Post-Godhra riots case: Gujarat court acquits 22 accused due to lack of evidence

Image Source : PTI/FILE Post-Godhra riots case Gujarat court acquits 22 accused due to lack of evidence against them

Post-Godhra riots case: In the latest development to the post-Godhra riots case in 2002, a district court in Gujarat acquitted 22 people, who were accused of killing 17 members of a minority community owing to the lack of evidence against them.

According to the prosecution, the victims, including two children, were killed on February 28, 2002, and their bodies charred with the intention to abate the evidence.

Defence lawyer Gopalsinh Solanki said that the court at Halol town in Gujarat’s Panchmahal district acquitted all the 22 accused, eight of whom died during the pendency of the case.

All accused were released due to lack of evidence

“The court of Additional Sessions Judge Harsh Trivedi acquitted all the accused in the case of rioting and murder of 17 members of a minority community, including two children, in Delol village of the district because of lack of evidence,” Solanki remarked.

A day after a Sabarmati Express bogie was set on fire by a crowd near Godhra town in Panchmahal district on February 27, 2002, Communal riots had broken out in different parts of the state, killing 59 passengers, most of them ‘karsevaks’ returning from Ayodhya.

FIR in Delol village

Following the unrest in Delol village, an FIR was filed under the Indian Penal Code sections pertaining to rioting and murder. Another police inspector lodged a case afresh nearly two years after the incident and arrested 22 people for their alleged involvement in the riots.

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Defence lawyer Solanki said that the prosecution was unable to gather enough evidence against the accused persons, and even witnesses turned hostile. He further added that the bodies of the victims were never found.

However, Police recovered bones from an isolated place on the banks of a river, but they were charred to such an extent that the identity of the victims could not be established, Solanki added.

(With inputs from PTI)

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