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Gujarat: Godhra train carnage accused sentenced to life by local court

According to the district pleader of Panchmahal, the accused is the 35th to be convicted in the case while four more are currently absconding.

As argued by special public prosecutor RC Kodekar, Bhatuk was part of the “core” mob that set the S6 coach of the Sabarmati Express on fire at Godhra station. (Photo: Express archives)

A local court in Godhra on Saturday awarded life imprisonment to Rafiq Bhatuk, an accused in the 2002 Godhra Sabarmati train carnage, who had been on the run for 19 years and was arrested in February 2021.

The court of an Additional Sessions Judge at Godhra held Bhatuk guilty in the case, which killed 59 karsevaks returning by Sabarmati train from Ayodhya on February 27, 2002.

According to the district pleader of Panchmahal, the accused is the 35th to be convicted in the case while four more are currently absconding.

As argued by special public prosecutor RC Kodekar, Bhatuk was part of the “core” mob that set the S6 coach of the Sabarmati Express on fire at Godhra station.

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Bhatuk had fled to Delhi and was arrested in February 14, 2021, while he was visiting his house in Signal Faliya in Godhra.

The prosecution’s case was that Bhatuk was part of the criminal conspiracy and also helped arrange the fuel to torch the S6 coach that was carrying the karsevaks from Ayodhya.

The prosecution has also contended that Bhatuk was part of a meeting held at Aman Guest House in 2002 by the accused to hatch the plan to set the train afire.

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He has been jointly booked with other accused for rioting, murder, arson, and criminal conspiracy, among other charges.

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First published on: 03-07-2022 at 11:27:09 pm
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