24 of 66 people who stood trial in the Gulbarg society Gujarat riots case have been convicted, 11 of them for murder, by an Ahmedabad court today. Bipin Patel, a four-time BJP corporator and among the key accused, is among 36 people who have been acquitted.
The court will pronounce the sentence for the convicts on June 6.
Former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was among 69 people slaughtered in the massacre.
The Gulbarg Society case is one of the nine cases of the 2002 Gujarat riots probed by the Supreme Court appointed SIT.
The incident had taken place a day after S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express was burnt near Godhra train station, where in 58 ‘karsevaks’ were killed.
Ahmedabad was put on high alert ahead of the verdict, which special judge P B Desai would deliver after a trial that has lasted seven years.
Among the 66 accused, five died during the trial, which has been conducted under four judges. As many as 338 witnesses were examined in the case, the only one in which then CM Narendra Modi was questioned as Zakia had levelled charges of a larger conspiracy.
A mob of over 20,000 people had attacked the Gulbarg society in Chamanpura area a day after 59 people were charred to death near Godhra on February 27, 2002.
Thirty-nine bodies were found while 31 people including Jafri and 14-year-old Parsi boy Azhar Mody went missing. Seven years later, 30 of the missing were declared dead. The one left, Muzaffar Shaikh, was found alive in 2008. He was being brought up by a Hindu family and had been renamed Vivek.