Godhra Riots: Court Sentences Yakub Pataliya to Life Imprisonment

A special SIT court in Gujarat on Wednesday, 20 March, sentenced a man to life imprisonment in the 2002 Godhra train carnage case.

The court of Special SIT judge H C Vora convicted Yakub Pataliya based on submissions made earlier in the case by five other accused.

Pataliya was arrested by the Godhra Police in January 2018, nearly 16 years after being booked in connection with the incident in which 59 'karsevaks' were burnt alive in two coaches of the Sabarmati Express.

His trial was held at a special court set up at the Sabarmati Central Jail here.

He was accused of being a part of the mob that torched the coaches of Sabarmati Express near the Godhra railway station on 27 February, 2002, killing 59 'karsevaks' and triggering state-wide riots.

Earlier, the special SIT court convicted 31 people in the case on 1 March, 2011.

It later awarded death sentence to 11 of them and life imprisonment to 20 others.

However, the Gujarat High Court in October 2017 commuted the death sentence of 11 convicts to life imprisonment while upholding the punishment awarded by the special SIT court to 20 others.

The special court sentenced two men – Farooq Bhana and Imran Sheri – to life imprisonment in August last year and acquitted three others, identified as Hussain Suleman Mohan, Kasam Bhamedi and Faruk Dhantiya, all of whom were arrested after 2011.

Eight accused in the case are still absconding.

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