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). The allegations do not appear to be true in view of the other evidence on record. 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? [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. [30] The commission, during its six-year probe, examined more than 40,000 documents and the testimonies of more than 1,000 witnesses. The Supreme Court set up a special investigation team to probe the cases of Godhra train burning and Gujarat riots. According to J Mahapatra, additional director general of the Gujarat police, "miscreants had kept the petrol-soaked rags ready for use much before the train had arrived at Godhra". The bench hearing the case also said that public prosecutors should be appointed in consultation with the SIT chairman. [66] More than 100 people were arrested in relation to the incident. Modi wrote an open letter apparently drafted in consultation with Arun Jaitley in which he said he will respond to the SIT … Though Modi denied making such remarks, the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) sought a report from the State … ", "Hindu–Muslim Relations and the "War on Terror, Report By The Commission of Inquiry Consisting of Mr. Justice G.T. The Gujarat High Court commutes the death sentence of 11 persons convicted in the Godhra train burning case to life imprisonment but upholds the conspiracy theory, ignoring valuable evidence. 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. Out of 461 offences, 106 offences were committed at night and 355 offences were committed during day time. This was 500-700 meters away from the Godhra railway station, at Signal Falia area. - Quora. After some stone-pelting, four coaches of the train were set alight, trapping many people inside. 2,500+. 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. [34] The evidence marshalled by the committee in favour of this conclusion was a statement made by Jabir Binyamin Behra, a criminal in custody at the time, although he later denied giving any such statement. 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. As many as 59 pilgrims on board were charred to death when a coach of the train was … 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. “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. BJP spokesperson, Ravi Shankar Prasad said the verdict had exposed the nefarious designs of the UPA government which tried to cover up the entire episode. ", "Gujarat 2002: What Justice for the Victims? Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines. In September 2008, the Nanavati Commission submitted its report on the incident. Find Godhra Train Burning Case Latest News, Videos & Pictures on Godhra Train Burning Case and see latest updates, news, information from NDTV.COM. [64], In February 2011, the trial court convicted 31 people and acquitted 63 others, saying the incident was a planned conspiracy. In September 2004, two and half years after the train burning, Yadav appointed former Supreme Court Justice Umesh Chandra Banerjee to investigate the incident. [71] Thus, all the 31 accused who were convicted earlier in 2011 by the SIT court were given life imprisonment. On 9 September 2002, Narendra Modi allegedly mocked the high Muslim birth rates during a speech at Bahucharaji. 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." In January 2005 Banerjee presented his interim report, which tentatively ascribed the fire as an "accidental fire," after ruling out other theories. [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. [20] On 27 February 2002, the train made its scheduled stop at Godhra about four hours late, at 7:43 am. 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. Being Chief Minister of the province, he was required to handle aftermath of the gruesome event. About state capital Gandhinagar, the commission noted, “most incidents took place on 28.2.2002 and1.3.2002….About 1,212 persons were displaced because of communal disturbance”. 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. [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. The court convicted 31 accused and acquitted 42. Following the Godhra train burning incident, large-scale violence across Gujarat for several days was reported. In between, Justice Shah died in March 2008 and was replaced in the … 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. 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]. In May 2003, the first charge sheet was filed against 54 accused, but they were not charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA became an Act as it was cleared by Parliament). [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 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. The train was not burnt at the railway station, but at Signal Falia. 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. The state government also challenged the trial court's decision to acquit 61 persons in the High Court and sought death sentences for 20 convicts awarded life imprisonment in the case. On the performance of the police, it said, “… a number of affidvaits have been filed stating that the police had taken prompt and effective steps to curb violence in the district. In 2004, the POTA was repealed after the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) came to power, prompting it to review the invocation of the POTA against the accused. [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. [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. [34] The report concluded that the train was attacked by thousands of Muslims from the Signal Falia area. [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. The driver of the train later stated that the chain had been pulled multiple times, judging by the instruments in his cabin. [74], BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain stated, "The theory propagated by the (central) government and some NGOs (Non-Governmental Organization) has been proved wrong...."[75] Law Minister Veerappa Moily (a Congress Party member) said it was premature to comment and that the courts will take their own course. [69] The convicted filed appeals in the Gujarat High Court. 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. [60] The stay was lifted in January 2011 and the judge announced that he shall pronounce the judgement on 22 February 2011. [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. Godhra, a city of the Indian State of Gujarat, was the lead story in all Indian newspapers on February 27th-28th, 2002. 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. [9] A court convicted a group of 31 Muslim individuals for the incident and the conspiracy for the crime. The February 27, 2002 train burning incident in Godhra claimed the lives of 59 Hindus. The conviction was later upheld by the Gujarat High Court. 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. On 9 March 2002, Police added Criminal Conspiracy to the charges. 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. [21], The train was attacked by a mob of around 2,000 people. 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: He cited a forensic report stating that the injuries on the victims were only compatible with an "internal fire." Bilal was also alleged to have a connection with gang leader Latif and was reported to have visited Karachi in Pakistan several times. It also placed on record a case of “Hindu assaulted for helping Muslims”. In its report on north Gujarat, The Nanavati Commission gave a clean chit to the police, BJP, VHP and Bajrang Dal and attributed the massacres in Mehsana and Sabarkantha districts of this region, to anger on account of the Godhra train burning incident of February 27, 2002.It cited instances … Explore more on Godhra Train Burning Case. As the train started leaving the platform, someone pulled the emergency brake and the train stopped near the signal point. Anti-social elements appear to have taken part,” the Commission concluded. 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 trial was completed in September 2010; however, the verdict could not be delivered because of the Supreme Court stay. Godhra case: Vested interests spreading lies on summon date, says Modi 22 Mar, 2010, 08.09 PM IST. The districts are Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Banaskantha, Gandhinagar and Patan, where rest of the complaints saw A-summaries being filed, according to the report. The CPI(M) said that the report reinforced communal prejudices. Twenty others were sentenced to life imprisonment. [23][24] Conservative commentator Madhu Kishwar has blamed the "Congress and its leftist allies" for allegedly introducing "amazing distortions", which she sees as the reason why the facts are not widely known and accepted. 11 others were charged with being part of this mob. File. Eight others were juveniles, who were tried by a separate court. 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. The hearing began in May 2009. [73] The court asked the state government and railways to pay 10 lakh compensation to the families of each of the 59 victims. The Godhra train burning case refers to the train that was returning with passengers from the site of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya that had been demolished in 1992. [59] Initially, 107 people were charged, five of whom died while the case was still pending in court. We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. During this period, the Godhra train burning and the subsequent Hindu-Muslim riots led to over a thousand deaths in February–March 2002. The High Court also directed that the report should not be tabled in the Parliament. For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App. 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. Judgments on several aspects of the 2002 Godhra train burning case were delivered by the Gujarat high court on 9th October. 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. [53] One of the alleged organisers of the attack was arrested in West Bengal. Godhra train burning case: Yakub Pataliya gets life term. [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. [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 commission termed the Godhra train burning "an accident" in its report, submitted in 2006. The report gave a clean chit to the police, BJP, VHP and Bajrang Dal and stated that the incidents occurred because of anger on account of the Godhra train burning incident of February 27, 2002. These two districts lost maximum number of lives in the riots in this region. [61] On 18 May 2016, a heretofore missing `conspirator' of the event, Farooq Bhana, was Arrested from Mumbai by Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS). 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. [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. What is the Gujarat Godhra incident? [76] R. K. Raghavan, who was the head of the Special Investigating Team, said he was satisfied with the verdict. It cited instances to prove that in fact the Hindus were either assaulted for helping Muslims or they alerted the Muslims about possible attacks. [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. [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. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7] The commission set up by the Government of Gujarat to investigate the train burning spent 6 years going over the details of the case, and concluded that the fire was arson committed by a Muslim mob of 1,000 to 2,000 people. The report was also critical of the railways' handling of the evidence relevant to the case. The Indian Express is now on Telegram. The railway police case of burning of the Sabarmati Express contains 30,000 papers of investigation. 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