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Godhra judgement to be pronounced on Feb 19

Last Updated: Monday, January 24, 2011 - 17:44

Ahmedabad: The judgement on the Godhra
carnage case, where 58 people were burnt to death triggering
massive communal riots across Gujarat, will be pronounced on
February 19, nearly nine years after the incident took place.

Designated judge PR Patel, who completed hearing the
arguments of the prosecution and the defence in September last
year, will pronounce the judgement on the sensitive case on
February 19, special public prosecutor in the case JM Panchal

After completion of the hearing in September, the
Supreme Court had stayed the pronouncement of the judgement.
The stay, however, was lifted on October 26, 2010.

The trial in the case began inside the Sabarmati jail
in June 2009 with framing of the charges against the 94
accused who have been in the jail since 2002.

All the accused in the case have been charged with
criminal conspiracy, murder and burning the S6 coach of the
Sabarmati Express train near Godhra Railway Station on
February 27, 2002 in which 58 people, mostly `kar sevaks`
returning from Ayodhya were killed.

Following the incident, widespread communal riots
broke out in different parts of the state in which over 1,000
people were killed.

Prosecution slapped POTA on the accused though it was
later revoked by the POTA Review Committee.

The Nanavati Commission appointed by the state
government to probe the Godhra carnage had concluded that the
fire in the S6 coach was not caused by an accident but due to
petrol thrown at it.

"The burning of the coach S6 was a pre-planned act. In
other words, there was a conspiracy to burn the coach of
Sabarmati Express train coming from Ayodhya and to cause harm
to the `kar sevaks` travelling in the coach," the Nanavati
Commission report submitted to the state government in
September 2008 said.

The Commission had also exonerated Gujarat Chief
Minister Narendra Modi, his Council of Ministers and the
police from any role in the Godhra train-burning incident.


First Published: Monday, January 24, 2011 - 17:44
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