2008 Ahmedabad Serial Blast Case: 49 Convicted, 28 Acquitted
At least 56 people were killed and over 200 injured in 21 bomb blasts that rocked Ahmedabad city within a span of 70 minutes on July 26, 2008
New Delhi: A special court in Gujarat on Tuesday convicted 49 accused and acquitted 28 others in connection with a case related to the 2008 Ahmedabad serial bomb blasts. The quantum of the sentence will be pronounced by the court tomorrow. The development comes nearly four months after the trial in the more than 13-year-old case concluded in September last year. Earlier this month, the case was notified twice for the pronouncement of judgment, but was adjourned due to some issues.
At least 56 people were killed and over 200 injured in 21 bomb blasts that rocked Ahmedabad city within a span of 70 minutes on July 26, 2008. The police had claimed people associated with banned terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM), a faction of radicals of the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), were involved in the blasts. It was alleged that Indian Mujahideen terrorists had planned and executed these blasts as a revenge for the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat, in which several persons from the minority community had died.
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Days after the serial blasts in Ahmedabad, the police had recovered bombs from different parts of Surat. Following the recovery, 20 FIRs were registered in Ahmedabad and 15 in Surat.
The trial was conducted after the court merged all 35 FIRs into one. The trial commenced against 78 accused and the number came down to 77 after one of them turned an approver.
The trial was conducted against 77 accused, for which the prosecution examined over 1,100 witnesses. The lengthy legal proceeding began in December 2009, over a year after the terror strikes in the state’s commercial hub. The accused are facing charges of murder, criminal conspiracy, and have also been booked under relevant provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), an anti-terror law.
The special court initially heard the case from inside the Sabarmati Central Jail for security reasons and the proceedings were later conducted mostly through video-conferencing. When the trial was underway, some of the accused had allegedly tried to escape by digging a 213 feet long tunnel in the jail in 2013.
(With agency inputs)
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