Godhra case conspiracy aimed at targeting 'karsevaks': Court
Ahmedabad: The aim of the criminal conspiracy
in the 2002 Godhra train burning case was to target
'karsevaks' travelling in the Sabarmati Express, the special
court has concluded in its judgement.
The court, on March 1, sentenced 11 accused to death and
20 others to life imprisonment. A copy of the judgement was
made available today.
"The cause of fire which took place in coach S-6 was not
short circuit or accidental because of any leakage of kerosene
from stove of any passenger; but definitely petrol in huge
quantity came to be poured inside the coach," the court has
"The target was not all passengers but definitely the
karsevaks who were travelling in this train."
The conspiracy was hatched on the previous day by Haji
Bilal, Faruk Bhana, Abdul Rajak Kurkur and Salim Panwala.
"As per the plan, Kurkur and Panwala both had gone to
Kalabhai Petrol Pump on moped on 26-2-2002 around 10 p.m.
taking with them other conspirators...in a tempo and purchased
140 litres loose petrol in different seven carboys."
Taking advantage of quarrel that took place on platform
and misbehaviour by 'karsevaks' with Muslim girls, the
absconding accused Panwala and the accused Mehbub Ahmed alias
Latiko called people from nearby Signal Faliya, court holds.
"If there was no plan at all, it would have not been
possible to gather Muslim persons with deadly weapons within
five to six minutes and to reach near 'A' Cabin on the railway
tracks," court says.
59 people died in the train burning incident, sparking
off communal riots in Gujarat.
The court held that as soon as the train stopped near
'A'Cabin after chain pulling, Kurkur and Panwala brought
a carboy containing petrol on a moped.
It was Kurkur and Panwala who poured petrol inside S-6
from window near the door of the coach, judgement says.
Hasan and Jabir climbed up the corridor place and by
use of force with kicks, opened the eastern side sliding door
of Coach S-6. They along with Saukat Charkha then entered into
Coach S-6 from the sliding door with Carboys containing petrol
after which Saukat opened the East-South corner door of the
Coach from where the remaining three (Imran Sheru, Irfan
Bhobha, Rafiq Bhatuk) entered the coach with carboys
and poured petrol.
After the coach caught fire all the accused persons
who were in it got down from the opposite side.
"If the petrol was not kept ready in loose form in
carboys on previous night near Aman Guest House, it would not
have been possible to reach with carboys containing petrol in
huge quantity immediately," court says, accepting prosecution
theory of conspiracy.
"(That)The quarrel or misbehaviour with Muslim girls by
karsevaks were the causes for spontaneous reaction can never
be accepted because as per the evidence on record, such
quarrel had also taken place earlier at Rudroli Station and
Dahod Station. However, it did not result into such serious
reaction," the court observes.
The judgement also notes that the town of Godhra is
known for its history of communal riots.