Gulberg: Mothers of 2 victims seek free copy of trial

Gulberg: Mothers of 2 victims seek free copy of trial

Two women, who lost their sons in the Gulberg Society massacre during the 2002 post-Godhra riots, have moved the Gujarat High Court seeking a free copy of documents related to the case as they can’t afford to pay for their photocopies. Reuters file photo for representation only

Two women, who lost their sons in the Gulberg Society massacre during the 2002 post-Godhra riots, have moved the Gujarat High Court seeking a free copy of documents related to the case as they can’t afford to pay for their photocopies. The high court is hearing a set of appeal petitions moved by convicts and these two women. 

Saira Sandhi and Roopa Mody have filed an application in the high court seeking a copy of the paper book that runs into 26,000 pages. This paper book contains all the documents related to the trial of Gulberg Society massacre.

Since they are poor and can’t afford to get these voluminous documents photocopied, they should be given a copy free of cost, they say. According to an estimate, one copy of the paper book will cost over Rs 21,000. 

Sandhi and Mody’s sons were among the 69 persons burnt alive in Gulberg Society on February 28, 2002. The movie Parzania was based on Mody’s lost son.

The two women have moved the high court challenging the trial court order which acquitted 36 accused while convicting 24.

Sandhi and Mody have also sought enhancement of sentence of 13 convicts who were given only 10 years. The duo has appealed for life imprisonment. 

Besides, they have also challenged the observations of the trial court which said that the massacre was not part of a larger conspiracy. Incidentally, the Gujarat government has not filed any appeal in the high court.

Orchestrating riots

Ex-Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was also among those killed that day. His wife, Zakia Jafri, later accused then chief minister, now prime minister, Narendra Modi as well as other leaders and bureaucrats of allegedly orchestrating the riots. 

Following an investigation, everyone, including Modi, was given a clean chit by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team. This ruling has been challenged in the apex court.