After Two Decades, 6 Individuals Cleared in 2002 Gujarat Riots Case, Prosecution Under Fire

After Two Decades, 6 Individuals Cleared in 2002 Gujarat Riots Case, Prosecution Under Fire

Ahmedabad - Twenty-one years after the 2002 Gujarat riots, a local court has acquitted six individuals who were charged under the Explosives Act for possessing firecrackers, four liters of petrol, and a bleaching agent. The judge strongly criticized the prosecution for its clumsy application of the law and its provisions.

In his recent order, Judicial Magistrate VK Bansal raised the question of whether a person needs a license to possess four liters of petrol and a bleaching agent. He acquitted the six individuals and dismissed the prosecution's allegations that they were manufacturing bombs. Unfortunately, three of the accused passed away during the two-decade-long duration of the case.

The individuals, namely Tajmohammed Pathan, Moinkhan Pathan, Iqbal Dhibadiya, Haidarkhan Diwan, Ashraf Makrani, and Shehzad Hussain Shaikh, were initially charged after a police raid on a locked house in Ahmedabad's Sarkhej on May 8, 2002. The raid was based on information suggesting the presence of explosives in the area.

During the raid, the police claimed to have seized twenty pieces of '555' brand firecrackers, petrol, bleaching agent (calcium oxychloride), electric bulbs, and wooden chips. According to the police, they believed that the six individuals were attempting to manufacture bombs during the communal disturbances.

Magistrate Bansal criticized the prosecution, highlighting that the First Information Report (FIR) was registered under Sections 3 and 7 of the Explosives Act, while the chargesheet was filed under Section 9B(b). The magistrate pointed out that it appeared the complainant and investigator themselves were uncertain about the nature of the offense.

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