Gujarat High Court likely to pronounce verdict on Godhra train case today

Godhra train carnage Gujarat HC to pronounce verdict on October 9

The Gujarat High Court on Monday commuted the death sentence of 11 persons convicted in the 2002 Godhra train burning case into life imprisonment. While 11 people were sentenced to death, 20 were sentenced to life imprisonment.

The High Court has directed the government and railways to pay Rs 10 lakh each to families of those killed in Godhra train burning case. The verdict was challenged by the state government and the convicts before the Gujarat High Court on April 6, 2011.

A coach of the Sabarmati Express was set on fire at Godhra on February 27, 2002.

The victims included Hindu pilgrims who were returning from the city of Ayodhya after a religious ceremony at the disputed Babri Masjid site. Almost 1,000 people, a lot of them Muslims, had died in the riots, according to official estimates. Among them, 11 were sentenced to death and 20 were awarded life term in prison.

The convicts were described as a "core committee" that played a crucial role in organizing a mob of almost 1,000 people and more than 100 litres of petrol to set the train on fire. According to PTI, the special SIT court had on March 1, 2011 convicted 31 people and acquitted 63 in the case.

The court had convicted 31 people while accepting the prosecution's contention that there was a conspiracy behind the incident.

Maulvi Saeed Umarji, believed to be the prime conspirator of the Godhra train burning case by the SIT, was also acquitted by the special court.

The Nanavati Commission, appointed by the Gujarat government to probe the incident, concluded that the fire in the coach was not an accident but it was set on fire.

Coach S6 of Ahmedabad-bound Sabarmati Express is burnt by a mob, 50 people are killed.

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