Godhra train carnage: 31 convicted, 63 acquitted

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

AHMEDABAD - A special fast track court here Tuesday convicted 31 people and acquitted 63 in the Godhra train carnage case in which 59 people on board the Sabarmati Express were burnt to death, triggering communal frenzy in Gujarat in 2002.

Maulvi Saeed Umarji, believed to be the prime accused, was acquitted.

Additional sessions judge P.R. Patel convicted 31 people, accused of hatching a conspiracy that killed 59 people travelling in S-6 coach of the train Feb 27, 2002. Most of the people killed in the attack were ‘kar sevaks’, or volunteers who were returning from the pilgrim town of Ayodhya.

“The sentence will be announced Feb 25,” said Special Public Prosecutor J.M. Panchal.

The conviction against the 31 was following charges Section 149, 302, 307, 323, 324, 325, 326, 332, 395, 397, and 436 of the Indian Penal Code and some sections of the Railway Act and Police Act.

According to the chargesheet filed in the case, 59 people were killed in the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express when an unidentified mob of around 900 to 1,000 people attacked it near Godhra railway station Feb 27, 2002.

The incident, which was labelled as a conspiracy, triggered state-wide communal violence, in which over 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed.

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