2002 Gujarat riots: All 26 accused in gang rape, multiple murders acquitted by court

A Gujarat court has acquitted all 26 people accused of gang-raping, killing and rioting over 12 members of the Muslim community in separate incidents in Kalol during the 2002 communal riots.

According to PTI, 13 of the total 39 accused died during the pendency of the case and the trial against them was terminated.

A court of additional sessions judge of Halol in Panchmahal district, Leelabhai Chudasama, on Friday acquitted 26 persons for the offence of murder, gangrape and rioting for want of evidence.

“As many as 13 out of a total 39 accused in the case had died during the pendency of the trial,” the court said in the order passed on Friday.

The accused were a part of a mob that rampaged during the communal riots that broke out on March 1, 2002, as a result of a bandh call made following the burning of the Sabarmati train in Godhra on February 27.

On March 2 of that year, a FIR was filed at Kalol police station against the accused.

The prosecution presented 190 witnesses and 334 pieces of documentary evidence in support of its case, but the court found that the witnesses’ testimonies were inconsistent and did not lend credence to the prosecution’s case.

In Kalol city, Gandhinagar district, on March 1, 2002, a mob of over 2,000 people from two different communities engaged in clashes using sharp weapons and combustible objects.

Shops were burned and damaged by them. A tempo and a man who had been shot by police and was on his way to the hospital were both burned alive. Another man was being attacked by the mob as he left a mosque when he was killed, and his body was burned inside the mosque.

In a separate incident, 38 people who were leaving the village of Delol and heading towards Kalol were attacked, and 11 of them were set ablaze. According to the FIR, a woman was gang raped while trying to flee with other people.

They damaged shops and set them on fire. A man who was injured in police firing and being rushed to the hospital was burnt alive along with a tempo. The mob attacked and killed another man coming out of a mosque and burnt his body inside the mosque.

In another incident, 38 persons fleeing Delol village and coming towards Kalol were attacked and 11 of them were burnt alive. A woman was gang raped when she and others were trying to escape, as per the FIR.

(with PTI inputs)


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