Godhra: Prosecution to seek maximum punishment

Ahmedabad: The prosecution lawyers in the Godhra train burning case have said that they would seek "maximum punishment" for the 31 convicts.

"The court has accepted our contention that the burning of the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express was a conspiracy hatched by the convicts," special public prosecutor J M Panchal said.

He said that since 59 persons had died and many were injured in the incident that took place on February 27, 2002; the Indian Penal Code`s section for criminal conspiracy (120B) will have to be read with that of murder (302) and attempt to murder (307), and hence it would attract maximum punishment.

The maximum punishment for murder is death, under the IPC.

"We would be asking for maximum punishment for the convicts in the case," Panchal added.

A special court yesterday convicted 31 persons and acquitted 63 others, including key accused Maulvi Hussain Umarji, in the Godhra train carnage that triggered a communal violence in Gujarat which claimed over 1,200 lives, mainly of Muslims, nine years ago.

The quantum of punishment would be announced on February 25.