2008 Gujarat bombings: Indian court sentences 38 terror accused to death

A special court in India has sentenced 38 people to death for a deadly terror attack and bombings in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, on 26 July 2008.

Further, Judge A. R. Patel also sentenced 11 people to life imprisonment in this case and acquitted 28 others for lack of evidence.

He also ordered to give compensation of 100,000 rupees (AUD1900) each to families of the victims.

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According to the police, in this terror attack up to 20 bombs were set off across the city in hospitals, shopping centres and parks, leaving 56 dead.

This terror attack was a continuation of burning of train packed with Hindu pilgrims that killed 60 passengers in Godhara. 

Two Islamist terror organisations, the Indian Mujahideen (IM) and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, claimed responsibility for the attack.

IM is well-known faction of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) which is a group of young extremists who had declared jihad against India.

However, the Gujarat police and investigators believed that a nationwide network of radical Islamist groups were involved in the blasts.

India’s present Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat, was also a target of these terrorists.

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In 2013, Indian authorities claimed to have foiled an attempt by some of the accused to tunnel their way out of jail.

Arvind Patel, another prosecutor, told reporters that the judge described the case as the “rarest of rare.”

The last people to be hanged in India were the 4 accused in the 2012 Nirbhaya rape case in 2020.

This is the first time that so many terrorism accused have received death sentences in a single case. This sentence will now be confirmed by a higher court.