Indian Court Sentences 38 People to Death for 2008 Bombings
18 February 2022, 04:15 pm | Updated: 07 December 2023, 12:05 pm
A court in India has sentenced 38 people to death and ordered life in prison for 11 others over a series of bomb blasts in 2008 that killed dozens in the western city of Ahmedabad, reports Al Jazeera.
The court had on February 8 convicted 49 people over the coordinated attacks that killed 56 and wounded 200, launching shrapnel through markets, buses and other public places in Gujarat state’s commercial hub.
Nearly 80 people were charged overall for the attacks but 28 were acquitted. The convicted were all found guilty of murder and criminal conspiracy.
Judge A R Patel on Friday ordered the punishment after the prosecution pressed for the death sentence describing the incident as a 'rarest of rare case' in which innocent lives were lost.
A group calling itself the “Indian Mujahideen” had claimed responsibility for the blasts on July 26, 2008. It said the act was revenge for 2002 religious riots in the state that left some 1,000 people – mostly Muslims – dead.
The marathon trial lasted nearly a decade, with more than 1,100 witnesses called to testify. It was dragged out by procedural delays, including a legal battle by four of the accused to retract confessions.
Police also foiled a 2013 attempt by more than a dozen of the defendants to tunnel their way out of jail using food plates as digging tools.
All 77 accused have been held in custody for years, except for one who was bailed after a schizophrenia diagnosis.
Category : International