2008 Ahmedabad blasts case: 38 convicts sentenced to death, 11 get life imprisonment
The blasts killed 56 people and left 200 injured.
A special court in Gujarat on Friday sentenced 38 of the 49 convicts to death in the 2008 serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad, PTI reported. They were convicted under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
As many as 22 explosions ripped had through the city on July 26, 2008, leaving 56 dead and over 200 injured. After a trial that lasted almost 13 years, Special Judge AR Patel had on February 8 held 49 accused persons guilty and acquitted 28 others. Seventy-seven accused persons faced trial in the case after one person turned approver and was granted pardon.
On Friday, Patel sentenced 11 convicts to life imprisonment and announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to those who were killed in the blasts. For those who suffered serious injuries, the judge gave a compensation of Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 for victims with minor wounds.
One accused person who was convicted under the Arms Act has been given an additional year of imprisonment, according to The Indian Express. The judge also imposed Rs 2.88 lakh fine on him and Rs 2.85 lakh penalty each on the 48 convicts.
The police had claimed that people associated with the banned terror outfit Indian Mujahideen were responsible for the serial blasts. Indian Mujahideen is a faction of the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India.
Investigators alleged that the explosions were planned as a revenge for the 2002 Godhra riots in Gujarat, in which the majority of those killed were Muslims.
Bombs had gone off in the city at several locations, including the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation-run Lallubhai Gordhandas Hospital, on buses, parked bicycles, in cars between 6.32 pm and 7.45 pm on July 26, 2008.
The trial in the case began in December 2009 and ended in September last year. As many as 547 chargesheets were filed and the prosecution examined 1,163 witnesses. The court merged 35 first information reports and consolidated them into one case.
The Gujarat government had transferred the inquiry into the case to the Ahmedabad crime branch. Overall, nine judges presided over the lengthy trial at different times. Patel took over the trial from June 14, 2017, according to PTI.