Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Death for 11, life sentence for 20 in Godhra train burning case




A special court on Tuesday pronounced the death penalty for 11 convicted in the Godhra train burning case and handed down life sentence to 20 others.

Special judge P R Patel considering the case as "rarest of rare" pronounced death penalty for 11 out of the 31 convicted in the case while 20 others were sentenced to life imprisonment, PTI reported.

"The court looking into their active role in the conspiracy and setting afire the S6 coach of Sabarmati Express train near Godhra, gave death penalty to 11 people," public prosecutor J M Panchal said.

The court also slapped punishment on them under various other sections, which will be concurrent to their life term.

The prosecution had sought death sentence for all the 31 convicts, saying that it was a heinous act.

Thirty-one people were convicted and 63 others, including the main accused Maulvi Umarji, were acquitted on February 22 by a special court here in the 2002 Godhra train burning incident that left 59 people dead and triggered violence in Gujarat that had claimed the lives of over 1200 people, mainly Muslims.

The court acquitted prime accused Umarji while other prominent accused Haji Billa and Rajjak Kurkur were convicted.

Scientific evidence, statement of witnesses, circumstantial and documentary evidence placed on record formed the basis of the judgement.

The trial conducted inside the Sabarmati Central Jail here began in June 2009 with the framing of charges against 94 accused in the carnage that had triggered widespread communal riots in Gujarat.

The accused have been charged with criminal conspiracy and murder in burning of the S-6 coach of the train on February 27, 2002 near Godhra, about 125 km from here in which 59 people were killed.

Defence counsel I M Munshi said the convicts will definitely appeal against the punishment awarded to them.

"It (the punishment) is very difficult to swallow. Till we get the copy of the judgement, we cannot comment much," Munshi said.

"We will definitely appeal against the verdict in the high court. Till the high court confirms the judgement, it cannot be implemented," he said.






Read more: Death for 11, life sentence for 20 in Godhra train burning case - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Death-for-11-life-sentence-for-20-in-Godhra-train-burning-case/articleshow/7600059.cms#ixzz1FNJCMNG9

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