Train attack: JM Panchal, public prosecutor speaks outside the Sabarmati jail
AN INDIAN court today handed down 11 death sentences and 20 life terms to those found guilty of setting a train on fire in 2002, triggering rioting that left 2,000 dead.Last week, 31 Muslims were found guilty on conspiracy and murder charges for causing the train fire in Gujarat.Fifty-nine Hindu pilgrims perished in the blaze at Godhra station.Mobs seeking revenge rampaged through several cities during three days of bloodshed.A total of 94 people, all Muslims, had stood trial at a court in Ahmedabad where they had been detained since 2002. The judge acquitted 63 of them.The judge felt the crimes fell “under the category of the rarest of the rare”, special public prosecutor JM Panchal told reporters outside the court.“There was an active role, as far as these people are concerned, in the conspiracy and also setting fire to the coach,” he said.Extra police had been put on duty across Gujarat to prevent any outbreak of violence after the verdicts, but no unrest was reported.
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