The Godhra sessions court on Saturday awarded the 2002 Godhra train coach fire accused Rafiq Hussain Bhatuk life imprisonment under the conspiracy to murder charge, special public prosecutor RC Kodekar said.
Absconding for 19 years, the Gujarat Police nabbed Bhatuk from Godhra town on February 14 last year. Bhatuk was part of the “core group” of accused persons involved in the conspiracy, police said. Based on a specific tip-off, a team of Godhra police raided a house in Signal Falia area located near the railway station at night and picked up Bhatuk last year.
Bhatuk was part of the 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, police said.