A Special Court has today sentenced to death 38 of the 49 convicted in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial bomb blasts under provisions in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The remaining 11 have been given life imprisonment. Additionally, Judge A.R. Patel, who was hearing the trial, imposed a fine of Rs 2.85 lakh on 48 convicts. One of the convicts has been fined Rs. 2.88 lakh.
On February 8, Judge Patel had convicted 49 out of the 78 under sections of the IPC, which included murder, sedition and waging war against the state. The convicted were also charged under the Explosive Substances Act and UAPA.
As many as 21 bombs exploded in various parts of Ahmedabad on July 26, 2008. Official reports say 56 people died and 200 were injured. The bombs were placed in buses and parked vehicles in random but crowded areas of the city. The police found an additional 11 unexploded devices in Ahmedabad, leading them to conclude this was a massive terror attack. As many as 17 bombs were found in Surat a day later. An email sent by the Indian Mujahideen (I.M.) to television channels a few hours before the bombs exploded claimed responsibility for the attack.
Investigations found that revenge for the 2002 communal pogrom in Gujarat appeared to be the motive behind the bombing. In 2008, Frontline had accessed a copy of the letter which said the outfit was raising the illustrious banner of jehad against the Hindus and all those who fight and resist it.
While delivering the judgment, Judge Patel provided a compensation of Rs.1 lakh to those who died in the blasts. He said Rs.50,000 would be given to victims with serious injuries and Rs.25,000 for those with minor ones.