Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Agen­cies let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

The Gu­jarat an­titer­ror­ist squad ar­rested on Wed­nes­day a key ac­cused in the 2002 Godhra train burn­ing in­ci­dent, 14 years af­ter the car­nage left 59 peo­ple dead and sparked one of the worst ri­ots in In­dia’s his­tory.

In­spec­tor gen­eral of ATS JK Bhatt said Fa­rooq Mo­ham­mad Bhana hatched the con­spir­acy to burn the S6 coach of the Sabar­mati Ex­press at Godhra rail­way sta­tion on Fe­bru­ary 27 that year. Nine­ty­four oth­ers have been ar­rested so far in the case, ATS of­fi­cials said.

“Bhana was on the run since 2002. He was a cor­po­ra­tor of PolanBazar area of Godhra when the in­ci­dent took place,” Bhatt said.

The 59 kar se­vaks on their way from Ay­o­d­hya were charred to death and trig­gered fierce ri­ots across the state that left over 1,000 Mus­lims dead.

Bhatt said based on a spe­cific tip-off, an ATS team nabbed Bhana at a toll plaza near Kalol town of Panchma­hal district when he was com­ing to Godhra from Mum­bai to meet his son. Pri­mary in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed Bhana went to Pak­istan, prob­a­bly us­ing a fake pass­port, af­ter the 2002 in­ci­dent and came back to In­dia 10 years ago and started liv­ing in the And­heri (East) sub­urb of Mum­bai.

“It is al­leged that on the night of Fe­bru­ary 26, Bhana and oth­ers held a meet­ing at Aman guest house near the rail­way sta­tion as part of their con­spir­acy to set ablaze the S6 coach of the train,” said Bhatt. CON­TIN­UED ON P6

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