Ahmedabad: A Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Friday moved the Gujarat High Court against a special court's judgement in a 2002 riot case in which 11 members of a family, nine of them women and children, were killed. The judgement in the Deepda Darwaza riot case was delivered on July 30, 2012. Designated Judge S C Srivastava had awarded life imprisonment to 21 people, a year in jail to a retired police officer and acquitted 61 other accused.
"We have, in our appeal, challenged the acquittal of 61 by the Special Court as well as conviction of 21 accused under IPC Section 307 (attempt to murder). We want they be convicted for murder (under IPC Section 302)," Manisha Lavkumar, Special Public Prosecutor of the case, told PTI. A total of 83 accused were named in the case which related to a mob attack in Dipda Darwaza area of north Gujarat's Visnagar town during the post-Godhra riots.
Those acquitted included former BJP MLA Prahlad Gosa and Dayabhai Patel, his party colleague and ex-president of the local municipality. The court dropped the more serious charges of murder and criminal conspiracy (IPC Section 120-B). Those convicted for life were found guilty of attempt to murder and arson. SIT has challenged the acquittal of 61 accused on the ground that there was a criminal conspiracy behind the incident. The designated court, in its order, had concluded that the massacre was not the result of a conspiracy. The SIT's appeal is likely to come up for hearing next week.