A special court on Thursday convicted 24 of the 66 accused including a Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP ) leader in the 2002 post-Godhra Gulberg society massacre, which left 69 people including former Congress MP Eshan Jafri dead.
Below is the timeline of the events that led to the landmark hearing today:
During the Gujarat riots a mob attacked the Gulberg society in the Muslim-dominated Chamanpura in Ahmedabad in which 69 people were killed. Among the deceased was former Congress Member of Parliament, Ehsan Jafri.
The Gujarat High Court dismissed a petition of Zakia Jafri, wife of Ehsan Jafri, seeking the court’s directive to the police to register a complaint against the then chief minister of the state, Narendra Modi, and 62 others for their alleged involvement in the incident.
The Aaj Tak news channel showed a footage of a sting operation carried out by Tehelka magazine, wherein 14 Bajrang Dal activists, including, Madan Chawal, one of the accused in the massacre, and a BJP MLA from Godhra, Haresh Bhatt who was the national vice-president of Bajrang Dal during the riots, were shown talking about the execution of the killings. It was published in the 3 November 2007 issue of Tehelka as The Truth: Gujarat 2002– Tehelka report.
The Supreme Court bench had directed the Gujarat government to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by R. K. Raghavan, a former head of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe nine riot cases.
Meghsingh Chaudhary, another accused in the case, surrendered before the SIT along with VHP leader Atul Vaidya.
The SC asked SIT to additionally 'look into the complaint' of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri's wife Zakia about the alleged role of Narendra Modi and others in her husband's killing inside Gulbarg Housing Society in Ahmedabad.
The Gujarat government appealed to the court saying that SIT is exceeding jurisdiction in examining Modi's role in the riots case.
The SIT summoned Modi to give an explanation regarding accusations against him in the murder of Ehsan Jaffri. He appeared before the SIT on 27th March 2010.
The SIT questioned VHP president Pravin Togadia in the case.
Zakia Jafri and other victims filed an application with the Supreme Court, requesting it to direct SIT to submit the report before the Ahmedabad court within 30 days.
Gujarat deputy Inspector-General of Police Sanjiv Bhatt, who was claimed to have revealed Modi's alleged controversial orders to the police on the eve of the 2002 communal riots, appeared before the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT).
The SIT probing Zakia Jafri's complaint had freed Narendra Modi of all charges in the 2002 incident against Muslims. The R.K. Raghavan-led SIT said that there was no “prosecutable evidence” against Modi, who was among the 62 persons named in a complaint filed by Ms. Jafri and the Citizens for Justice and Peace.
The Ahmedabad Metropolitan Court rejects Zakia's plea for making public the SIT report.
The recent transfer of the metropolitan magistrate B J Ganatra, who heard Zakia Jafri's plea challenging the closure report filed by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT that probed the 2002 riots, had reportedly been revoked by the Gujarat High Court on SC's directions.
Ahmedabad Court deferred order on Zakia's plea. R.K. Raghavan, head of the Special Investigation Team appointed by the Supreme Court, said SIT’s stand had been vindicated. Zakia lost plea in city court against SIT closure report which gave a clean chit to Modi in the 2002 communal riots.
Zakia, the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri moved the Gujarat High Court by challenging a lower court order giving a clean chit to Narendra Modi and others in connection with the 2002 riots.
The prosecution in the massacre presented the incidents of violence to a special SIT court. The trial had resumed following the Supreme Court’s directions to conclude it in three months.
Hearing on Zakia Jafri's petition began in the Gujarat High Court.
The Supreme Court concluded the trial in the massacre after prosecution examined 338 witnesses. The Court directed the SIT to submit its final report by May 31, 2015
SC lifts stay on final verdict after trial was concluded.
A Special court convicted 24 persons of the 66 accused. Out of 66 accused, six had died during the trial.