New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday granted bail to Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi who was convicted in the 2002 massacre in the Naroda Patiya area of Ahmedabad, in which 97 people were killed in broad daylight. The bench granted him bail on medical grounds as it noted that Bajrangi is blind, bedridden and deaf, CNN-News18 reported.
Bajrangi had been serving a life sentence in the case, which occurred during the 2002 riots in Gujarat.
The development comes weeks after the Gujarat government informed the Supreme Court, in reply to a bail plea that Bajrangi had filed last year, that he was "in bad shape". The state told the top court that Bajrangi has suffered complete vision loss, besides various other ailments.
Senior advocate R Basant, appearing for Bajrangi, had also cited the same medical reasons while filing his bail application. The top court had sought the Gujarat government's response to his bail plea on 8 October 2018.
On January 23, the Supreme Court had granted regular bail to four convicts in the Naroda Patiya massacre case – Umeshbhai Surabhai Bharwad, Rajkumar, Padmendrasinh Jaswantsinh Rajput and Harshad alias Mungda Jila Govind Chhara Parmar.
On April 20, 2018, the Gujarat High Court upheld the conviction of 12 out of the 29 accused who were pronounced guilty on various charges by the trial court and had acquitted 17 others, including former BJP minister Maya Kodnani.
The rioting occurred on 28 February, 2002, in the Naroda Patiaya area of Ahmedabad, where a mob had killed 97 people, most of them from a minority community.
The massacre followed the torching of the Sabarmati Express at Godhra, which killed 59 people and triggering statewide riots.