A court here today sent Ashish Pandey, an accused in the 2002 Gulberg Society massacre case who was arrested yesterday, to judicial custody, rejecting the police's plea seeking his remand. Metropolitan Magistrate J A Barot sent Pandey to the Sabarmati Central Jail. The police had sought 10 days custody of the accused, submitting before the court that he was a part of the mob that had attacked the members of a minority community at Gulberg Society. On February 28, 2002, a mob had attacked the society, killing 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri. It was one of the worst incidents of violence during the post-Godhra riots. The police told the court that Pandey was evading arrest since the last 16 years and they wanted to know who helped him during this period. Pandey, one of the five absconding accused in the case, was arrested from the Aslali locality by Crime Branch sleuths yesterday.
He was handed over to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case. A special court for the SIT cases had, in June 2016, convicted 24 persons in the Gulberg case, awarding life imprisonment to 11 of them. Thirty-six others were acquitted. Four accused in the case are still at large.
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