A Special Investigation Team (SIT) court in Ahmedabad, which had on June 2 convicted 24 accused in the Gulbarg society massacre case, is expected to pronounce the quantum of sentence today.
On June 2, 24 people were convicted while 36 others were acquitted in the 2002 Gulbarg Society massacre case. Although no one has been convicted under the charges of conspiracy (IPC Section 120 B) but out of 24 convicts, 11 have been found guilty of murder (Section 302) and 13 have been convicted for lesser offences.
The court of Justice PB Desai was to initially announce the sentencing on June 6 but the hearing was adjourned after Defence advocates sought more time to argue.
Prosecution lawyers had argued that the massacre is a case of mass murder and exemplary punishment should be meted out. They had demanded life imprisonment and fine for the convicts.
"All murders were committed in broad daylight and in cold blooded manner. The only fault attributed to victims is that they belonged to the minority community. There were 19 houses in Gulbarg and almost all houses lost a member or more. Of the recovered bodies, 20 were women and six children. Of those who went missing, there were 14 women and eight children," Special Public Prosecutor RC Kodekar had argued.
He had added that the magnitude and gravity of crime was extremely heinous. "Many of victims were roasted alive and without provocation, many including women and children were killed and burnt," he told the court.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Atul Vaidya is among those convicted for the massacre in which former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri and 68 other persons were killed.
Out of the 66 people initially accused in the case, six died during the long drawn trial.
The court let off 36 of the 66 accused in the case for lack of evidence. Bharatiya Janata Party corporator Bipin Patel and police inspector KG Erda are among those acquitted.
Patel is a sitting corporator from Asarva seat. He was also corporator in 2002 when the massacre took place and won the election for fourth consecutive term in 2015.