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2002 Godhra train carnage accused awarded life imprisonment | Vadodara News

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VADODARA: Rafik Bhatuk, a prime accused in the 2002 Godhra Sabarmati Express carnage case, was awarded life imprisonment on Saturday. Bhatuk was nabbed from Godhra in February 2021 almost 19 years after the incident took place.
Bhatuk was allegedly one of the prime accused in the carnage case that took place on February 27, 2002. On that day, 59 Ramsevaks who were returning from Ayodhya were killed when the S-6 coach of the train was set ablaze after dousing it with petrol. The carnage triggered communal riots in the state.
The special court of sessions judge H P Mehta in Godhra pronounced Bhatuk guilty on Saturday. Special public prosecutor R C Kodekar said that Bhatuk was awarded life imprisonment. He added that he is the 35th accused in the case to be held guilty.
As many as 31 accused were held guilty in March 2011 by the special court. This was followed by conviction of two accused in 2018 and one in 2019.
The Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Panchmahal police and Godhra town police had nabbed Bhatuk from the Signal Falia locality in the town in February last year. He used to sell fruits to earn a living in the town.
Bhatuk had escaped from Godhra after being named as an accused in the case. On the run, he went to Delhi and other places. He used to stay in Mohammadi Mohalla in Godhra when the incident took place, but shifted to Signal Falia later.

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