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Godhra train burning: Key accused nabbed after 19 years!

Rafiq Hussain Bhatuk nabbed from Signal Falia, three others remain at large

Sabrangindia 18 Feb 2021

Godhra train burning: Key accused nabbed

51-year-old Rafiq Hussain Bhatuk, one of the main accused in the 2002 Sabarmati Express train burning incident that killed 59 karsevaks, was nabbed by the Gujarat Police on Monday.

Panchmahal Superintendent of Police Dr. Leena Patil told news agencies, “Bhatuk was part of the core group of accused who had hatched the entire conspiracy, incited the mob and even arranged petrol to torch the train compartment,” reported The Indian Express. “He was involved in pelting stones on the compartment and pouring petrol inside before it was set on fire by other accused,” she added.

Bhatuk allegedly fled to Delhi after his name cropped up in the case. He worked there on various construction sites and railway stations. He would visit his family occasionally, but for short periods, as a result of which police were not able to catch him.

His family initially lived in the Sultan Falia area at the time of the train burning incident. But he relocated them to Signal Falia recently. When he came visiting this time, police raided his house and nabbed him, after receiving a tip-off.

Three other key accused: Salim Ibrahim Badam (a.k.a Salim Panwala), Shaukat Charkha and Abdulmajid Yousuf Mitha, are still absconding.

The burning of the Sabarmati Express near Signal Falia at Godhra on February 27, 2002, led to one of the worst instances of communal violence in India. In what is viewed by human rights watchers as a systematic pogrom, thousands of members of the minority community were massacred by mobs of people from right-wing extremist groups from the majority community. It is alleged that the violence was allowed to continue by authorities, allegedly at the behest of some of the topmost people in the state government at that time.

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Godhra train burning: Key accused nabbed after 19 years!

Rafiq Hussain Bhatuk nabbed from Signal Falia, three others remain at large

Godhra train burning: Key accused nabbed

51-year-old Rafiq Hussain Bhatuk, one of the main accused in the 2002 Sabarmati Express train burning incident that killed 59 karsevaks, was nabbed by the Gujarat Police on Monday.

Panchmahal Superintendent of Police Dr. Leena Patil told news agencies, “Bhatuk was part of the core group of accused who had hatched the entire conspiracy, incited the mob and even arranged petrol to torch the train compartment,” reported The Indian Express. “He was involved in pelting stones on the compartment and pouring petrol inside before it was set on fire by other accused,” she added.

Bhatuk allegedly fled to Delhi after his name cropped up in the case. He worked there on various construction sites and railway stations. He would visit his family occasionally, but for short periods, as a result of which police were not able to catch him.

His family initially lived in the Sultan Falia area at the time of the train burning incident. But he relocated them to Signal Falia recently. When he came visiting this time, police raided his house and nabbed him, after receiving a tip-off.

Three other key accused: Salim Ibrahim Badam (a.k.a Salim Panwala), Shaukat Charkha and Abdulmajid Yousuf Mitha, are still absconding.

The burning of the Sabarmati Express near Signal Falia at Godhra on February 27, 2002, led to one of the worst instances of communal violence in India. In what is viewed by human rights watchers as a systematic pogrom, thousands of members of the minority community were massacred by mobs of people from right-wing extremist groups from the majority community. It is alleged that the violence was allowed to continue by authorities, allegedly at the behest of some of the topmost people in the state government at that time.

Related:

A closer look at Guj court order on Modi in Pranjit civil suit

Local court drops Modi’s name from three Guj riots civil suits

Multiple FIRs being used to intimidate Sohrabuddin case witnesses?

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