9 convicted, 32 acquitted in 2002 Ode riots case

Anand (Guj): Nine persons were today convicted while 32 others acquitted by a special court here in the 2002 Ode village riots case that left three persons dead.

Special court judge R M Sarin convicted the nine accused under the charges of murder(302) and criminal conspiracy (120B). Quantum of sentence is likely to be pronounced later.

Three persons of minority community were killed in Malva Bhagol area of Ode village on March 1, 2002 as part of state-wide repercussions of Godhra train burning incident of February 27, 2002.

There were 41 accused in the case against whom the charges were framed on the complaint of one Rehana Yusufbhai Vohra. Those killed in the incident were Ayesha Vohra, Nuriben Vohra and Kaderbhai Vohra.

During the trial, the court had examined 67 witnesses and 98 documentary evidence were put up before the court. This is the second case of Ode village in which court has given its verdict. In the first case, another court had sentenced 18 people to life imprisonment while awarding seven years jail to five others, in connection with massacre of 23 persons in Ode village during the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

The case was probed by the Supreme Court appointed special investigation team. Those convicted by the court are Harish Patel, Vasant Patel, Lala alias Nilesh Patel, Tina alias Mahesh Patel, Mimesh Patel, Prakash alias Pako Patel, Ritesh Patel, Ashok Patel and Kirit Patel.

Out of the nine cases probed by the SIT headed by former CBI director R K Raghavan, judgements have been pronounced in two other cases also, including the Godhra train burning incident where 11 people were awarded death sentence and 20 were sentenced to life imprisonment. The second case was that of Sardarpura village in Mehsana district where 31 persons were awarded life term and 42 others were acquitted.