Godhra, January 30: In a massive breakthrough, Gujarat police on Tuesday arrested Yakub Pataliya who is one of the most wanted accused in the year 2002 Godhra Train burning case. Yakub Pataliya was underground for over 15 years.
Notably, one of the most wanted accused in the year 2002 Godhra Train burning case Yakub Pataliya was arrested by Gujarat police from Vachla Odha in Godhra. Yakub was out of bound for police for last 16 years. Yakub Pataliya is a brother of another of accused Kadir Pataliya who was nabbed in the year 2015. Another brother Aiyub Pataliya was also earlier arrested in some cases.
In the month of October last year, the Anti- Terrorist Squad (ATS) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) jointly arrested main accused of Godhra Blast Farhan Ahmed Ali along with one more person with several fake documents and passports. Earlier, on October 9 of last year, the Gujarat High Court commuted the death sentence of 11 convicts to life imprisonment in the 2002 Godhra train coach burning case.
The coach S-6 of the Ahmedabad-Varanasi Sabarmati Express was set ablaze at Gujarat’s Godhra station on February 27, 2002, killing 60 Hindu karsevaks returning from Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. On March 1, 2011, a special SIT court had convicted 31 people, accepting the prosecution’s argument that the train burning was not an accident but part of a conspiracy. Eleven people were sentenced to death and 20 others given life in jail. Sixty-three people were acquitted.
However, those acquitted included the prime accused, Maulana Umarji, the then president of Godhra Municipality Mohammad Hussain Kalota, Mohammad Ansari and Nanumiya Chaudhary of Gangapur, Uttar Pradesh.
Later, several appeals were filed in the Gujarat High Court challenging the conviction, while the state government had questioned the acquittal of 63 people. The Nanavati Commission, appointed by the Gujarat government to probe the carnage, had also concluded that the fire in the S-6 coach was not an accident, but it was torched.