Godhra train carnage: What happened on February 27, 2002

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On the run for 14 years, key accused in the 2002 Godhra train carnage, Farooq Bhana has been arrested by the Gujarat ATS. Here’s a recap of the horrific incident that snowballed into major riots in Gujarat.

Read Story: 2002 Godhra train carnage: Key accused Farooq Bhana held by ATS after 14 years


The gutted interior of the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express train at Godhra railway station. File pic/AFP

On February 27, 2002, the Sabarmati Express, carrying thousands of ‘kar sevaks’ returning from Ayodhya, was heading for Ahmedabad. The train made a halt at Godhra at around 7:43 am. Just as the train was leaving the platform, someone pulled the emergency brake and the train stopped near the signal point. What followed were horrible scenes.


A poilceman looks over a burnt coach and belongings of ‘kar sevaks’ at Godhra station, early 28 February 2002. File pic/AFP

The Sabarmati Express was attacked by a mob of over 1,000 people. What began with stone-pelting, ended with four coaches being set on fire.

As many as 59 people lost their lives in S-6 coach. The deceased included 27 women and 10 children, while 48 others were injured. In February 2011, a special fast track court convicted 31 people and acquitted 63 in connection with the case.


Members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, World Hindu Council, protest the Godhra train carnage. File pic/AFP

The incident had triggered large-scale riots in Gujarat, in which around 1,000 people were killed.

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