2002 Godhra incident: Yakub Pataliya sentenced to life imprisonment
The verdict was announced by Special SIT judge HC Vora on the basis of submissions made in the case earlier.
Pataliya was on the run for 16 years and was arrested by Godhra police in January 2018.
Here are the details.
Backstory: Sabarmati Express was torched, killing dozens
On February 27, 2002, the Sabarmati Express, which was returning from Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya, was torched near Godhra railway station.
59 people, mostly karsewaks, died in the carnage. 27 women and 10 children were also killed.
The train burning incident sparked off riots in Gujarat in which property worth thousands of crores were destroyed and hundreds of people lost their lives.
Commission formed to probe Godhra concluded it wasn't an accident
The state government appointed the Nanavati Commission to probe the incident. The body concluded that the train burning incident wasn't an accident, but a conspiracy.
Forensic Studies Laboratory (FSL) concluded that Coach S-6 was alighted by someone standing near seat number 72.
"60 liter of the inflammable liquid has been poured and then fire has been started in the bogie," the report concluded.
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Court proceedings began seven years after Godhra incident
The trials in the Godhra case began in 2009. 134 people were tried under POTA, which was later scrapped by Centre.
Out of the 134, 14 were released due to lack of evidence, five were juveniles, and five died during proceedings.
Pataliya was a member of the mob. His trial took place in a special court set up at Sabarmati Central jail.
Gujarat HC turned death penalty to life imprisonment
In 2011, the SIT convicted 31 people in the case. While 11 were given death penalties, 20 others were sentenced to life imprisonment. However, in 2017 Gujarat High Court turned the death penalty to life imprisonment.
Separately, in 2018, the SIT court sentenced Farooq Bhana and Imran Sheri to life imprisonment.
It should be noted that eight accused are still at large.
Godhra Train Burning
Forensic Studies Laboratory
Gujarat High Court
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