Biggest punishment in the history of India: 38 out of 49 convicts of Ahmedabad blasts hanged, 11 life imprisonment; An accused turned public witness

The convicts in the serial blasts case that took place on July 26, 2008 in Ahmedabad were sentenced on 18th February 2022. 38 convicts have been sentenced to death and 11 to life imprisonment. On February 8, the City Civil Court had convicted 49 out of 78 accused under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). One of the convicts, Ayaz Syed, has been acquitted for helping in the investigation. Apart from this, 29 have also been acquitted due to lack of evidence.

The court said that one lakh will be given to the next of kin of those killed in these blasts, 50 thousand to the seriously injured and 25 thousand rupees to the minor injured.

21 blasts happened in 70 minutes

26 July 2008, this was the day when 21 bomb blasts shook the spirit of Ahmedabad in a span of 70 minutes. At least 56 people died in these blasts across the city, while 200 people were injured. The investigation into the blasts lasted several years and around 80 accused were tried. Police had registered 20 FIRs in Ahmedabad, while another 15 FIRs were registered in Surat, where live bombs were also recovered from various places.

29 bombs could not explode

Following the blasts, Gujarat’s Surat Police had recovered 29 bombs, 17 from Varachha area and others from Katargam, Mahidharpura and Umra areas, between July 28 and July 31, 2008, from different areas of the city. Investigation revealed that these bombs could not detonate due to wrong circuit and detonator.

Blasts were done in response to Godhra incident

These blasts were carried out by people associated with the terrorist organization Indian Mujahideen (IM) and the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). Minutes before the blast, television channels and media had received an e-mail purportedly by the ‘Indian Mujahideen’ warning of the blasts. The police believed that IM terrorists carried out these blasts in response to the post-Godhra riots in 2002. The police is preparing to run a fresh case against Yasin Bhatkal, another accused in this case.

Special team was formed under the leadership of DGP Ashish Bhatia

A special team of Ahmedabad Crime Branch was formed under the leadership of JCP Crime on the orders of the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi. DGP Ashish Bhatia led this team. At the same time, Abhay Chudasama (DCP Crime) and Himanshu Shukla (ASP Himmatnagar) played important roles in this team. The investigation of the cases was handed over to the then DSP Rajendra Asari, Mayur Chavda, Usha Rada and VR Tolia. This special team of Ahmedabad Crime Branch busted the case in 19 days and made the first set of arrests on 15 August 2008.

Trial was started against 78 accused

The trial against 78 accused started in December 2009 after the court clubbed all 35 FIRs together. One of the accused later became a government witness. Four more accused were also arrested later in the case, but their trial is yet to start. During the trial of the case, the prosecution examined 1100 witnesses. Prosecutors included HM Dhruv, Sudhir Brahmbhatt, Amit Patel and Mitesh Amin, while defense counsel MM Shaikh and Khalid Shaikh, etc.

30 terrorists caught in 19 days

The special team caught 30 terrorists and sent them to jail in just 19 days. After this, the rest of the terrorists kept getting caught from different cities of the country. Before the blasts in Ahmedabad, the same team of Indian Mujahideen had carried out blasts in Jaipur and Varanasi as well. The police of many states of the country were engaged in catching them, but they went on blasting one after the other. On the second day of the Ahmedabad blasts, i.e. on 27th July, serial blasts were also attempted in Surat, but due to a fault in the timer, they could not explode.


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