Godhra train carnage: 11 get death sentence

Ahmedabad: Eleven convicts in the Godhra train burning case were today handed down death sentence while 20 others were given life imprisonment by a special court in the 2002 incident that left 59 `karsevaks` dead and triggered riots which claimed over 1200 lives in Gujarat.

Special judge P R Patel considering the case as "rarest of rare" pronounced death penalty for 11 out of the 31 convicted in the case while 20 others were sentenced to life imprisonment.

"The court looking into their active role in the conspiracy and setting afire the S6 coach of Sabarmati Express train near Godhra, gave death penalty to 11 people," public prosecutor J M Panchal said.

The court also slapped punishment on them under various other sections, which will be concurrent to their life term.

The prosecution had sought death sentence for all the 31 convicts, saying that it was a heinous act.

On February 22, the court had convicted all the 31 while accepting the prosecution`s contention that there was a conspiracy behind the incident and convicted 31 under various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) like 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).

They were also convicted under IPC section 147, 148 (rioting with deadly weapons), 323, 324,325,326 (causing hurt), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on religious grounds), various sections of the Indian Railways Act, Prevention of Damages to Public Property Act and Bombay Police Act.

The Court had acquitted 63 others, in the burning of S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express in 2002 near Godhra railway station where 59 persons were killed.