14 years on, 31 acquitted in two post-Godhra riots cases

Thirty-one people accused of looting and arson at Thara village in North Gujarat in two cases related to the 2002 post-Godhra riots were today acquitted by a court at Deesa in the district.

Sessions judge N M Parmar pronounced the verdict, saying there wasn’t enough evidence.

On February 28, 2002, a day after the Godhra train burning incident in which 59 people died, BJP workers at Thara had given a bandh call.

There was violence in the village during which 20 shops on the highway were gutted.

On the same evening, over three dozen houses were damaged and set on fire. No one was killed.

Police registered two separate cases without naming anyone. Names of 31 and 33 accused were added in the two cases, respectively, after the Gujarat High Court ordered a reinvestigation.

Most of the individuals were accused in both the cases. Three of the accused died during the trial; the others were out on bail.