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Allowing 2008 Ahmedabad blast convicts to survive is like unleashing a “man-eater leopard” into the public: Court

FILE PHOTO: People crowd on a road after a series of bombings in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad July 26, 2008. REUTERS/Amit Dave

In its ruling, the special court said that the 38 convicts in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial explosions case deserved to die since allowing them to remain in society would be like unleashing a “man-eater leopard” into the public. 

The news: On Saturday, a copy of the order was made accessible. The court made some pointed remarks regarding the case and the defendants.

  • The court determined that the death penalty would be justified because the case is among the “rarest of the rare.” 
  • Allowing such people to remain in society is like releasing a man-eater leopard into the wild. According to the court, such prisoners are like a man-eater leopard that preys on society’s innocents, including children, youth, the old, women, men, babies, and individuals of various castes and communities.
  • For the sake of the country’s peace and security, it stated that the death penalty is the sole choice for those who engage in such terrorist acts. There is no jail in the country that can hold them for an indefinite period of time.
  • During the course of the proceedings over the last five years, it has come to the attention of this court that the accused are highly skilled in every aspect: they are educated, with some of them being doctors, professors, and computer experts, and they have committed crimes in other states, where cases against them are still pending. 
  • The accused are such that extracting information from them in order to get to the bottom of the crime is a difficult task, according to the court. 
  • Even before committing the crime, the accused made preparations for how they would get away if they were caught, what kind of information they would disclose and what they would keep hidden throughout the police investigation, and how they would defend themselves in court.

What Happened: For the first time in the country, such a large number of death sentences were issued at the same time. 

  • The Ahmedabad bombings were intended to punish Gujarat’s post-Godhra riots of 2002. Bombs exploded at several locations in Ahmedabad in 2008, killing 56 people, including the state government-run civil hospital, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation-run LG Hospital, buses, parked bicycles, automobiles, and other places. 
  • The court found 38 persons guilty of murder and criminal conspiracy under sections 302 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), as well as provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Eleven others were found guilty of criminal conspiracy and violating the UAPA in various ways.
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