The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday granted bail to Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Atul Vaidya who was convicted in the Gulbarg Society massacre, one of the several cases of violence against Muslims during the 2002 Godhra riots. This is the first time that a convict is granted bail in this case.
Gulberg Society massacre case: Gujarat HC grants bail to convicted VHP leader Atul Vaidya
— ANI (@ANI_news) June 27, 2017
Hearing the bail plea, the high court held that Vaidya had already served one year out of his seven year prison sentence, The Indian Express reported.
In June 2016, a Special Sessions Court in Ahmedabad had convicted Vaidya along with 23 people for killing 69 people in Gulberg society during the 2002 riots.The court relied on the testimonies of eyewitnesses who said that Atul Vaidya, a local VHP leader, Kailash Dhobi and Jayesh Jinger were among those who dragged out former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri when he stepped out of his house to mollify the mob. The mob hacked Jafri to death.
Jafri's wife had alleged that the then chief minister Narendra Modi was involved in instigating the riots, but a Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team had given him a clean chit.
The SIT wishes to challenge the acquittal of certain accused and to enhance their sentences, but the Gujarat government has not yet authorised them to do it yet. Besides, the victims in the case have also been seeking harsher punishment for those acquitted. However, Vaidya, had moved the high court to challenge his conviction.
Updated Date: Jun 27, 2017 16:04 PM