Godhra riots case: SIT court convicts 2 to life imprisonment, acquits 3

Special judge HC Vora convicts Farooq Bhana and Imran Sheru to life imprisonment after their role as conspirators in the burning of two coaches of the Sabarmati Express in 2002 was established

PTI Photo
PTI Photo
user

PTI

Two accused were awarded life imprisonment by a special SIT court in Ahmedabad on Monday in the 2002 Godhra train carnage case in which 59 'karsevaks' were burnt alive in two coaches of the Sabarmati Express. Three others were acquitted in the case.

Special judge HC Vora convicted Farooq Bhana and Imran Sheru and awarded them life sentences after the prosecution established their role as conspirators in the burning of two coaches of the Sabarmati Express in 2002.

The court acquitted three others, identified as Hussain Suleman Mohan, Kasam Bhamedi and Faruk Dhantiya.

These five men were apprehended in 2015-2016 and the trial was held at a special court set up at the Sabarmati Central Jail.

The incident was investigated by a Special Investigative Team (SIT) and on March 1, 2011, a special court convicted 31 people and acquitted 63. 11 of the 31 convicts were given the capital punishment while the remaining were given life imprisonment. All the 31 were convicted under IPC sections related to murder, attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy

Mohan was arrested from Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh, Bhamedi from Dahod railway station in Gujarat, Dhantiya and Bhana were nabbed from their houses at Godhra in Gujarat, while Bhatuk was caught at Malegaon in Maharashtra.

Eight accused in the case are still absconding.

Earlier, the special SIT court had convicted 31 people in the case on March 1, 2011.

The court had later awarded death sentence to 11 of them and life imprisonment to 20 others.

However, the Gujarat High Court had in October 2017 commuted the death sentence of 11 convicts to life imprisonment while upholding the punishment awarded by the special SIT court to 20 others.

Fifty-nine 'karsevaks' were killed in the Godhra train burning incident of February 27, 2002, triggering the worst communal riots in the history of Gujarat in which over 1,000 people, mostly belonging to the minority community, were killed. Earlier in 2017, the Gujarat High Court had commuted the death sentence awarded to 11 persons to life imprisonment.

It also upheld the life imprisonment awarded to 20 other convicts while endorsing the acquittal of 63 other accused.

It also rejected state government's appeal challenging acquittals of 63 people accused in the conspiracy to burn coach S6 of the Sabarmati Express.

59 people travelling in the S6 coach of Sabarmati Express, were burnt alive at the Godhra railway station on February 27, 2002. The incident in the year 2002 had sparked communal riots across Gujarat.

As the news spread regarding the incident and a supposed conspiracy to kill the kar sevaks spread and triggered massive riots in the state. Around 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, had been killed in the riots, as per the official estimates.

The incident was investigated by a Special Investigative Team (SIT) and on March 1, 2011, a special court convicted 31 people and acquitted 63. 11 of the 31 convicts were given the capital punishment while the remaining were given life imprisonment. All the 31 were convicted under IPC sections related to murder, attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy.

Click here to join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines