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Farook Bhana, convicted in the Godhra carnage case where 59 Hindus were burnt to death gets bail from SC bench, led by CJI Chandrachud

While announcing this verdict, the Supreme Court considered that the convict has undergone 17 years sentence. The apex court also noted that his role was stone-pelting at the train.

On 15th December 2022, the Supreme Court of India granted bail to Farook Bhana who is sentenced to life in the Godhra carnage case. It is notable that Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud headed the bench that passed this order.

The carnage had taken place when scores of ‘Kar Sevaks’, who were returning in Sabarmati Express from Ayodhya after attending a religious ceremony, were burnt in a train near Godhra. On 27th February 2002, coach number S-6 of the Sabarmati Express was set on fire near the Godhra railway station in Gujarat. The victims were mostly Hindu and official figure reports that 59 people had died in this incident.

While announcing this verdict, the Supreme Court considered that the convict has undergone 17 years sentence. The apex court also noted that his role was stone-pelting at the train. Solicitor general Tushar Mehta appeared in the court on behalf of the Gujarat government. He strongly opposed this and said, “It’s the most heinous crime. people were locked in a bogey and burned alive.”

Farook was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2018

It is pertinent to note that the appeal against the conviction of the culprit is pending in the Supreme Court since 2018. On 27th August 2018, a special trial court sentenced Farook Bhana and Imran alias Sheru Batuk, to life imprisonment in relation to the case of burning the Sabarmati Express train in 2002 at Godhra railway station that led to communal riots in Gujarat. Three more accused, Hussain Suleman Mohan, Kasam Bhamedi, and Farook Dhantiya who were arrested by different agencies in 2015 and 2016 were acquitted.

Special judge H C Vora awarded the life sentence to Farook Bhana and Imran Sheru after the prosecution proved their role in the burning of the two coaches. Another accused Sabir Abdul Gani Pataliya died during the pendency of the trial.

Interestingly, one of the convicted Farook Bhana, was the sitting corporator of the Polan-Bazar area of the Godhra municipality in February 2002 when the train was set on fire, killing 59 Hindu devotees. It is reported that on the eve of the incident, Farook Bhana held a meeting at the Aman Guest House to incite people to burn down the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express.

The other convict, Sheru Batuk has been awarded life imprisonment, was part of the conspiracy to burn down the Sabarmati Express. Special Additional Public Prosecutor N N Prajapati said, “While Bhana was the mastermind of the attack, Batuk was actually leading the mob”. Judge Vora, in 2018, awarded the sentence after considering the statements of 37 witnesses and other evidence provided by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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