31 convicted, 63 acquitted in Godhra train case

It was a pre-planned conspiracy, says special court

February 22, 2011 12:40 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 10:58 pm IST - Ahmedabad

Defence lawyer I. M. Munshi talks to the media after a special court pronounced the verdict on Godhra case, in Ahmedabad, on Tuesday.

Defence lawyer I. M. Munshi talks to the media after a special court pronounced the verdict on Godhra case, in Ahmedabad, on Tuesday.

Accepting the “pre-planned conspiracy” theory of the prosecution, a special fast track court — appointed by the Gujarat High Court on the orders of the Supreme Court — on Tuesday convicted 31 accused and acquitted 63 others in the Godhra train burning case.

Coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express, in which 59 people, mostly ‘kar sevaks' returning from Ayodhya were travelling, was burnt on February 27, 2002 at the Godhra station.

Pronouncing the judgment in camera in the court held inside the high-security Sabarmati central jail on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, judge P.R. Patel said a hearing for deciding the quantum of punishment for the convicted persons would be held on February 25. All the 31 accused were held guilty on two major counts — Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

Interestingly, even while accepting the “conspiracy” theory, the court acquitted at least two of the accused whom the police had all along maintained were among the “main conspirators.” They are Moulana Umarji — who was alleged to have shouted over the public address system fitted in a nearby mosque asking the people of Godhra to rush to the railway station and “kill” kar sevaks aboard the Sabarmati Express — and Bilal Hussain Kalota, the then Congress-supported (independent) president of the Godhra municipality, who was claimed to be the main person to have collected the mob outside the rail platform to “set fire” to S-6 coach.

The owner of the Aman Guest House, Abdul Razzak Kurkur, where, according to the prosecution, a meeting was held the previous night to “hatch the conspiracy,” was among the 31 convicted.

Tuesday's proceedings were held for just 20 minutes before the judge handed over copies of the over 850-page judgment to the public prosecutor and the principal defence advocate, and adjourned the session.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.