Godhra train burning case

Gujarat High Court to announce verdict in Godhra train burning case today

The Gujarat High Court today pronounced its judgment on the 2002 Godhra train carnage.

A trial court in 2011 had sentenced these 11 men to death, 20 to life while acquitting 63 others charged with murder and conspiracy in the train burning.

The Gujarat HC also directed the government and the Railways to pay Rs 10 lakh each to the families of those killed in the Godhra train burning incident+.

The Godhra train burning case - wherein the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express was set on fire on February 27, 2002 - had led to the death of 59 people, mostly kar sevaks who were returning from Ayodhya. Several appeals were filed in the High Court challenging the conviction, while the state government had questioned the acquittal of 63 people.

Soon after the burning, rumours regarding the incident and a supposed conspiracy to kill the kar sevaks spread and triggered massive riots in the state.

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Out of these 31, 11 people were sentenced to death.

Both, the convictions and the acquittals, were challenged in the Gujarat High Court. They poured petrol inside the coach and set it on fire.

Nearly one year after this, Jabir Binyamin Behra, in a confession to the Gujarat Police, reveals that conspiracy was hatched at Aman Guest House in Godhra on February 26, 2002.

The special court's additional sessions judge PR Patel while accepting prosecution theory of pre-planned, had passed verdict running in 850 pages in 2011. Those acquitted included the prime accused, Maulana Umarji, the then president of Godhra Municipality, Mohammad Hussain Kalota, Mohammad Ansari and Nanumiya Chaudhary of Gangapur, Uttar Pradesh. All the 31 were convicted under IPC sections related to murder, attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy.