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Ahmedabad blasts 2008: Gujarat court says then CM Modi was prime target, sentenced 38 to death, 11 others to lifetime imprisonment

Source : India Today

Ahmedabad blasts 2008: Gujarat court says then CM Modi was prime target, sentenced 38 to death, 11 others to lifetime imprisonment
The special court said the accused were responsible for the death of 56 people and 240 wounded in the Ahmedabad serial blasts. (File photo)


The special court said the accused were responsible for the death of 56 people and 240 wounded in the Ahmedabad serial blasts. (File photo)

A Gujarat court on Friday awarded the death penalty to 38 accused and sentenced 11 others to life imprisonment in the Ahmedabad serial blasts case, 14 years after the deadly explosions ripped through the city.

On July 26, 2008, 22 bombs went off in the city of Ahmedabad, leaving 56 dead and hundreds injured. The sites of the serial blasts included the Civil and LG hospitals. Proscribed terror outfit Indian Mujahideen had claimed responsibility for the blasts. 

In the over 7,000-page judgement, the court termed the case as the rarest of rare and ordered that 38 convicts in the case be hanged till death, while 11 others were awarded life imprisonment till death. 

Following are some of the key observations made by the court in its judgement:

  • Then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and former ministers Amit Shah, Anandiben Patel, Nitin Patel, and MLA Pradeepsinh Jadeja were part of the state government and were targeted through the accused. 
  • The accused hatched a conspiracy and carried out this entire incident with each others’ help. 
  • Between 2002 and 2008, the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) held many meetings in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat. The subjects discussed at these meetings were taking revenge for the Godhra incident, bomb blasts in Hindu areas, establishing Islamic religion in India, removing anti-Muslim government, challenging the government through jihadi speeches and discriminating between Hindu and Muslims. 
  • People from the Muslim community were made to attend SIMI meetings and terrorist training camps. 
  • In January 2008, many of the accused were present at a terror training camp in the forests of Halol Pavagadh [in Gujarat] where they were trained and given instructions. 
  • The accused stayed in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bharuch, Surat, Puna by renting accommodation. They made bombs while staying in these rented houses. 
  • They hid their identity and stayed in different hotels in Ahmedabad, Vapi, Hyderabad, Bharuch under false names. SIM cards were bought using falsified documents. 
  • Items for making bombs such as nutbolts, shrapnel, wire, scissors, cellotape, cycle, battery hood, gas cylinder, etc were bought from different shops. 
  • Cars were stolen from Mumbai, their number plates changed and brought to Ahmedabad and Surat. Blasts were carried out at 24 places in Ahmedabad on July 26, 2008 between 6 to 6:45 pm by placing the bombs on bicycles. 
  • Those who were injured in the blast were taken to LG Hospital and Civil Hospital. With the intention to cause more deaths, the accused set off a blast in a Maruti car at these two hospitals between 7:30 to 7:45 pm that same day, in which many people were killed. 
  • After this incident, the accused planned to stage similar attack on Chief Minister Narendra Modi, minister Amit Shah, local MLA Pradipsinh Jadeja and social worker Pradip Parmar [currently a cabinet minister in the Gujarat government]. Fortunately, they were saved. 
  • While Pradip Parmar was busy helping the wounded along with his friend, his right leg was injured in the blast. 
  • Bombs were planted at 29 places with the intention of causing more damage in Surat. Not a single blast took place in Surat due to a circuit failure in the bomb. Accused are responsible for the death of 56 people and 240 wounded in Ahmedabad. 
  • The accused have conspired, and by being involved in it, all are equally responsible for this crime. These are not ordinary accused, but they are criminals with terrorist training. 
  • Before committing the crime, they had made special preparations to avoid the law and escape during legal proceedings. 
  • The word jihad has been used by political parties and the media, this argument has been rejected by the court. Jihad is a sacred word, but it has been used in opposition to the law of India and through Muslim organisations who have terrorist tendencies against the nation.

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