Ahmedabad: The special SIT court in Anand pronounced quantum of sentence against the 23 people convicted in the 2002 Ode village massacre case on Thursday.

The court ordered life imprisonment to 18 convicts while another five were awarded seven years of rigourous imprisonment in the ‘rarest of rare’ 2002 massacre case.

The court had on Monday convicted 23 of the 47 people accused in the case while another 23 were acquitted due to lack of evidence.

23 people, including nine women and as many children of the minority community, were burnt to death in a house in Pirwali Bhagol area of Ode village by a mob of over 1,500 on March 1, 2002 following the Godhra train burning incident that had triggered a communal conflagration across the state.

Special public prosecutor P N Parmar said that the court considered the incident to be "rarest of the rare".

He said out of the 23 found guilty, 18 were convicted for murder and criminal conspiracy and five for attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy.

The Ode carnage case is the third of the nine cases probed by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT in which judgement has been delivered.

Earlier, a court had awarded death sentence to 11 and life term to 20 in the Godhra train burning incident in which 58 persons, mostly Kar Sevaks, had been killed on February 27, 2002.

The second case was that of Sardarpura village in Mehsana district in which 31 persons were awarded life term and 42 others acquitted.

33 Muslims had been burnt alive at Sardarpura in Mehsana district during the 2002 communal riots.