Ahmedabad: Twenty-two people have been convicted in the Dipda Darwaja massacre case in which 11 members of a family were killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots. While convicting the 22 people, Judge SC Srivastava acquitted 61 others including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Prahladbhai Mohanlal Patel (Gosa).
All the 83 people accused in the Dipda Darwaja massacre case have been acquitted of the charges of murder. Out of the 22 convicted, 21 have been convicted for attempt to murder and one for dereliction of duty.
Prahladbhai Mohanlal Patel (Gosa), the MLA from Visnagar in Mehsana district has been given the benefit doubt and acquitted of all the charges.
A mob had killed 11 members of a single family, including two children and a 65-year-old woman, on February 28, 2002 at Dipda Darwaja area of Visnagar town in Mehsana district. Initially, charges had been framed against 83 accused, including three women, but later the court allowed the application of complainant Mohammad Iqbal Baloch, listing BJP MLA Prahladbhai Mohanlal Patel (Gosa) and former Police Inspector of Visnagar town MK Patel, as additional accused in the case, taking the total number to 85.
However, one of the accused, against whom, charges were framed, was found to be minor at the time of the crime, following which, the court ordered his trial by a juvenile court, while one of the accused died during the course of trial.
A total of 127 people including eight eyewitnesses examined during trial.
Dipda Darwaja is the second case of rioting where among the accused there are three women who have been charged with murder and other crimes.
In the rioting case of Naroda Patiya, Ahmedabad former state minister Maya Kodnani and other two women were tried by designated judge. Judgment in that case is likely to be pronounced on August 28, 2012.
"All the 83 accused of the Dipda Darwaja case have been charged under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempted murder), 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 325 (causing grievous hurt with deadly weapons), 367 (kidnapping in order to cause grievous hurt) of Indian Penal Code among other sections," special prosecutor Mukesh K Brahmabhatt said.
Dipda Darwaja is one of the nine cases, including the Godhra train burning case that was probed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on orders of the Supreme Court.
(With additional information from PTI)