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Ninth supplementary Godhra case charge-sheet filed
September 04, 2004 18:16 IST
Last Updated: September 04, 2004 18:22 IST
The Special Investigating Team has filed the ninth supplementary charge-sheet against three persons allegedly involved in the Godhra train carnage.
Fifty-eight persons were burned to death in the Sabarmati Express near Godhra on February 27, 2002.
The charge-sheet was filed in the Prevention of Terrorism Act court on Friday against Salim Jarda, a suspected member of the core group that set the bogie ablaze, arrested from Rajasthan on February 25; Anwar Kalandar and Abdul Sattar Gaddi, both arrested in July, Special Inspector General (Vadodara) Rakesh Asthana, who heads the team said on Saturday.
"The team has got a confessional statement from Jarda under Section 32 of the Act. He corroborated the team's findings on how the coach was burned, who were involved and the role of prime conspirator Maulvi Hussain Umarji," Asthana said.
"Jarda was produced before the chief judicial magistrate, where he repeated confessions he made to the team and supported the main charge-sheet," Asthana said.
Umarji, a cleric in Godhra, was arrested on February 5 last year.
Eighty-three accused have been charge-sheeted in the case.
Gaddi was a vendor at Godhra railway station, the police said, adding that his mother Aminabibi headed a group of pickpockets.
The team, which intensified its hunt for absconders, has arrested 100 accused, while 35, including eight of the 'core group', are at large.
According to the team's investigations, some of the accused met on February 26, 2002, at the guesthouse of Abdul Razzak Kurkur. They allegedly decided that S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express from Ayodhya would be attacked the next day.
Some of the accused had procured 160 liters of petrol from a nearby pump and stored it in cans at the guesthouse.
Two of the accused went to the railway station to find out at what time the Express would arrive. When they found out it was about four hours late, they returned to the guesthouse and informed the other conspirators. It was then decided that all of them would reassemble at the guesthouse at 6 am on February 27.
The train arrived at 7:42 am at the Godhra railway station. During its five-minute halt there was scuffle between some passengers and tea vendors over payment, the team said.
The train resumed after seven minutes. But during this time, stones were thrown at the train from the station and compound wall, it said.
In the meantime, eight to 10 others collected the petrol from the guesthouse in auto-rickshaws, came to Ali Masjid and ran towards the train. The three accused forcibly entered the train as the doors and windows were shut.
One of them opened the door and enabled six others to enter the bogie, pour the petrol and jump out, the investigation said.
Due to stone pelting some windowpanes and aluminum sheets were damaged. The accused pushed a burning rag through a hole, that set the coach on fire, it said.
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