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Ode massacre: Gujarat court convicts 23, acquits 23

ANAND (Gujarat): A sessions court here today convicted 23 people and acquitted as many others for want of evidence in connection with the Ode village massacre in 2002 post-Godhra riots.

The verdict was delivered by the District and Sessions Court Judge Poonam Singh. The court will pronounce the quantum of sentence later.

The riot case was probed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court.

Twentythree persons, including women and children of the minority community, were burnt to death in a house in Pirwali Bhagol area of Ode village on March 1, 2002, following the Godhra train burning incident.

In total, there were 47 accused in the case, however, one of them had died during the course of trial.

Special public prosecutor P. N. Parmar said more than 150 witnesses had been examined, while over 170 documentary evidences had been placed before the court.

The trial began in the end of 2009 and was on the verge of completion when the then judge hearing the case resigned in May 2011 citing personal reasons.

Following this, Judge Singh was appointed and all the arguments were made afresh before her.

Parmar further said that the SIT was probing three cases regarding Ode.

Assistant special public prosecutor in the case was Shailendra Ghadia, while advocates Irshad Mansuri and Nasir Sheikh represented the riot victims. The defence team was headed by advocate C. K. Patel.

Out of the nine cases probed by the SIT, judgements have been pronounced in two cases, including the Godhra train burning incident where 11 persons were awarded death sentence and 20 life imprisonment.

The second case was that of Sardarpura village in Mehsana district where 31 persons were awarded life term and 42 others were acquitted. PTIBack



Yuvraj Singh returns home

NEW DELHI: Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh has landed in New Delhi's IGI Airport on Monday morning following the treatment for a rare germ cell cancer in the US.

Yuvraj's mother Shabnam Singh was present at the airport to receive him. He headed to his home in Gurgaon.

"finally the day has come ! i am going home tomorrow ! cant wait , excited to see my friends and family ..see you india!! mera bharat mahan!" Yuvraj had tweeted on Sunday.

But the 30-year-old batsman is not expected to play for a few more months.
After being diagnosed with the disease, Yuvraj underwent three sessions of chemotherapy and was discharged from his hospital in the United States last month.

He is expected to announce his future plans and details about treatment that he underwent after returning to the country.





Centre-ULFA talks begin in Delhi

Guwahati: A high-level pro-talk ULFA delegation, led by chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, left for New Delhi on Monday to hold the second round of talks with the Centre to resolve the long-standing issues.

The delegation is scheduled to meet Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh today to review the progress of the talks and to ensure that the process was expedited.
"The discussion is likely to be held on the charter of demands already submitted to the Centre last year," a senior outfit leader and a close associate of the chairman, Arpon Saikia said here.

The leaders will also urge the Centre to ensure that the security and basic needs of cadres living in designated camps were looked into as a matter of top priority, he said.





Somali pirates holding 17 Indians hostage

MUMBAI: Talks are on for the release of 22 crew members including 17 Indians, taken hostage by Somalian pirates when they hijacked a Dubai-owned Nigeria-bound vessel last month.Chemical tanker MT Royal Grace was hijacked on March 2 after it set off from a Sharjah port for Nigeria, according to media reports. Three Nigerians, one Pakistani and a Bangladeshi are also on board the MT Grace.

Reports say the families of the crew members were not informed by the ship owner about the hijacking. The families have now appealed to the ministry of external affairs to get the crew members released.




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