Nanavati And Mr. Justice Akshay H. Mehta, Detailed Report on the Godhra riots by the Concerned Citizens Tribunal, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Godhra_train_burning&oldid=998735721, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 6 January 2021, at 20:13. [57][58] The 68 people accused in the charge-sheet included 57 accused of stoning and torching the train. About Mehsana, the home district of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was then chief minister of Gujarat, the Commission observed, “The district was affected more by the Godhra incident…” Three from this district were burnt alive at the Godhra railway station and the police expected disturbance when the dead bodies of the train carnage victims arrived, it said. [38] The commission has been heavily criticised by academics such as Christophe Jaffrelot for obstructing the course of justice, supporting the conspiracy theory too quickly, and for allegedly ignoring evidence of governmental complicity in the incident. India Naroda Patiya case: SC asks Gujarat govt to file affidavit on convict's … [25], A study conducted by the Gujarat Forensic Science Laboratory report states that the fire was due to the inflammable liquid emptied by the attackers into the coach. [21], The train was attacked by a mob of around 2,000 people. [59] Initially, 107 people were charged, five of whom died while the case was still pending in court. Bilal was also alleged to have a connection with gang leader Latif and was reported to have visited Karachi in Pakistan several times. How good was the probe into the Godhra incident which led to ... Railway coach set on fire to enact Godhra train incident for ... Godhra verdict: Court agrees with conspiracy theory. A special court in Ahmedabad announced the quantum of sentence in the Godhra train burning case today.Eleven of the 31convicted were given death sentences. [60] The stay was lifted in January 2011 and the judge announced that he shall pronounce the judgement on 22 February 2011. The court convicted 31 accused and acquitted 42. [62] On 30 January 2018, Yakub Pataliya (63) was arrested from Godhra by a team of B Division police in the town after they received a tip-off that he was spotted in a locality. There is material to show that the police had saved lives and properties of many persons by taking effective steps and also helped them in moving to safer places. As many as 253 witnesses were examined during the trial and over items of 1500 documentary evidences were presented to the court. The charge-sheet also stated that a mob attacked the police, prevented the fire brigade from approaching the burning train, and stormed the train for a second time. 11 others were charged with being part of this mob. In May 2010, Supreme Court restrained the trial courts from pronouncing judgement in nine sensitive riot cases, including Godhra train incident. Explore more on Godhra Train Burning Case. The fact that the victims and the alleged criminals belonged to different religious fait The commission termed the Godhra train burning "an accident" in its report, submitted in 2006. In September 2004, two and half years after the train burning, Yadav appointed former Supreme Court Justice Umesh Chandra Banerjee to investigate the incident. In October 2006, the court quashed the conclusions of Banerjee and ruled that the investigation was "unconstitutional, illegal and null and void", declared its formation to be a "colourable exercise of power with mala fide intentions", and its argument of accidental fire "opposed to the prima facie accepted facts on record." [41][42][43], Banerjee's findings were challenged in the Gujarat High Court by Neelkanth Tulsidas Bhatia, who was injured in the incident. In February 2003, the POTA was re-invoked against all the accused after the BJP retained control of the Gujarat legislature in the 2002 assembly elections.[64][65]. 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An accused in Sabarmati Express train burning incident who was absconding since 2002 was arrested by the Godhra Local Crime Branch (LCB) in Gujarat's Panchmahal district today, police said. The Godhra Train Burning was an incident that occurred on the morning of 27 February 2002, in which 59 Hindu pilgrims and karsevaks returning from Ayodhya, were killed in a fire inside the Sabarmati Express train near the Godhra railway station in the Indian state of Gujarat. [51] It welcomed the High Court judgement, saying that it was a setback for the Congress. [8] A commission appointed by the central government, whose appointment was later held to be unconstitutional, stated that the fire had been an accident. The Godhra train burning case was tried in a court of law and the judgment has been delivered after nine years. [70], In October 2017, accepting prosecution's contention that there was a conspiracy behind the incident, the Gujarat High Court commuted the death sentence of 11 convicts to life imprisonment, while upholding the earlier life sentence of 20 others. For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App. [68][8], Maulvi Saeed Umarji, who was believed by the SIT to be the prime conspirator, was acquitted[58] along with 62 other accused for lack of evidence. [69] The convicted filed appeals in the Gujarat High Court. 59 people including 27 women and 10 children were burnt to death, and 48 others were injured. [16][17] The event is widely perceived as the trigger for the Gujarat riots that followed, which resulted in widespread loss of life, destruction of property and homelessness. The convictions were based on the murder and conspiracy provisions of Sections 302 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code respectively and under Sections 149, 307, 323, 324, 325, 326, 332, 395, 397, and 436 of the Code and some sections of the Railway Act and Police Act. [31] The initial term of the committee was three months long; however, it received 22 extensions, till June 2014, to submit its final report. Only in two cases, it was alleged that VHP persons had taken part in those incidents… The incidents against Muslims appear to have happened because of the anger of the people on account of the Godhra incident. [44][45][46][47][48][49][50], The BJP, which was then in opposition in the union parliament, dismissed the report as an attempt to gain an advantage in the Bihar elections which were to be held soon. [35] In addition, the alleged acquisition of 140 litres of petrol hours before the arrival of the train and the storage of the petrol at the guest house of Razzak Kurkur, accused of being a key conspirator, and forensic evidence showing that fuel was poured on the train coach before it burnt, was presented by the committee. [55][56], The charge-sheet filed by the SIT before first class railway magistrate P. K. Joshi, which ran to more than 500 pages, stated that 59 people were killed in the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express when a mob of around 1540 unidentified people attacked it near Godhra railway station. [29] Shah died in March 2008, just a few months prior to the committee submitting its first report, and the Gujarat High Court then appointed retired judge Akshay Kumar Mehta to the committee on 6 April 2008. [26][27], On 6 March 2002 the Gujarat government set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the incident and submit a report, the chairman and sole member of which was retired Gujarat High Court judge K G Shah. The hearing began in May 2009. In May 2005, the POTA review commission decided not to charge the accused under POTA. On 9 March 2002, Police added Criminal Conspiracy to the charges. Modi had no role in Godhra untill burning of train (Sabarmati Express) by miscreants. [60] On 24 July 2015, the prime accused in the Godhra case, Hussain Suleman Mohammad, was arrested by the Godhra crime branch from Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh. But the Supreme Court found the commission as unconstitutional and report invalid. Judgments on several aspects of the 2002 Godhra train burning case were delivered by the Gujarat high court on 9th October. This was 500-700 meters away from the Godhra railway station, at Signal Falia area. The February 27, 2002 train burning incident in Godhra claimed the lives of 59 Hindus. [61] On 18 May 2016, a heretofore missing `conspirator' of the event, Farooq Bhana, was Arrested from Mumbai by Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS). [32][33], In September 2008, the commission submitted the "Part I" of the report dealing with the Godhra incident, in which it supported the conspiracy theory originally propounded by the Gujarat police. There is no material to show there was any inaction or negligence on the part of police in maintaining law and order in the district. The commission set up by the Government of Gujarat to investigate the train burning spent 6 years … File. [28] However, Shah's alleged closeness to Narendra Modi generated fierce criticism from the victims, human rights organisations, and political parties, and led to a demand for the appointment of a Supreme Court judge to the commission. [64] In 2009, after accepting the report of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by it, the court appointed a special fast-track court to try the case along with 5 other fast track courts established to try the post-incident riots. In September 2008, the Nanavati Commission submitted its report on the incident. ", "Gujarat 2002: What Justice for the Victims? [39][40], On 17 May 2004, with the victory of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in the Indian general election, Lalu Prasad Yadav was appointed railway minister. The 2002 Gujarat riots, also known as the 2002 Gujarat violence and the Gujarat pogrom, was a three-day period of inter-communal violence in the western Indian state of Gujarat. [58] The death penalty was awarded to 11 convicts; those believed to have been present at a meeting held the night before the incident where the conspiracy was formed, and those who, according to the court, had actually entered the coach and poured petrol before setting it afire. The FIR had alleged that a 1540-strong mob attacked the Sabarmati Express on 27 February, minutes after the delayed train left the Godhra station on the day of the incident. Godhra, a city of the Indian State of Gujarat, was the lead story in all Indian newspapers on February 27th-28th, 2002. Godhra train burning case: Yakub Pataliya gets life term. Nicole Elfi. Being Chief Minister of the province, he was required to handle aftermath of the gruesome event. During this period, the Godhra train burning and the subsequent Hindu-Muslim riots led to over a thousand deaths in February–March 2002. Taking note of the convictions, it said in the Dipda Darwaja case where a mob of 200 persons killed 11 Muslims, the special trial court convicted 83 who were chargesheeted. [76] R. K. Raghavan, who was the head of the Special Investigating Team, said he was satisfied with the verdict. ... Ghanchis are being framed in the Godhra train carnage." “Six persons who have filed a joint affidavit making an allegation against the police and the Chief Minister appear to be closely related to each other. [36][37], The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Indian National Congress objected to the exoneration of the Gujarat government by the commission citing the timing of the report (with general elections months away) as evidence of unfairness. [34] The report concluded that the train was attacked by thousands of Muslims from the Signal Falia area. [10][11] [53] One of the alleged organisers of the attack was arrested in West Bengal. [67] Additional Sessions Judge P R Patel was designated to hear the case. [22] Martha Nussbaum has challenged this narrative, stating that several inquiries have found that the conflagration was an accident rather than a planned conspiracy. The Godhra train burning incident of February 27, 2002, had triggered the worst communal riots in the history of Gujarat, in which over 1,000 people were killed. [9] Maulvi Husain Haji Ibrahim Umarji, a cleric in Godhra, and a dismissed Central Reserve Police Force officer named Nanumiyan were presented as the "masterminds" behind the operation. [12][13][14][15] The causes of the fire have yet to be proven conclusively. [citation needed] On 17 March 2002, chief suspect Haji Bilal, a local town councillor and a Congress worker,[54] was captured by an anti-terrorist squad in Godhra. On 9 September 2002, Narendra Modi allegedly mocked the high Muslim birth rates during a speech at Bahucharaji. As many as 59 pilgrims on board were charred to death when a coach of the train was … “There is no incident to show that either BJP, VHP or any other political party or its leaders or any religious organisations or their leaders had instigated attacks on Muslims. 20 people got life-terms. This was later unsuccessfully challenged by a relative of the victim before the Gujarat High Court and later on appeal before Supreme Court. A shattering piece of news: 58 Hindu pilgrims had been burned alive in a train. Shortly after the train left the Godhra railway station at 7: 48 a.m., a mob (the estimates of the numbers of which have ranged from 500 to 2000) stopped it. 16500 of 2005", "HC terms Sabarmati Express panel illegal", "Godhra report attempt to help Laloo: BJP", "Gujarat HC nullifies Banerjee Committee", "Dozens arrested over India train attack", "Godhra, 'secular' 'progressives' and politics", "Chargesheet filed against 66 Godhra accused", "Chief suspect in India train attack arrested", "Charge sheet filed against 66 accused for Godhra mayhem", "Special court convicts 31 in Godhra train burning case", "Chargesheets filed in Godhra train carnage case", "Godhra train carnage judgement tomorrow", "Godhra carnage: Main accused held after 13 years", After 14 yrs, man who added fuel to Godhra fire arrested, "2002 Godhra train burning: 63-year-old accused arrested after 16 years", "Court: set up six fast track courts to try Godhra & riot cases", "Godhra carnage: fast-track court begins proceedings", "It was not a random attack on S-6 but kar sevaks were targeted, says judge", "Guj govt challenges acquittals in Godhra verdict before HC", "2002 Godhra train burning case: Gujarat HC commutes death sentence of 11 convicts to life imprisonment", "2002 Godhra train burning case: Gujarat high court commutes death for 11 convicts to life in prison - Times of India", "In Godhra Train Blaze, Alleged Mastermind And 30 Others Acquitted Again", "Godhra Train Burning Case: HC Faults State Govt, Orders Rs 10 Lakh for Victims' Kin", Godhra verdict proves Lalu's man wrong, again, "Godhra Train Carnage Verdict: Reactions", "Gujarat violence film set for Friday release", "Communal Riots in Gujarat: The State at Risk? The puzzle remains - Frontline. About Sabarkantha, it finds the highest number of incidents happened in Idar taluka (78), followed by Bhiloda (73), Modasa (69), Meghraj (55), Himmatnagar (49) and Prantij (38). What is the Gujarat Godhra incident? It was at a later stage that some allegations were made against local BJP leaders…” The Commission further observed that two BJP leaders were acquitted subsequently. The president of Godhra municipality, Mohammed Hussain Kalota, was arrested in March. Godhra train burning On 27 February 2002, fifty-nine Hindu pilgrims, returning from Ayodhya after a religious ceremony at the Ram Temple site were burnt alive in the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines. The railway police case of burning of the Sabarmati Express contains 30,000 papers of investigation. [66] More than 100 people were arrested in relation to the incident. Handling of the riots that followed across Gujarat has been a matter of unending controversy. Furthermore, the fire got initiated from inside as a result there were very less burn marks on the outside of the coach below the windows. 364 of 2005 in SCA No. Godhra train burning was an incident that occurred on the morning of 27 February 2002, in which 59 people died in a fire inside the Sabarmati Express train near the Godhra railway station in the Indian state of Gujarat . Godhra case: Vested interests spreading lies on summon date, says Modi 22 Mar, 2010, 08.09 PM IST. The report was also critical of the railways' handling of the evidence relevant to the case. [30] The commission, during its six-year probe, examined more than 40,000 documents and the testimonies of more than 1,000 witnesses. Second case of conviction came in the Sardarpura incident where 33 persons were killed by a “big mob of Patels” who set houses on fire. The Sardarpura and Dipda Darwaja cases were among the nine cases investigated by the Supreme Court appointed SIT and tried in special courts appointed under its direct supervision. He cited a forensic report stating that the injuries on the victims were only compatible with an "internal fire." Godhra train burning case: Convict Yakub Pataliya gets life imprisonment Pataliya was arrested by the Godhra Police in January 2018, nearly 16 years after being booked in connection with the incident in which 59 'karsevaks' were burnt alive in two coaches of the Sabarmati Express. On 25 February, 1,700 people, a mix of pilgrims and karsevaks boarded the Sabarmati Express which was bound for Ahmedabad. ", "Hindu–Muslim Relations and the "War on Terror, Report By The Commission of Inquiry Consisting of Mr. Justice G.T. There is no evidence to show involvement of any Minister of the State Government in the incidents or any interference by a Minister in the functioning of the police,” it stated. With respect to the Visnagar incident, the Commission observed, “Initially, it was not stated that the persons in the mob belonged to the BJP or any political or religious organisation. After some stone-pelting, four coaches of the train were set alight, trapping many people inside. [19], In February 2002, thousands of devotees of Lord Rama (known as "Ramsevaks" or "Kar Sevaks") had gone from Gujarat to Ayodhya at the behest of the Vishva Hindu Parishad to take part in a ceremony called the Purnahuti Maha Yagna. We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. The Godhra Train Burning was an incident that occurred on the morning of 27 February 2002, in which 59 Hindu pilgrims and karsevaks returning from Ayodhya, were killed in a fire inside the Sabarmati Express train near the Godhra railway station in the Indian state of Gujarat. Anti-social elements appear to have taken part,” the Commission concluded. Godhra train burning case: 2 get lifer, 3 acquitted: January 30, 2018: On the run for 16 years, Godhra train burning accused held: October 10, 2017: Godhra carnage was not an act of terrorism: HC: The CPI(M) said that the report reinforced communal prejudices. Though Modi denied making such remarks, the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) sought a report from the State … West Bengal's Chief Secretary, Sourin Roy, said the detainee was a commander of the Muslim radical group Harkat-ul Jehad-e-Islami, who was allegedly attempting to enter Bangladesh. Based on the complaints and material, Commission found several cases where Hindus alerted Muslims of probable attacks or provided them with shelter.”In Poshina town, president of BJP Minority Cell was threatened by Hindus for helping Muslims,” it said about Sabarkantha district. In November 2003, the Supreme Court of India put a stay on the trial. It noted that barring Mehsana that saw two convictions, the Sardarpura and DIpda Darwaja massacre cases in which 33 and 11 persons were killed respectively, several cases in which chargesheets were filed saw acquittals, going by the inference in the final report that was tabled in the Gujarat Assembly on Wednesday. February 2011 given death sentences 2008, the train started leaving the platform, someone pulled the emergency and... Assaulted for helping Muslims or they alerted the Muslims about possible attacks 100 people were in... India news, download Indian Express App quantum of sentence in the Godhra train burning case: Vested interests lies! Express App, [ 18 ] to upwards of 2,000 casualties delivered after nine years March. Stay on the victims @ indianexpress ) and stay updated with the latest India news download! Was required to handle aftermath of the Indian State of Gujarat, was arrested in West Bengal the of! R. K. 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