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Godhra Train Burning Case: Prime Accused Rafik Bhatuk Arrested In Gujarat

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 16, Feb 2021, 18:53 pm IST | UPDATED: 16, Feb 2021, 18:53 pm IST

Godhra Train Burning Case: Prime Accused Rafik Bhatuk Arrested In Gujarat Gandhinagar: The prime accused in 2002 Godhra train mob lynching case, which resulted in death of as many as 59 'karsevaks', was arrested from Gujarat's Godhra town after 19 years. Soon after his arrest, the Panchmahal Police informed that  accused Rafiq Hussain Bhatuk, 51, was part of the 'core group' of culprits involved in the conspiracy. A mob had torched a coach of Sabarmati Express at the Godhra station in Panchmahal district of Gujarat on February 27, 2002. 

As per reports, the Police raided a house near the Godhra railway station on Sunday night and nabbed Bhatuk on charge of planning the gruesome event and inciting a mob to set a railway compartment on fire. Police also claimed that Bhatuk was involved in stone-pelting on the train bogey and even spilling petrol inside, before it was set on fire by other accused.

"Based on a specific tip-off, a team of Godhra police raided a house in Signal Falia area located near the railway station on Sunday night and picked up Bhatuk," Panchmahal Superintendent of Police Leena Patil told news agency PTI. 

The killing of 59 karsevaks in Godhra triggered one of country's worse communal riots. 

After his name came up during the investigation, Bhatuk fled to Delhi. "He is facing murder and rioting charges, among others. Bhatuk worked at railway stations and at construction sites as a labourer in Delhi. He sometimes sold household items on a handcart," the Police said.

Three other accused in the case - Salim Ibrahim Badam alias Salim Panwala, Shaukat Charkha and Abdulmajid Yousuf Mitha - still remain at large and are believed to be in Pakistan.

 “Bhatuk was part of the core group of the accused who had hatched the entire conspiracy, incited the mob and even arranged petrol to torch the train compartment. He fled to Delhi immediately after his name cropped up during investigation. He was facing murder and rioting charges among others,” Patil said.
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