Ahmedabad: A city sessions court on Thursday acquitted 13 youths belonging to minority community from charges of loot and setting afire 100 shops during post-Godhra riots of 2002, for lack of evidence.
The youths were charged for rioting, arson, unlawful assembly and loot of around 100 shops owned by Hindus in the communally sensitive Kalupur area of the city.
Additional sessions judge HM Dholakia acquitted them as most of the witnesses turned hostile during the trial. As per case details, 16 Muslims were booked for rioting in the Kalupur area on February 28, 2002.
One of them, Faiyaz Pathan died of a bullet injury he sustained during the riots. By the time trial against them started a decade later, one person had passed away.
Finally, 13 people were tried in the case and the prosecution charged them for causing damage of Rs 6 crore to more than 100 shops.
During the trial, eye witnesses including Hindus refused to identify the accused. Police witnesses named them, but failed to recognise them before court. The police had cited 60 witnesses in charge sheet, but prosecution examined only 18 of them.