Godhra train coach fire: Prime accused arrested after 19 years in Gujarat

Godhra train coach fire: Prime accused arrested after 19 years in Gujarat

Bhatuk (51) was part of the “core group” of the accused persons involved in the entire conspiracy.

Almost 19 years after a mob torched a coach of Sabarmati Express at Godhra station in Panchmahal district of Gujarat, which led to the death of 59 ‘karsevaks’, police have nabbed key accused, Rafiq Hussain Bhatuk, from Godhra town, an officer said on Monday.

Bhatuk (51) was part of the “core group” of the accused persons involved in the entire conspiracy. He has been on the run for the last 19 years, said Panchmahal Superintendent of Police Leena Patil.

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Based on a specific tip-off, a team of Godhra police raided a house in Signal Falia area located near the railway station on Sunday night and picked up Bhatuk, Patil told media

“Bhatuk was part of the core group of the accused who had hatched the entire conspiracy, incited mob and even arranged petrol to torch the train compartment. He fled to Delhi immediately after his name cropped up during investigation. He was facing murder and rioting charges among others,” Patil said.

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A total of 59 ‘karsevaks’ were killed in the Godhra train burning incident on February 27, 2002, triggering the worst communal riots in the history of Gujarat.

The SP said Bhatuk used to work as a labourer at Godhra railway station.

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