New Delhi: A special court in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad has allowed one Fulabhai Vyas, an accused in the Naroda Gam massacre case during the 2002 Gujarat riots, to leave Gujarat and travel to Haridwar to attend a religious event, Vibes of India reported.

Vyas had filed an application with the Ahmedabad court seeking to modify a bail condition, imposed at the time of his arrest and subsequent bail in 2008, which required him to remain within Gujarat and allowed him to leave the state only with the permission of the court.

Vyas is among the 84 individuals accused in the 2002 Naroda Gam case in which 11 Muslims were killed in Naroda amidst the riots that had engulfed the state at the time.

The Naroda incident had taken place on February 28, 2002; a day after coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express was set ablaze by a crowd near Godhra station, claiming the lives of 59 individuals, mostly kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya.

The Naroda Gam was one of the nine major communal riots cases witnessed in the aftermath of the train burning at Godhra which were investigated by a special investigation team (SIT) after a Supreme Court order in 2008. It is the only such case in which a trial is still pending. The trial is reportedly at the stage of final hearing.

In his present application, Vyas sought for his bail conditions to be modified so he could leave Gujarat and attend a religious programme in Haridwar, organised by the All World Gayatri Parivar.

Vyas told the court that he has been a life-long member of the religious organisation and is required to attend events hosted by it across the country. The court was informed that Vyas has been granted relief for the same on 20 occasions in the past, according to a report by the Times of India.

The special prosecutor in the matter reportedly raised no objection to the application and left the decision to the discretion of the court.

Shubhada Baxi, the designated SIT judge in the case, ruled to keep Vyas’s bail conditions restricting his movement in abeyance for a six-month period, beginning from July 1, so he could attend the event in Haridwar.

However, the court mandated that Vyas inform the investigator in the case 24 hours before his departure and within 48 hours of his return from the trip.

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