A special trial court in Ahmedabad today convicted two persons – Farukh Bhana and Imran Sheru alias Imran Batuk- in connection with the sensational 2002 Sabarmati Express train burning case at Godhra railway station that led to widespread communal riots in Gujarat. The court has acquitted three others.
The five accused were arrested by different agencies in 2015-16 and were put on trial by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT). The accused had been absconding from the day of the incident. There are eight other accused who are said to be absconding.
On the morning of February 27, 2002, a coach of the Sabarmati Express — Coach S6 — was set ablaze and 59 passengers travelling were charred to death. The train had arrived at Godhra station in Gujarat just then. The victims included 27 women and 10 children. Injuries were suffered by another 48 passengers in the train.
Earlier, a special SIT court convicted 31 people on March 1, 2011, out of whom 11 were awarded death sentences and 20 life imprisonment. The court also acquitted 63 people in the case.
In October last year, the Gujarat High Court commuted the death sentence awarded to 11 convicts to life term while upholding the life sentence awarded to 20 others by the special SIT court in 2011.