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31 convicted in Godhra train carnage

Ahmedabad, Feb 22  (): A special fast track court here Tuesday convicted 31 people and acquitted 63 in the Godhra train carnage case in which 59 people on board the Sabarmati Express were burnt to death, triggering communal frenzy in Gujarat in 2002.

Maulvi Saeed Umarji, believed to be the prime accused, was acquitted. Additional sessions judge P.R. Patel convicted 31 people, accused of hatching the conspiracy that killed 59 people travelling in S-6 coach of the train Feb 27, 2002. Most of the people killed in the attack were ‘kar sevaks’ or volunteers who were returning from the pilgrim town of Ayodhya.

The incident, which was labeled as a conspiracy, triggered state-wide communal violence, in which over 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed. Out of 31 convicted, the sentencing of 25 people will be taken up on Friday. A total of 134 people were charge sheeted in the case out of which 16 have absconded  and13 have been released for lack of evidence.

We are not satisfied with the judgment. There are many contradictions. We will have to appeal in the higher court.” We will wait for the quantum of punishment and then appeal in the higher court,” said Mushy the Defense lawyer.