The judgment of the designated Prevention of Terrorism Act court in Ahmedabad, acquitting 22 of the 44 accused in the case to avenge post-Godhra communal riots, has brought cheers to the families of 14 of them who hail from Hyderabad.
Moulana Naseeruddin, a popular cleric, and 13 other youth were arrested by the Gujarat Police in 2003-2004 and lodged in the Sabarmati jail for almost six years, as the trial in POTA court dragged on.
An ailing Moulana Naseruddin, who was present in the POTA court when Justice Jyotsna Ben Yagnik pronounced her judgment convicting 22 of the 44 accused and acquitting the rest, said that he was grateful to God that truth had prevailed and innocent people were released.
However, Moulana Naseeruddin, who was granted bail by Supreme Court in September last year after years of legal battle, expressed his disappointment and unhappiness over the harsh punishment meted out to the other 22 accused.
Gujarat Police had charged Moulana Naseeruddin and others with hatching a conspiracy to carry out terror activities and wage a war against the State to avenge the post Godhra riots.
"We are all grateful to Allah that one of our several trials and tribulations has come to an en and. Our stand that Moulana Naseeruddin was falsely framed in a fabricated case has been vindicated and he has been proved innocent," Raifuddin, younger brother of the Moulana, said.While Moulana still faces the charges of being involved in the murder of former Gujarat Home Minister Naren Pandya, his three sons are also in different jails facing terror-related charges. His family insists that they were all innocent and that police had falsely implicated them.