2002 Gujarat riots: Dipda Darwaza convicts move HC

The 22 accused convicted in the 2002 Dipda Darwaza riot case moved the Gujarat High Court Thursday challenging their sentence awarded by a trial court.

The designated fast-track court in Mehsana had in July sentenced 21 accused to life imprisonment while then Visnagar police inspector M K Patel was convicted of dereliction of duty and was sentenced to one-year imprisonment.

"There are numerous grounds for challenging the lower court's order. The basis of conviction found by the court is largely based on IPC section 307 (attempt to murder) and not IPC 302 (murder) and 120B (conspiracy). The Special Investigation Team, which investigated the case, couldn't find evidence of the people supposed to have been killed. Therefore, life imprisonment is not reasonable," said lawyer Ashish Dagli, who is representing the convicts.

Dagli said the HC has admitted their appeal and the matter is likely to be heard within a week.

The trial court had acquitted 61 accused in the case, giving them benefit of doubt while 10 others were set free as there were no evidence against them. Among those acquitted were Prahalad Gosa, the then BJP MLA from Visnagar, and MT Patel, the then president of Visnagar Municipality.

As many as 11 members of a family were killed in the massacre on February 28, 2002.

Absconding Naroda Patiya convict in net

AHMEDABAD: THE Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the post-Godhra riots on Thursday arrested Suresh Netalkar alias Suresh Langda, who had been absconding after being convicted in the Naroda Patiya massacre case.

An SIT team nabbed Langda from Nadurbar in Maharashtra, sources said.

Langda was convicted for murder, attempt to murder, rape and conspiracy.

ACP (crime) Nirlipt Rai, who led the SIT team that nabbed Langda, said he was arrested on the orders of the special court, which had issued a non-bailable warrant against him.

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