38 awarded death sentence in 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts case
A special court on Friday (February 18) pronounced death sentence for 38 convicts in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial bombings case. The 11 other convicts have been sentenced to life imprisonment until death. The court had, on February 8, convicted 49 accused and acquitted 28 others in connection with the attack. The trial in the case had been concluded in September last year.
- The sentencing comes more than 13 years after 21 serial blasts rocked the key city in Gujarat on July 26, 2008.
- The attack had killed 56 people and injured over 200 others across Ahmedabad.
- Police alleged that terrorists associated with the outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM) had planned and executed the bombings to avenge the 2002 riots in Gujarat that killed over 1,000.
Declaring the sentencing, Special Judge AR Patel awarded a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh to the families of those who had died in the blasts. Patel also announced a compensation of Rs. 50,000 for victims who suffered serious injuries and Rs. 25,000 for those with minor injuries. Meanwhile, the court has imposed a fine of Rs. 2.85 lakh each on 48 convicts.
The trial in the case had begun in December 2009 against 78 people linked with the Indian Mujahideen. The court had merged nearly three dozen First Information Reports (FIRs) filed with the police in relation to the bombings. Later on, the number of accused came down to 77 after one of them became an approver.
On July 26, 2008, bombs had gone off at various locations in Ahmedabad, including a state-run hospital, inside buses, cars, and parked bicycles. Soon after the attack, the IM had sent emails to some media houses claiming responsibility. The accused have been convicted under different sections of the Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Explosive Substances Act, and Damage to Public Property Act.