[10][11] The puzzle remains - Frontline. [31] The initial term of the committee was three months long; however, it received 22 extensions, till June 2014, to submit its final report. 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. [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. 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". The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Judgments on several aspects of the 2002 Godhra train burning case were delivered by the Gujarat high court on 9th October. [61] On 18 May 2016, a heretofore missing `conspirator' of the event, Farooq Bhana, was Arrested from Mumbai by Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS). [71] Thus, all the 31 accused who were convicted earlier in 2011 by the SIT court were given life imprisonment. The commission set up by the Government of Gujarat to investigate the train burning spent 6 years … [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. 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. 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. It cited instances to prove that in fact the Hindus were either assaulted for helping Muslims or they alerted the Muslims about possible attacks. As the train started leaving the platform, someone pulled the emergency brake and the train stopped near the signal point. Estimates of casualties range from the official figures of 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus,[18] to upwards of 2,000 casualties. The conviction was later upheld by the Gujarat High Court. Twenty others were sentenced to life imprisonment. [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. AHMEDABAD: The mystery over the burning of the S-6 compartment of Sabarmati Express at Godhra on February 27, which killed 59 passengers and set off an unprecedented spate of communal frenzy all over Gujarat, has turned deeper with the forensic report on the incident discounting the possibility of the mob throwing inflammable liquid from outside and … [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. [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. 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. [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. [57][58] The 68 people accused in the charge-sheet included 57 accused of stoning and torching the train. 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? 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. In September 2004, two and half years after the train burning, Yadav appointed former Supreme Court Justice Umesh Chandra Banerjee to investigate the incident. [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. This was later unsuccessfully challenged by a relative of the victim before the Gujarat High Court and later on appeal before Supreme Court. [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. [51] It welcomed the High Court judgement, saying that it was a setback for the Congress. 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. [67] Additional Sessions Judge P R Patel was designated to hear the case. The fact that the victims and the alleged criminals belonged to different religious fait The hearing began in May 2009. [64], In February 2011, the trial court convicted 31 people and acquitted 63 others, saying the incident was a planned conspiracy. [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. 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. [22] Martha Nussbaum has challenged this narrative, stating that several inquiries have found that the conflagration was an accident rather than a planned conspiracy. 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 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. The Sabarmati Express ) by miscreants review commission decided not to charge the accused confined. 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