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Acquitted in Godhra case, he dies before meeting his family

Friday March 04, 2011 12:40:36 PM, Agencies

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Godhra: In a tragic coincidence, Baitullah Ab Gaffar Teli, a 78-year-old bangle seller, died in Godhra a week after his acquittal in the 2002 Sabarmati Express train burning case.


Baitullah Teli, who hails from Gonda district of Uttar Pradesh, had booked a ticket to go to his home town after his acquittal in the case. He was supposed to leave for Gonda on March 03 but suffered heart attack on Tuesday night, according to the media reports.


Godhra police officers said Teli was taken to the Godhra Civil Hospital, where he succumbed to a heart attack.


His dead body has been sent to Gonda by car on Wednesday from the house of Maualna Husain Umarji, the other accused, who was also acquitted in the case.


Abdul Gaffar Teli and the 62 others acquitted in the carnage, including main accused Maulana Hussain Umarji, were released on February 22, while 11 of the 31 convicted were given the death sentence this Tuesday.


"Baitullah Teli was normal and very happy after his acquittal. He was preparing for his journey to Gonda, when he suffered the stroke at around 12 in the night on Tuesday", Saeed Umarji told the media.


According to his neighbour Munawar Fataki, Teli was from Lucknow and had come to Godhra about six months before the incident.

Named accused number 69, Teli was acquitted by a fast track court in Sabarmati Central Jail, nine years after his arrest in 2002.

Fataki said Teli’s family, which comprises his wife and two married sons, stay in Gonda. Teli came to Godhra to sell bangles.

“He used to sell the famous glass bangles of Uttar Pradesh, and stayed in a guest house near Signal Faliya. He would go back to UP every month to bring the bangles,” said Fataki.


According to another accused who is also been acquitted in the case, Teli was arrested by the police after the train carnage during the curfew and around seven kms from the place of incident.


"Teli was arrested along with 14 others and police. They claimed the accused were present at the place of incident", he said to the media on the condition of anonymity.


Along with Teli, his nephew Gulzar Ansari was also arrested by the police. He however was released on bail because of ailment and had died later on.






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