New Delhi, Jan 28: The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to 17 convicts of Gujarat riots in 2002 on condition that they will engage in spiritual and social service. A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant ordered the accused to do community service. Barring them from entering Gujarat, the Apex court directed all the 17 to move to Madhya Pradesh and do social service in Indore and Jabalpur .
"They will be stationed in Indore and Jabalpur till their appeals are finally decided by the Supreme Court," it said. The court directed the District Law Officers to ensure that the convicts observe bail conditions diligently. They have also been asked to help the convicts find suitable employment for earning their livelihood. The bench has also ordered the state legal services authorities to submit a report on their behaviour.
The incident dates back to 2002 when a mob of hundreds of people surrounded Sheikh Vaas lane in Sardarpura village where people of the minority community lived. The community members took shelter in the 'pucca' house of Ibrahim Sheikh, which the mob set on fire using petrol. A total of 33 people, including 22 women, were charred to death. The violence followed the Godhra train carnage, the previous day, in which 59 people, mainly ‘karsevaks’ returning from Ayodhya, were killed. (UNI)