The Gujarat High Court on Friday acquitted four people, but upheld the convictions of 19 others for the Ode massacre of 2002 during which 23 persons of minority community were killed in the riots following the Sabarmati Express inferno at Godhra.

Rioting mobs out to avenge the killing of 57 people in the Godhra train fire had burnt to death 23 people at Pirwali Bhagol locality in Ode village of Anand district on 1 March 2002.

The High Court on Friday confirmed the life imprisonment for 14 people and upheld the seven years’ jail term for other five convicts. They have been convicted for murder, rioting and conspiracy.

The Ode massacre on 1 March was one of the nine cases of the 2002 post-Godhra riots which were investigated by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed on the orders of the Supreme Court.

A Special Court in Anand district had convicted 23 of the 47 accused in 2012 following which they had approached the High Court for relief.

Delivering the verdict on Friday, a division bench comprising Justice Akil Qureshi and Justice B N Karia rejected the appeals of the prosecution side for increasing the punishment for murders to death sentences.