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Gujarat Riots 2002: 23 convicted, 23 acquitted in Ode massacre case

Ahmedabad, Mon, 09 Apr 2012 NI Wire

A special court in Anand district of Gujarat Monday found 23 persons guilty in Ode massacre case, one of the nine biggest cases that held in the line of Gujarat communal riots in 2002 in which 1,044 people were killed and over 223 were reported missing.

Announcing the verdict, a Special Court Judge Justice P B Singh on Monday acquitted 23 persons out of 47 against whom Special Investigating Team (SIT) had filled chargesheets. One person died during the course of trial while two are still absconding.

In Ode massacre case, 23 persons belonging to a minority community in which most of the persons were ladies and children were burnt alive by a mob in Ode village of Anand district on March 01, 2002.

According to media reports, an agitated mob of 2,000 people gathered near Pirawali Bhagol in the Ode town of Anand district on March 1, 2002 and set a house on fire in which a small group of Muslims had taken shelter.

The Ode massacre was one amongst the nine post-Godhra riot cases investigated by the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigating Team (SIT).

After allegations that Gujarat Police had not been able to investigate the case impartially, it was handed over to the Supreme Court-appointed SIT, which filed a chargesheet against 47 accused in the case.

The trial finally started in November 2009 and 158 witnesses were cross-questioned out of which 35 turned hostile.

The SIT urged the court to place the massacre in the rarest of the rare category. It is, therefore, likely to seek capital punishment or life sentence for the accused who were allegedly actively involved in the massacre.

Ode massacre is the Third out of nine cases in the court said the verdict. The final judgement has yet to come.

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