India: 4 Hindus convicted in 2002 Muslim massacre get bail

24th Jan 2019
India: 4 Hindus convicted in 2002 Muslim massacre get bail

By Ahmad Adil

 

CHANDIGARH, India (AA): Four people convicted last year of involvement in a Muslim massacre in 2002 were granted bail on Wednesday by India’s Supreme Court, local media reported.

Nearly 100 Muslims were killed in the massacre at Norada Patiya — a locality in Ahmedabad, the capital of Gujarat state by a Hindu mob on 28 February 2002. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat then. The communal violence followed the torching of a train, which triggered protests in the state.

“The conviction order is debatable,” the court’s bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar said on Wednesday, according to the local broadcaster NDTV, while granting the bail.

In June 2018 the Gujarat High Court sentenced the four men to 10 years rigorous imprisonment, saying in its opinion that the “punishment must be consistent with the brutality of the crime.

In the Naroda Patiya case, the Gujarat High Court had last year convicted Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi, but acquitted former BJP minister Maya Kodnani for want of evidence.

ll these accused were held guilty under Section 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house) of the Indian Penal Code, along with other provisions relating to unlawful assembly.

The bench released Umeshbhai Surabhai Bharwad, Rajkumar, Padmendrasinh Jaswantsinh Rajput and Harshad alias Mungda Jila Govind Chhara Parmar on bail after imposing ordinary conditions to be laid out by the trial court, according to News 18.

Additional report from News 18

[Archive Photo: Attack of  Muslims in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, in 2002. Photographer: AKsi-Great/Creative Commons]

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