In a major breakthrough, the Godhra Local Crime Branch (LCB) arrested Hussain Suleman Mohammed, 35 -- another accused in the Sabarmati Express train carnage that took place near Godhara railway station on February 27, 2002 in Gujarat.
He was arrested from the Jhabua bus stand on Wednesday night.
Confirming his arrest, Godhra LCB inspector DJ Chavda said team of LCB from Godhra arrested Suleman from Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday following a tip-off.
"Recently, we came to know about his whereabouts in Jhabua district. He has settled and become an auto driver as after his name was included in the list of accused. We nabbed him and handed him over to the Special Investigating Team (SIT) here today,” Chavda said.
After his arrest, police produced him in the local court, from where he was sent to a 12-day police remand. Suleman has been on the run ever since his name appeared in relation with the 2002 Godhra train burning incident.
According to local sources, Suleman has been residing in Jhabua for the past 13 years and during this period, he had been working as an auto driver. In this period, he changed houses thrice.
After he was named as an accused in the Godhra carnage by agencies, Suleman left Gujarat. He managed to get a house in Jhabua and with help of relatives, obtained a driving license, ration card and a UID Card. He started driving autorickshaws and eventually purchased two autorickshaws of his own.
Jhabua SP Abid Khan said that the whole operation had been carried out by Godhara LCB.
When asked about why the police had failed to get any information on Suleman despite his having lived in the district for such a long time, SP Khan said that it was very tough for the local police to keep tabs on every individual.
Furthermore, he said that Jhabua district, being a bordering district, witnessed the migration of thousands of people between Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat daily.
To questions about whether any action would be taken against house owners who rented Sumeman houses without checking his credentials, the police officer said that the police cannot force anyone to share details of tenants, and that the police can take relevant action against house owners only if they had an idea about Suleman's background.