MUMBAI — The High Court here Monday sentenced four people to life imprisonment while acquitting another five in the 2002 Best Bakery carnage in which 14 people were killed in Vadodara in Gujarat during communal frenzy.
A division bench of Justices P.D. Kode and V.M. Kanade convicted Sanjay Thakkar, Bahadursinh Chavan, Shanabhai Baria and Dinesh Rajbhar.
Rajubhai Baria, Pankaj Gosai, Jagdish Rajput, Shailesh Tadvi and Suresh Vasava were acquitted in the case whose re-trial in Maharashtra was ordered by the Supreme Court in 2004.
A Vadodara court earlier acquitted all the 21 accused in the communal riots case in 2003.
On July 3, the high court reserved its judgment after hearing both the defense and the prosecution and said it would start dictating the order in open court.
During the riots in February 2002 in Gujarat, 14 people had taken refuge in the Best Bakery in Vadodara March 1 when they were killed by around 20 people.
On Feb 24, 2005, a special court in Mumbai convicted nine of the 20 accused in the case and sentenced them to life imprisonment. The accused approached the high court challenging the order.
The trial court earlier acquitted eight other accused in the case and issued perjury notices to witness Zahira Sheikh and other witnesses in the case for backtracking from their testimonies.
In 2006, Sheikh, her mother Sehrunisa and sister Saherabano were convicted for perjury. — Agencies