- On February 27, 2002, S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express was burned
- 59 people were killed, triggering riots in the state
- Prime convict gets bail after 17 years in jail
Gujarat: The Supreme Court on Thursday granted bail to a convict serving life imprisonment in the 2002 Godhra train coach burning case. The court granted this bail considering that he has been in jail for the last 17 years. A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha took note of the submission made by the counsel appearing for one of the convicts, Farooq, that he be granted bail considering the period till date.
Apparently, the appeal against the sentence of many convicts, in this case, is pending in the apex court. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on behalf of the Gujarat government, said that this was the most heinous crime in which 59 people including women and children were burnt alive and the appeal of the convicts needs to be heard at the earliest. Several others, including Farooq, were convicted for pelting stones at the coach of the Sabarmati Express.
Mehta said that stone pelting is generally an offense of minor nature. However, in the present case, the coach of the train was bolted and stones were pelted to ensure that the passengers could not come out and in addition to this, stones were also thrown at the fire tenders. For the unversed, the Sabarmati Express coach was set on fire at Godhra on February 27, 2002, in which 59 people were killed. This incident triggered riots in the state.