Communalism

Gulberg Society Verdict: Of 24 Convicted, 11 Imprisoned for Life; Timeline of Events

A special court has ruled on the Gulberg Society massacre of February 2002 on June 2. The incident was the second largest case of mass killings during the 2002 Gujarat riots. A total of 69 Muslims were killed, including former Congress member of parliament Ehsan Jafri. Of the 69, 31 were declared missing and their bodies were never found.

The court has acquitted 36 of the 66 accused and convicted 24. Six of the accused died during the trial. Of those convicted, 11 have been charged with murder while the other convictions are on charges like arson and rioting. Nobody has been convicted of conspiracy.

The families of the victims and survivors of the incident are disappointed with the verdict, saying that they were expecting a higher conviction rate. Jafri’s wife Zakia has said that the judgment is very far from her expectations and her legal struggle will continue. Their son, Tanvir, has said he does not understand how the court thinks 24 people could burn down an entire housing colony and kill 69 people, and questioned why the verdict took so long.

The sentences for the convicted will be pronounced on June 6.

The Wire brings you a timeline of events in the case:

  • Anjan Basu

    But can the victims hope for justice, realistically speaking? At least in Gujarat, justice has been consistently, unfailingly subverted over the past several years. Even the R K Raghavan report also seemed tailor-made to legitimise this subversion. I wouldn’t expect much from today’s trial court proceedings. After all, trial court judges are also social animals, and there must have been relentless pressure on the judiciary in Gujarat to act ‘sensibly’ in the Gujarat riot cases. I will take my hat off to the judge if he were do the bidding of his conscience, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he heeded to our political masters instead. Shall we weep once again, or shall we be permitted to sigh in relief for a change? I will wait.

  • Anjan Basu

    Small mercies: some 24 convicted, but the rest let off. And, as expected, the judge didn’t find any conspiracy. How could he ? Because a conspiracy would point fingers at a certain 56 inch pehlwaan who happens to be the Lord and master, yours and mine. And you will not hear a word about this from the BJP. Who has time for such minor matters when Development and Governance, no less, is the mantra that is chanted 24*7 on TV channels? — If there is something that can be called a conspiracy of silence, here it is, hatched to perfection.