The special SIT court on Friday sentenced 11 convicted in the Gulberg society massacre case to life imprisonment till death. The remaining 12 convicts were awarded 7 years imprisonment each, while one convict was given a 10-year sentence.The Gulberg Society massacre had left 69 people dead, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri in 2002. More than 14 years after the massacre, the SIT court had earlier delivered its verdict in the case on June 2 and pronounced the quantum of sentence today. Judge PB Desai had convicted 11 persons of offences, including murder, while 13 others were charged with lesser offences. The court had acquitted 36 others. Out of the 66 accused, six died during the trial. The 24 convicted include Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Atul Vaidya.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The court said the 2002 incident was the darkest day in civil society,” said RC Kodekar, Public Prosecutor.However, reacting sharply to the verdict, wife of late Efsan Jafri, Zakia Jafri said she was not satisfied with the punishment. “After so many people died, that’s all the court could decide? Just 12 guilty? I will have to fight this. They brutally killed Ehsan Jafri, and this is the quantum of sentence? They should have all got life imprisonment. So many people, all being violent. How did court pick out those for lesser sentence? I am not satisfied, I am not happy. I will have to consult my lawyers again, this is not justice,” she said. On the other hand activist Teesta Setalvad said that she welcomed the judgement, but was disappointed about the lesser sentence. “We will appeal against the lesser sentence for those who haven’t been awarded life imprisonment. We are not for revenge verdict but reformative justice,” she said.The Gulberg incident was one of the nine cases of the Gujarat riots probed by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT. A mob of 400 people had attacked the Gulberg society during the riots, which were triggered after a coach of the Sabarmati Express was set on fire, killing 58 people, including karsevaks. The incident took place near the Godhra railway station on February 27, 2002.(With Agency Inputs)

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Gulberg society verdict: 11 convicted sentenced to life imprisonment, 12 others get seven years jail