Gujarat riots: Naroda Patiya convict gets 31-year jail term

Suresh alias Shehzad Netalkar

A special court here on Friday awarded 31 years rigorous imprisonment to a convict of the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case, who was produced in the court after he jumped bail.

Terming Suresh alias Shehzad Netalkar as one of the main conspirators, special judge Jyotsana Yagnik sentenced him to 21 years life imprisonment after serving 10 years under section 326 (voluntary causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the IPC.

On August 29, 2012, Netalkar was held guilty of murder (section 302), conspiracy and other sections of the IPC among 32 accused, including BJP MLA and former minister in Narendra Modi government - Maya Kodnani.

While pronouncing the sentence on August 31, the court had named Maya Kodnani as a kingpin of the massacre in Naroda area where 97 people were brutally killed. The court had sentenced her to 18 years life imprisonment after serving 10 years under section 326.

Seven other accused were awarded enhanced life imprisonment of 21 years and they will also have to first serve 10 years imprisonment under section 326.

Another high-profile convict in the case – Babu Bajrangi - had been sentenced to remain in jail till he dies.

As Netalkar had jumped his bail and was declared an absconder, the court had reserved the pronouncement of quantum of punishment till he could be brought before the court.

Judge Yagnik had also directed the Supreme Court appointed special investigation team (SIT) to form a special team to nab Netalkar.

Following a manhunt in more than six cities of Maharashtra and tracing him on the basis of his mobile phone locations, the special team finally nabbed him yesterday

from Nandurbar in Maharashtra and produced him before the court today.

Before hearing all the sides for the sentencing of Netalkar, the court appreciated the special team for nabbing the convict in a short time.

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