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After 8 years in prison,Godhra’s innocents go home

The 63 acquitted were released from the Sabarmati Central Jail last night.

Sixty-three people,including main accused Maulvi Hussain Umarji,acquitted in the 2002 Godhra train burning case,today reached their hometown here after spending almost eight years in prison.

A special court in Ahmedabad yesterday acquitted 63 people and convicted 31 in the February 27,2002 incident,which left 59 people dead,mostly kar sevaks,triggering the worst-ever communal riots in the country in which about 1,200,mainly Muslims lost their lives.

Those acquitted were released from the high-security Sabarmati jail late last night and taken to Godhra in two buses,which reached here early this morning.

Umarji,who was released by the court for lack of evidence stayed away from the media allegedy due to health reasons when reporters went to meet him.

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“He is taking rest as he has low blood pressure,” his relatives said.

Umarji’s son Saeed,however,expressed dissatisfaction on the delayed verdict and said,”Justice has been done late in the case of my father. He had to spend eight important years of his life behind bars.”

“If police had conducted proper investigations and arrested the right people then those who have been let off would not have had to suffer,” Saeed said.

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Other accused in the Godhra train carnage also refused to interact with the media,saying they will be able to react only once the quantum of sentence is announced on February 25.

Advocate I M Munshi,representing the acquitted,said they will wait for the full copy of the judgement which will be made available to them only after the quantum of sentence is announced on Friday,before deciding final course of action.

“We do not agree with the court upholding the conspiracy theory. We will wait for the copy of the judgement. We will study it and will decide on the future course of action,” he said.

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Special Judge P R Patel,hearing the Godhra train burning case found 31 people guilty in the case for criminal conspiracy and murder,while acquitting 63 others.

The Court had upheld the theory of criminal conspiracy behind the burning of the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express train near Godhra railway station killing kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya.

First published on: 23-02-2011 at 05:44:33 pm
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