2002 Godhra Train Carnage Accused Gets Life Sentence

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Godhra: A court here has awarded life imprisonment to the accused, Rafik Bhatuk, who was arrested in February 2021 on charges of torching Godhra train in 2002.

Bhatuk was accused of being involved in the case of torching of a train returning from Ayodhya with ‘karsevaks’ on February 27, 2002, killing 59 of them. This had led to communal riots in the state, in which over 1,200 people, mostly from a minority community, were killed.

Bhatuk is the 35th accused to be held guilty by the court in the case so far.

Earlier, a special SIT court had convicted 31 people in the case on March 1, 2011. Out of them, 11 were sentenced to death, while 20 were sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Gujarat High Court had in October 2017 commuted the death sentence of 11 convicts to life imprisonment, while upholding the punishment awarded by the special SIT court to 20 others. Later, three more persons were sentenced to life imprisonment in the case on two occasions.

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