KEY ACCUSED IN GODHRA TRAIN CARNAGE HELD AFTER 14 YEARS
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