Trial in Ahmedabad serial blasts case concludes after 13 years
Thirteen years after 56 people were killed in a series of bomb blasts in Gujarat's Ahmedabad, a special court has concluded the trial against 77 accused, while reserving its verdict in the matter. The prosecution examined over 1,100 witnesses in the lengthy trial, which began in December 2009, over a year after a series of bomb blasts rocked the city.
21 bomb blasts had hit Ahmedabad within 70 minutes
At least 56 people were killed and over 200 people injured in 21 bomb blasts that hit Ahmedabad city, within a span of 70 minutes, on July 26, 2008. The police had claimed that people associated with the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM), a faction of radicals of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), were involved in the blasts.
Police had recovered bombs in Surat days after Ahmedabad blasts
It was alleged that IM terrorists had planned these blasts as revenge for the 2002 post-Godhra riots, in which several persons from the minority community had died. Days after Ahmedabad serial blasts, police had recovered bombs from different parts of Surat, following which 20 FIRs were registered in Ahmedabad and 15 in Surat. The trial was conducted after the court merged all 35 FIRs.
The trial had commenced against 78 persons
Notably, of the 85 accused arrested by the Gujarat police over a period of time, the trial commenced against 78 persons, and the number came down to 77 after one of the accused turned an approver during the trial.
Accused have been booked under relevant provisions of UAPA
At least eight to nine accused in the case are still on the run, it was stated. The accused are facing charges of murder, criminal conspiracy, and have been booked under relevant provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The court initially used to sit in the Sabarmati Central Jail to hear the case, and the proceedings were later conducted mostly through video-conferencing.
Some accused allegedly tried to escape in 2013
When the trial was underway, some of the accused had allegedly tried to escape by digging a 213-feet long tunnel in the jail in 2013. The trial for this jailbreak attempt is still pending.