31 convicted in Godhra train burning case Godhra train fire of 2002, convicting 31 people and acquitting 63 others. The verdict was pronounced by Additional Sessions Judge PR Patel, who convicted 31 people of criminal conspiracy in the train burning case.The court agreed that the conspiracy to set the coach on fire was hatched at Aman Guest House, belonging to one Razak Kurkur, and the fuel used to burn the train was also was stored there. Kurkur and another prime accused Haji Billa have been found guilty but another main accused, Maulana Umarji, has been acquitted.The court also acquitted Godhra Town Municipality chief Mohammad Abdul Rahim Kalota, Nannu Mian Chowdhary and Mohammad Ansari. Special Public Prosecutor JM Panchal said that the court upheld that the burning of the train was a pre-planned conspiracy. "The conspiracy theory has been accepted by the court and 31 convicted of criminal conspiracy. The motive of conspiracy was to set the train on fire. The vestibule was cut and the coach was set on fire. There can be no debate on judicial verdict. The verdict is based on oral evidence and eyewitness accounts," said Panchal. Out of 31 convicted, the sentencing of 25 people will be taken up on Friday. A total of 134 people were chargesheeted in the case out of which 16 are absconding while 13 have been released for lack of evidence. Defence lawyer IM Munshi said his clients would appeal against the verdict. "We are not satisfied with the judgement. There are many contradictions. We will have to appeal in the higher court. We will wait for the quantum of punishment and then appeal in the higher court," said Munshi. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) welcomed the verdict in the case. "This is the time for people to introspect who have used the issue for petty political gains. Those who were questioning this incident itself need to do some soul searching. The larger issue that attack on kar sevaks was a conspiracy has been established," said BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad. The S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express was set on fire on February 27, 2002, killing 59 kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. The train burning incident sparked off the Gujarat riots in which over 1,000 people were killed. The trial conducted inside the Sabarmati Central Jail began in June 2009.