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Acquitted in Godhra case, he died before meeting family

Godhra: In a tragic incidence, Baitullah Abdul Ghaffar 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 3 but suffered heart attack two days earlier. He was taken to the Godhra Civil Hospital, where he succumbed to a heart attack. His dead body was sent to Gonda by car from the house of Maualna Husain Umarji, the other accused, who was also acquitted in the case.

Abdul Ghaffar Teli and the 62 others acquitted in the carnage, including main accused Maulana Hussain Umarji, were released on February 22. 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.
 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 March 2011 on page no. 22

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