Ahmedabad: Rejecting the theory of a conspiracy behind the Gulbarg Society massacre here during the 2002 Gujarat riots, the special SIT court on said there was no evidence to support it.
“There was absolutely no pre-planned conspiracy to butcher or kill members of the minority community, more particularly at Gulbarg society,” special judge PB Desai said in the order.
“The evidence…with regard to the elements of criminal conspiracy is extremely flimsy,” it said.
The court sentenced 11 convicts to life imprisonment in the case related to the massacre where 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were burnt alive on 28 February, 2002.
The court awarded a 10-year jail term to one accused while 12 others were given a seven-year sentence.
Testimony of one of the witnesses that Kapil Munna, an accused, told him that he was going to attend a meeting where the murder of Muslims would be planned was “uninspiring and downright ridiculous,” the judge said.
According to this witness, Munna told him this between 9 and 10 a.m on 28 February, while other witnesses had said the violence had begun at around 9 a.m itself, the court noted.
The prosecution had also referred to a visit by the senior police officers including the then police commissioner P C Pandey and joint commissioner of police M K Tandon to the Gulbarg Society before the incident to assure the residents that there would be proper police security.
The police officers stayed away when the carnage began, which supported the theory of criminal conspiracy involving high- ranking government officials, political leaders and police, said the prosecution.