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Regret over riot acquittal

Ahmedabad, Oct. 25: The conviction in the Lal Akhada murder case was the first in the Gujarat riot cases. Last week, a fast-track court in Vadodara sentenced four of the six accused of killing 22-year-old Pankaj Chauhan on March 22, 2002, during post-Godhra violence.

But the verdict is no consolation for the victim’s father, who told a local newspaper yesterday that he was unhappy with the judgment.

On October 16, the fast-track court acquitted former Vadodara deputy mayor Nisar Hussain Sayed and his driver for lack of evidence.

The judge, however, sentenced the mayor’s son, brother-in-law and two others.

Sagarmal Chauhan, who had become untraceable after his statement was recorded, is dejected that the former deputy mayor — who he alleges is the main person responsible for the death of his son — has been acquitted.

Chauhan adds that he is yet to receive the Rs 1.5 lakh compensation promised to him by the state government in the aftermath of his son’s murder.

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