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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Godhra Sabarmati Express train fire accident

Godhra train burning case: Prosecution to seek death for 31 convicts

Godhra Sabarmati Express train fire accidentA designated court trying the 2002 Godhra Train Carnage Case, today awarded death penalty to 11 persons while awarding life imprisonment to 20 others.

Special designated court judge (additional sessions judge) PR Patel awarded the sentence to the convicts of Sabarmati Express train carnage incident that happened on February 27, 2002.

The court awarded capital punishment to the 11 accused by considering the incident in 'rarest of the rare' category and their active role of hatching conspiracy and it's execution that resulted in to death of 59 karsevaks who were returning from Ayodhya.

"Court has awarded death penalty to 11 and life imprisonment to rest 20 out of 31 accused, who were held guilty on February 22 last," said special public prosecutor JM Panchal. "The court has awarded death penalty to the accused looking to their 'active role' in the hatching conspiracy and execution by setting S6 coach of the Sabarmati Express train on fire", Panchal added.

When asked about observation of the court while awarding the capital punishment, he said, "I cannot say anything at this juncture as the full text of the order is yet to come, which is expected on March 3."

The 31 accused have been punished under 23 charges including murder, conspiracy, assault, unlawful assembly. The 20 accused have to to undergo life imprisonment for 20 years excluding the period that they were already lodged in the jail. Regarding the life sentence, Panchal said, "according to the criminal procedure code the life sentence is of 20 years, but according to state and jail authority can limit the sentence for 14 years."

The case of the 11 convicts, who are given the death penalty, will be sent to the Gujarat High Court for reference as per the statutory provisions that the death penalty has to be confirmed by the High Court.

Defense Lawyer IM Munshi told media here that the judgment is probably the first of it's kind wherein the death penalty to these many persons have been awarded. He said, "It's very difficult to swallow the judgment. We are going to appeal against the judgment in the High Court."

He added that that the conviction was awarded for not fewer than 23 various sections of IPC, Railways Act, Bombay Police Act, etc.

The 11 persons who have been awarded death penalty are:
Bilal Ismail Abdul Majid Sujela alias Haji Bilal
Abdul Razak Mohammed Kurkur
Ramjani Binyamin Behra
Hasan Ahmed charkha alias Lalu
Jabir Binyamin Bahera
Mehbub Chanda
Salim alias Salman Yusuf Sattar Jarda
Siraj Mohammed Abdul Meda alias Bala
Irfan Abdul Majid Ghanchi Kalandar alias Irfan Bhopo
Irfan Abul Hanif Abdulgani Pataliya
Mehbub Ahmed Yusuf Hasan Alias Latiko

Dave Lindahl

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