dave / Reuters
Zakia Jafri shows a photograph of her late husband Ehsan Jafri, a lawmaker for the Congress party which now sits in opposition, who was hacked to death by a Hindu mob in riots, inside her son's house in Surat, India, September 15, 2015. Jafri, a frail 76-year-old, has begun what may be the last legal battle to pin blame on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for deadly riots that shook the state of Gujarat when he was chief minister, and claimed her husband's life. Picture taken September 15, 2015. REUTERS/Amit Dave TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

MUMBAI -- Expressing disappointment with the acquittal of 36 people in connection to the 2002 post-Godhra riots case of Gulberg Society, former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri's wife Zakia Jafri on Thursday said that her fight would continue.

Zakia said the accused should have been punished as only then they would have understood the severity of their crime.

Recalling the horrific incident, she told ANI the accused should have been given some strict punishment.

"I'm not asking for capital punishment, but at least there should be some strict action against them. If they stay ten-twenty years away from their family and children, they will understand the pain of separation," she added.

Also Read: BJP Corporator Bipin Patel Among 36 Acquitted In 2002 Gulberg Society Massacre Case

Meanwhile, former IPS officer turned lawyer Y.P. Singh lauded the Gujarat Police while calling the verdict to be satisfactory and a reasonable step in the right direction.

"It is in given circumstance that in mob violence cases, it is not easy to get convictions. Mumbai riots were much more serious, but they were unable to get such type of conviction. But in Gujarat's society case if this has happened, certainly this is a very good achievement on behalf of the Gujarat Police," Singh told ANI.

"Such investigations are conducted amidst a lot of adverse circumstances and these things happen at the spur of the moment and with the passage of time the witnesses do not support the prosecution case," he said.

"Not withstanding such negative factors if Gujarat Police has done the investigation and based upon the SIT investigation if the conviction has been achieved, I think this is certainly a reasonable step in the right direction," he added.

A special SIT court in, Gujarat, Ahmedabad, earlier in the day convicted 24 of the 66 accused in the 2002 post-Godhra Gulberg society riots case, which left 69 people including former Congress MP Eshan Jafri dead.

Special Court Judge P.B. Desai also acquitted 36 others, including sitting BJP corporator Bipin Patel, and also dropped the conspiracy charge against all accused.

The court said there is no evidence of criminal conspiracy in the case, while dropping Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Out of the 66 accused, six 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.

The 24 convicted includes VHP leader Atul Vaidya. The quantum of punishment for those convicted in the case will be delivered on 6 June.

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