One son acquitted, another convicted; father says helpless

Visnagar-based Ranchhod Patel doesn't know "how to react". Two of his sons were undergoing trial in the massacre since 2002. On Monday when the special trial court pronounced its judgment, Kamlesh (35) was acquitted while Rajesh (40) was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

"For the past so many years, we were fighting this expensive legal battle with a hope that both our sons will be acquitted. But Kamlesh's acquittal has been dwarfed by the conviction of Rajesh," said Ranchhodbhai.

The family is surviving on farming on a two-bigha land in the town. Rajesh has two children — a five-year-old son and an eight-year-old daughter. "He was the main pillar of the family who was handling social and economic affairs. With his going to jail, I'm feeling helpless," he said.

According to Ranchhodbhai, Rajesh had gone to Kalol on that day (February 28, 2002) and returned in the evening. "After coming back home, he went to get milk and was arrested from there by police. He had done nothing," he added.

Vipul Patel, cousin of Rajesh, said the police were was looking for faces to show their work and therefore picked up his brother without.

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