A court in Gujarat's Godhra has sentenced a man to life imprisonment in the case of Godhra train carnage in 2002 in which 59 karsevaks were killed, which had triggered worst riots in the history of Gujarat.
Rafik Bhatuk, who was arrested in February 2021, was sentenced by a court of an additional sessions judge at Godhra in Gujarat's Panchmahal district on Saturday. The trial against him began after his arrest last year.
Rafik was accused of being involved in the case of torching of a train returning from Ayodhya with karsevaks on February 27, 2002, killing 59 of them. This had led to communal riots in Gujarat, in which over 1,200 people, mostly from a minority community, were killed.
Rafik is the 35th accused to be held guilty by the court in the case so far, special public prosecutor RC Kodekar said.
He added, "The judge wished not to be named."
A Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Panchmahal Police nabbed Rafik from a locality in Godhra town in February last year. He had escaped from Godhra after being named an accused in the case and stayed in various cities before returning.
Earlier, a special SIT court had convicted 31 people in the case on March 1, 2011. Out of them, 11 were sentenced to death, while 20 were sentenced to life imprisonment.
The Gujarat High Court had 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.
Later, three more persons were sentenced to life imprisonment in the case on two occasions.
(With PTI inputs)