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Special SIT court convicts Yakub Pataliya in 2002 Godhra train burning case, awards life imprisonment

The Special SIT court had convicted 31 people in the case on March 1, 2011 while acquitting 63.

A Special SIT court in Ahmedabad convicted Yakub Pataliya and sentenced him to life imprisonment earlier in the day in 2002 Godhra train burning case. 59 karsevaks were burnt alive in two coaches of Sabarmati express in February 2002 when a mob had torched the coaches from outside.

A court of Special SIT judge H C Vora pronounced the verdict based on the submissions of five other accused. Pataliya was arrested by Godhra Police in January 2018. He was accused of being a part of the mob that set the two coaches of Sabarmati Express on fire near Godhra railway station on February 27, 2002 that led to communal riots in Gujarat. The Special SIT court had also sentenced two other accused Farukh Bhana and Imran alias Sheru Batuk to life imprisonment in August last year.

The Special SIT court had convicted 31 people in the case on March 1, 2011 while acquitting 63. The court had also accepted the Prosecution’s theory that there was a conspiracy to burn the coach S6 of Sabarmati Express. 11 out the 31 convicted were given death sentence while the remaining were granted life imprisonment. The verdict of the Special SIT court was challenged in Gujarat High Court. In 2017 the Gujarat High Court commuted the death penalty of 11 convicts to life imprisonment while upholding the sentence of the remaining 20. Eight accused in the matter are still absconding.

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