Anand: A designated court here today awarded life sentence to 18 people and handed out seven-year jail terms to five others in connection with the massacre of 23 people in Gujarat's Ode village during the 2002 post-Godhra communal riots.
District and Sessions judge Poonam Singh pronounced the sentence after she had found 18 people guilty of murder and criminal conspiracy and five others for attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy on Monday.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5,800 each on the accused sentenced to life imprisonment and Rs 3,800 each on the five convicts awarded jail term for seven years.
The pronouncement of the verdict caused uproar among the family members and relatives of the convicts who were standing inside the court campus and many of them broke down.
"There is no evidence against the accused. This is injustice, this is not the temple of justice but temple of injustice," the relatives alleged.
More than 100 people, including women and children, who were gathered at the campus, resorted to sloganeering. However, police removed them out of the campus.
Twenty-three people, including nine women and as many children of the minority community, were burnt to death in a house in Pirwali Bhagol area of Ode village by a mob of over 1,500 on March one, 2002 following the Godhra train burning incident that had triggered a communal conflagration across the state.
Out of the total 47 accused, the court had convicted 23 and acquitted as many and one of them had died during the course of trial.