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13 Godhra riot convicts arrive in MP for community service

Press Trust of India  |  Indore/Jabalpur 

Days after the Supreme Court granted bail to 15 convicts in a 2002 post-Godhra riots case in Gujarat, 13 of them have arrived in Indore and Jabalpur cities in Madhya Pradesh in two groups to carry out the mandated community service, officials said on Wednesday.

While six of them arrived on Monday in Indore, where they are engaged in the cleaning work at a temple, seven others arrived in Jabalpur on Tuesday night, where they will work as volunteers in the Narmada Kumbh scheduled to start from February 24, the officials said.

These convicts were sentenced to life imprisonment for a massacre in Ode town in Gujarat's Anand district, in which 23 people were burnt alive.

On January 28, the Supreme Court had ordered to split these convicts into two groups, sending one to Indore and the other to Jabalpur, and ordered them to regularly report to police stations in these cities.

Talking to PTI, Indore District Legal Aid Officer Subhash Chaudhary said, "As per the Supreme Court's bail conditions, these convicts have started community service in the city (Indore). Currently they are engaged in cleaning of the kitchen and other parts of the premises in a local temple."

These convicts are also taking part in the morning and evening prayers at the temple besides carrying out other duties assigned to them.

As per the Supreme Court orders, these convicts will have to report to the city police station on the first day of every month, Chaudhary said.

They will not be able to go beyond the district limits without the permission of Indore District and Sessions Judge, he added.

A plan is being prepared for assigning of community services to these six convicts, sources said.

Sending them to hospitals and cow shelters for the community service is also being considered, they added.

The six convicts, aged between 41 and 65 years, reached Indore on Monday after completing the bail formalities in the respective trial court in Gujarat following the Supreme Court order.

Meanwhile, talking to PTI, Madhya Pradesh State Legal Services Authority member secretary Giribala Singh said, "Seven of these convicts reached Jabalpur on Tuesday night. They will be volunteering at the Narmada Kumbh."

The Narmada Kumbh, held every five years, is scheduled to be held from February 24 to March 3 on the banks of the Narmada river at Gwarighat on the outskirts of Jabalpur.

Apart from the Narmada Kumbh, these convicts will work as volunteers in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, at old age homes, and take care of patients, who have no one to look after, in hospitals, Singh said.

Efforts will be made to help them in picking up work as per their choice under the smart city project underway here so that they can earn their livelihood, she said.

"All these works will inculcate in them a feeling of serving the community," Singh said.

Their identity was being withheld for safety reasons, she added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 12 2020. 20:32 IST