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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Godhra: From February 2002 to February 2011

Godhra: From February 2002 to February 2011

Tags : Godhra verdict, Godhra timeline, Sabarmati carnage
Posted: Tue Feb 22 2011, 13:09 hrs

It took a special court nine years to give its verdict on the Godhra carnage. Here are the dates to remember:

February 27, 2002: 59 'karsevaks' die after S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express is torched by a mob near Godhra railway station. The FIR filed against 1,500 people.

February 28 – March 31, 2002: Communal violence erupts in various parts of Gujarat killing over 1,200 people mostly belonging to the minority community.

March 3, 2002: Prevention Of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) invoked against those arrested for Godhra train burning case.

March 6, 2002: Gujarat government appoints a Commission under Commission of Inquiry's Act to probe the Godhra incident and the post-Godhra riots.

March 9, 2002: Police include IPC section 120B (criminal conspiracy) against all accused.

March 25, 2002: POTO suspended on all accused due to pressure from the central government.

May 27, 2002: First chargesheet filed against 54 accused but were not charged under POTA.

February 18, 2003: Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTO became an Act as it was cleared by Parliament) was re-invoked against the accused after the BJP government was re-elected in the state.

November 21, 2003: Supreme Court stays judicial proceeding of all riot-related cases including Godhra train burning incident.

September 4, 2004: A Committee headed by former Supreme Court judge U C Banerjee constituted following a Union Cabinet decision to inquire into certain aspects of the incident under Railway Ministry when RJD leader Lalu Prasad was the minister.

September 21, 2004: Decision to review POTA charges against the accused as POTA is repealed by the newly-elected UPA government.

January 17, 2005: U C Banerjee submits preliminary report suggesting that fire in S-6 coach was an 'accident' and ruled out the possibility of fire having resulted after any external attack.

May 16, 2005: POTA Review Committee gives its opinion to not charge the accused under POTA.

October 13, 2006: Gujarat High Court rules formation of U C Banerjee committee as "illegal" and "unconstitutional" since Nanavati-Shah Commission was already conducting inquiry in all riot-related cases and said Banerjee's probe results stand “invalid”.

March 26, 2008: SC constitutes Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the Godhra train burning incident and eight other post-Godhra riot cases.

September 18, 2008: Nanavati Commission submits its report on Godhra train burning incident, saying it was a preplanned conspiracy and S-6 coach was torched by a mob which had poured petrol inside it.

February 12, 2009: HC upholds POTA Review Committee decision that the act cannot be applied in this case.

February 20, 2009: Kin of victim of Godhra train burning case move SC against decision of HC to drop POTA charges against the accused. Case is still pending.

May 1, 2009: SC lifts stay on trial of Godhra and all other cases being probed by the SIT, after the team headed by former CBI director R K Raghavan makes steady progress in the Godhra-train burning and eight other major riot cases in the state.

June 1, 2009: Trial of the Godhra train carnage commences inside the Sabarmati Central jail in Ahmedabad.

May 6, 2010: SC restrains trial courts to pronounce judgement in nine sensitive riot cases of Gujarat including Godhra train incident.

September 28, 2010: Trial concludes, no pronouncement of judgement due to stay by the apex court.

January 18, 2011: SC lifts ban on pronouncement of verdict.

February 22, 2011: Special court convicts 31 accused and acquits 63 others in the train burning case.

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