Kin of the 2002 Gulbarg Society massacre victims and eye-witnesses on Friday contested a special court’s conclusion that firing by former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri acted as a catalyst for mob fury.
While Jafri’s son Tanvir said that court has relied on a “totally false” evidence, kin of some other victims said that the firing by him was done in “self defence”. One of the witnesses in the case even said that there was no firing by Jafri, which he had testified before the court.
In its order given yesterday, special SIT court judge P B Desai said that the firing by Jafri, which killed one person, provoked and infuriated the mob that led it to the “killing frenzy”, but asserted that the firing cannot condone the acts of the mob.
“It was the private firing by Shri Ehsan Jafri that acted as a catalyst and which infuriated the mob to such an extent that it went out of control, the limited police force available there had no means to control or disperse such mob, which had gathered in large numbers post the incident of private firing,” the court said in its order.
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However, Tanvir and some eyewitnesses today questioned the conclusion drawn by the judge.
“We are not at all in agreement with the judgement, wherein the court said that the private firing of Ehsan Jafri provoked mob into a killing frenzy. The court has relied on some evidence, which is totally false,” Tanvir said.
“Defence lawyer could not present a single witness who could testify to the fact that they saw Jafri saheb firing from his gun. They referred to a statement by someone who is
both a victim and witness, who said in his statement before the police that Jafri saheb fired from his gun. He was not even presented to testify before the court,” he added.
Saed Khan Pathan, who lost his entire family in the Gulbarg carnage, said that the firing by Jafri was in self defence after a huge mob had gathered outside the society.
“It is wrong to say that due to firing by Ehsan Jafri the society was targeted. The mob had started gathering from 10 am (on the fateful day of February 28, 2002) and they had
started pelting stones and indulged in arson. The firing was done at 1 am. Ehsan Jafri fired in self defence. So we do not believe that conclusion of the court,” Pathan said