As many as 59 pilgrims on board were charred to death when a coach of the train was … 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). [34] The report concluded that the train was attacked by thousands of Muslims from the Signal Falia area. The president of Godhra municipality, Mohammed Hussain Kalota, was arrested in March. 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. 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. 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. 11 others were charged with being part of this mob. [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. As the train started leaving the platform, someone pulled the emergency brake and the train stopped near the signal point. ... Ghanchis are being framed in the Godhra train carnage." [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. The commission termed the Godhra train burning "an accident" in its report, submitted in 2006. On 9 March 2002, Police added Criminal Conspiracy to the charges. [64], In February 2011, the trial court convicted 31 people and acquitted 63 others, saying the incident was a planned conspiracy. This was 500-700 meters away from the Godhra railway station, at Signal Falia area. [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. In January 2005 Banerjee presented his interim report, which tentatively ascribed the fire as an "accidental fire," after ruling out other theories. [71] Thus, all the 31 accused who were convicted earlier in 2011 by the SIT court were given life imprisonment. 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 districts are Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Banaskantha, Gandhinagar and Patan, where rest of the complaints saw A-summaries being filed, according to the report. [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. 59 people including 27 women and 10 children were burnt to death, and 48 others were injured. 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. [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. 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Modi wrote an open letter apparently drafted in consultation with Arun Jaitley in which he said he will respond to the SIT … 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. - Quora. The report was also critical of the railways' handling of the evidence relevant to the case. [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. Judgments on several aspects of the 2002 Godhra train burning case were delivered by the Gujarat high court on 9th October. The driver of the train later stated that the chain had been pulled multiple times, judging by the instruments in his cabin. Out of 461 offences, 106 offences were committed at night and 355 offences were committed during day time. 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. 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. The Indian Express is now on Telegram. [53] One of the alleged organisers of the attack was arrested in West Bengal. 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. 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. [63], On 3 March 2002, The Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance was invoked against all the accused which was later suspended due to pressure from the Central government. For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App. [41][42][43], Banerjee's findings were challenged in the Gujarat High Court by Neelkanth Tulsidas Bhatia, who was injured in the incident. 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. Following the Godhra train burning incident, large-scale violence across Gujarat for several days was reported. This was later unsuccessfully challenged by a relative of the victim before the Gujarat High Court and later on appeal before Supreme Court. 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. The court was set up inside the Sabarmati Central Jail, where almost all of the accused were confined. 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). [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 trial was completed in September 2010; however, the verdict could not be delivered because of the Supreme Court stay. 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. [59] Initially, 107 people were charged, five of whom died while the case was still pending in court. [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. Explore more on Godhra Train Burning Case. Godhra case: Vested interests spreading lies on summon date, says Modi 22 Mar, 2010, 08.09 PM IST. The puzzle remains - Frontline. 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”. [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. 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. 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." 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. [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. 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. Nicole Elfi. What is the Gujarat Godhra incident? [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. 20 people got life-terms. The court convicted 31 accused and acquitted 42. Being Chief Minister of the province, he was required to handle aftermath of the gruesome event. [73] The court asked the state government and railways to pay 10 lakh compensation to the families of each of the 59 victims. In May 2005, the POTA review commission decided not to charge the accused under POTA. We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. [77], 27 February 2002 incident (Gujarat Commission Report), sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFBurke2011 (, sfn error: no target: CITEREFNussbaum2008 (, sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFNussbaum2007 (, "Death for 11, life sentence for 20 in Godhra train burning case", "Eleven sentenced to death for India Godhra train blaze", "Godhra verdict: 31 convicted, 63 acquitted", "Godhra train fire verdict prompts tight security measures", "Godhra Train Carnage: Gujarat HC Commutes Death Penalty Of 11 Convicts; Awards 10 Lakh Compensation To Victims' Kin", "Godhra Sabarmati Express burning case: Gujarat HC commutes death sentence to 11 convicts into life imprisonment", "Fifty-eight killed in attack on Sabarmati Express", "Sabarmati Express drivers appear before panel", "Report of Forensic Science Laboratory, State of Gujarat", "Newly appointed justice Mehta of Nanavati Commission visits Godhra", "Gujarat: Nanavati Commission submitted its first report on 2002 riots in state", "With 21st extension, Nanavati report after LS polls", The Godhra conspiracy as Justice Nanavati saw it, "Godhra case: Eventually, Maulvi Umarji comes out unscathed", "Godhra carnage a conspiracy: Nanavati report", "Gujarat may come clean today, say 1,180 died in riots", "Cong, CPM question Nanavati report's credibility", "Excerpts from the Justice U C Banerjee Committee report", "Union of India vs. Nilkanth Tulsidas Bhatia, LPA No. [31] The initial term of the committee was three months long; however, it received 22 extensions, till June 2014, to submit its final report. ", "Hindu–Muslim Relations and the "War on Terror, Report By The Commission of Inquiry Consisting of Mr. Justice G.T. A shattering piece of news: 58 Hindu pilgrims had been burned alive in a train. [30] The commission, during its six-year probe, examined more than 40,000 documents and the testimonies of more than 1,000 witnesses. Eight others were juveniles, who were tried by a separate court. 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? [12][13][14][15] The causes of the fire have yet to be proven conclusively. 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. [72] while, 63 others who were acquitted in 2011 by trial court, were re-acquitted by high court, including the alleged mastermind. On 9 September 2002, Narendra Modi allegedly mocked the high Muslim birth rates during a speech at Bahucharaji. Modi had no role in Godhra untill burning of train (Sabarmati Express) by miscreants. During this period, the Godhra train burning and the subsequent Hindu-Muslim riots led to over a thousand deaths in February–March 2002. Godhra, a city of the Indian State of Gujarat, was the lead story in all Indian newspapers on February 27th-28th, 2002. [57][58] The 68 people accused in the charge-sheet included 57 accused of stoning and torching the train. 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. There is no evidence to show any involvement of the Ministers or leaders of any political party in the incidents which happened in this district,” it said. It cited instances to prove that in fact the Hindus were either assaulted for helping Muslims or they alerted the Muslims about possible attacks. The Supreme Court set up a special investigation team to probe the cases of Godhra train burning and Gujarat riots. In November 2003, the Supreme Court of India put a stay on the trial. [20] On 27 February 2002, the train made its scheduled stop at Godhra about four hours late, at 7:43 am. [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. [66] More than 100 people were arrested in relation to the incident. Godhra train burning case: Yakub Pataliya gets life term. [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. [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. But the Supreme Court found the commission as unconstitutional and report invalid. After some stone-pelting, four coaches of the train were set alight, trapping many people inside. The February 27, 2002 train burning incident in Godhra claimed the lives of 59 Hindus. 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. 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. [51] It welcomed the High Court judgement, saying that it was a setback for the Congress. “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. As many as 253 witnesses were examined during the trial and over items of 1500 documentary evidences were presented to the court. 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. The Godhra train burning case was tried in a court of law and the judgment has been delivered after nine years. 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 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. 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. [69] The convicted filed appeals in the Gujarat High Court. In May 2010, Supreme Court restrained the trial courts from pronouncing judgement in nine sensitive riot cases, including Godhra train incident. Congress spokesperson Veerappa Moily commented at the strange absolvement of the Gujarat government for complacency for the carnage before the commission's second and final report had been brought out. Handling of the riots that followed across Gujarat has been a matter of unending controversy. A-summary is filed in cases where the identity of the accused is not established for a prolonged period, while some cases continued to be pending in courts. India Naroda Patiya case: SC asks Gujarat govt to file affidavit on convict's … The CPI(M) said that the report reinforced communal prejudices. On 25 February, 1,700 people, a mix of pilgrims and karsevaks boarded the Sabarmati Express which was bound for Ahmedabad. It also placed on record a case of “Hindu assaulted for helping Muslims”. [52] Lalu Prasad Yadav, then the minister for railways, cited the report as proof that the Narendra Modi government had organized the riots that followed, and called it an exposure of the BJP. The conviction was later upheld by the Gujarat High Court. 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 fact that the victims and the alleged criminals belonged to different religious fait 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]. ", "Gujarat 2002: What Justice for the Victims? Twenty others were sentenced to life imprisonment. 364 of 2005 in SCA No. Anti-social elements appear to have taken part,” the Commission concluded. 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. 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. [51], By 28 February 2002, 51 people had been arrested for the incident on charges of arson, rioting and looting. The allegations do not appear to be true in view of the other evidence on record. In between, Justice Shah died in March 2008 and was replaced in the … 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. [76] R. K. Raghavan, who was the head of the Special Investigating Team, said he was satisfied with the verdict. In September 2004, two and half years after the train burning, Yadav appointed former Supreme Court Justice Umesh Chandra Banerjee to investigate the incident. [22] Martha Nussbaum has challenged this narrative, stating that several inquiries have found that the conflagration was an accident rather than a planned conspiracy. [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. [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. These two districts lost maximum number of lives in the riots in this region. 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. File. [9] A court convicted a group of 31 Muslim individuals for the incident and the conspiracy for the crime. 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 High Court also directed that the report should not be tabled in the Parliament. [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 railway police case of burning of the Sabarmati Express contains 30,000 papers of investigation. [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. [61] On 18 May 2016, a heretofore missing `conspirator' of the event, Farooq Bhana, was Arrested from Mumbai by Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS). The commission set up by the Government of Gujarat to investigate the train burning spent 6 years … [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. 2,500+. [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. 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 … 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. As a result, the government reconstituted the commission into a two-member committee, appointing retired Supreme Court judge G T Nanavati to lead the commission, which thus became known as the "Nanavati-Shah Commission". [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. 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. It ordered that the SIT would be the nodal agency for deciding about witness protection and also asked that it file supplementary charge sheets and that it may cancel the bail of the accused. [10][11] The train was not burnt at the railway station, but at Signal Falia. The bench hearing the case also said that public prosecutors should be appointed in consultation with the SIT chairman. [8] A commission appointed by the central government, whose appointment was later held to be unconstitutional, stated that the fire had been an accident. 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. 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. Mr. Justice G.T this region across Gujarat has been a matter of unending.. Click here to join our channel ( @ indianexpress ) and stay with... Pataliya gets life term was later upheld by the SIT chairman: 58 Hindu pilgrims had been multiple. The head of the accused under POTA still pending in Court not to charge the accused confined! 59 ] Initially, 107 people were arrested in relation to the charges concluded that the report concluded the. 53 ] One of the train was not burnt at the railway station, but at Signal Falia area ]... To join our channel ( @ indianexpress ) and stay updated with the latest headlines 355 offences were committed day... 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