Three others were acquitted in the case.
Special judge H C Vora convicted Farooq Bhana and Imran Sheru and awarded them life sentence after the prosecution established their role as conspirators in the burning of two coaches of the Sabarmati Express in 2002.
The court acquitted three others, identified as Hussain Suleman Mohan, Kasam Bhamedi and Faruk Dhantiya.
These five men were apprehended in 2015-2016 and the trial was held at a special court set up at the Sabarmati Central Jail here.
Mohan was arrested from Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh, Bhamedi from Dahod railway station in Gujarat, Dhantiya and Bhana were nabbed from their houses at Godhra in Gujarat, while Bhatuk was caught at Malegaon in Maharashtra.
Eight accused in the case are still absconding.
Earlier, the special SIT court had convicted 31 people in the case on March 1, 2011.
The court had later awarded death sentence to 11 of them and life imprisonment to 20 others.
However, the Gujarat High Court had in October 2017 commuted the death sentence of 11 convicts to life imprisonment while upholding the punishment awarded by the special SIT court to 20 others.
Fifty-nine ‘karsevaks’ were killed in the Godhra train burning incident of February 27, 2002, triggering the worst communal riots in the history of Gujarat in which over 1,000 people, mostly belonging to the minority community, were killed.
The Gujarat High Court is likely to pronounce its verdict on a set of appeals challenging convictions and acquittals by a special SIT court in the 2002 Godhra train coach burning case.
Coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express, in which 59 people, mostly ‘kar sevaks’ returning from Ayodhya were travelling, was burnt on February 27, 2002 at the Godhra station, triggering riots in the state.
The special SIT court had on March 1, 2011 convicted 31 people and acquitted 63 in the case. While 11 people were sentenced to death, 20 were given life in jail.
Later, several appeals were filed in the High Court challenging the conviction, while the state government had questioned the acquittal of 63 people.
The court had convicted 31 people while accepting the prosecution’s contention that there was a conspiracy behind the incident.
All the 31 were convicted under IPC sections related to murder, attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy.
Those acquitted included the prime accused, Maulana Umarji, the then president of Godhra Municipality Mohammad Hussain Kalota, Mohammad Ansari and Nanumiya Chaudhary of Gangapur, Uttar Pradesh.
The Nanavati Commission, appointed by the Gujarat government to probe the carnage, had concluded that the fire in the S-6 coach was not an accident, but it was set ablaze.
( Source – PTI )