Zakia Jafri, who has been waging a battle for 14 years to secure justice for her late husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction with the verdict in the 2002 Gulberg Society riots case and said she will continue her fight.
Recalling the horrific incident, she told that the accused should have been given some strict punishment.
“I am not asking for capital punishment, but at least there should be some strict action against them. If they stay ten-twenty years away from their family and children, they will understand the pain of separation,” she added.
“No I am not satisfied with the verdict. I did not like it. All should have been given punishment for what they did and what they did not. I know it all and as I have seen the massacre. I expected all to be convicted…how they killed people, how they made them homeless, I saw it myself,” Zakia said.
“My fight should have stopped but looking at today’s judgement the fight will continue,” she said. Social activist Teesta Setalvad, who has been fighting for the victims of Gulberg Society, said they will study the judgement in depth and appeal in the higher court.
“We will study the judgement, we definitely believe that this is the case of criminal conspiracy and we will exercise our right of appeal in it,” Setalvad said. Ehsan Jafri’s son Tanvir raised questions on acquittal of 36 people.
“It was a big society with 15-20 bungalows and 10 apartments with 400-500 occupants. So how can 24 people loot and burn the entire society for 24 hours and kill so many people in such a brutal manner. So that way it looks very odd,” Jafri said.
“We are satisfied with conviction of 24 people but for 36 acquitted, we will go in for an appeal after discussing with our lawyers,” Jafri said.
The massacre had left 69 people, including Ehsan Jafri, dead.
A special SIT court in Ahmedabad on Thursday convicted 24, including a VHP leader, in the 2002 post-Godhra Gulberg society massacre, which left 69 people including the former Congress MP dead. Thirty six others were acquitted.
Among those acquitted by special court Judge PB Desai was sitting BJP corporator Bipin Patel. The judge also dropped the conspiracy charge (120 B) against all the accused, saying there was no evidence of criminal conspiracy in the case.