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2002 Godhra train burning case convict dies in hospital during treatment


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Vadodara, November 27

A convict in the 2002 Godhra train carnage case, who was serving life sentence at a central jail in Gujarat’s Vadodara, died while undergoing treatment at a hospital here, an official said on Saturday.


Bilal Ismael Abdul Majid or Haji Bilal, 61, died on Friday due to a pre-existing health condition, for which he was undergoing treatment at Vadodara’s SSG Hospital, Assistant Commissioner of Police AV Rajgor said.

He said Bilal was not keeping well for the past three to four years and was shifted to the hospital from the jail on November 22 after his health deteriorated.

Bilal was one of the 11 convicts who was serving life sentence in the case of burning S6 coach of Sabarmati Express train at Godhra on February 27, 2002, when it was carrying kar sevaks from Ayodhya. As many as 59 people were killed in the fire, sparking widespread violence in the state.

Bilal and 10 others were first awarded death penalty by an SIT court in 2011. However, in October 2017, the Gujarat High Court commuted their death sentence to life imprisonment.

The Godhra train burning incident had triggered large-scale riots across Gujarat, in which over 1,000 people, mostly from minority communities, were killed. PTI

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