AHMEDABAD: A convict in the 2002 Godhra riots, who was on the run since November last year, has been arrested by Bharuch police.
Salim Yusuf Zarda was awarded death penalty in the Godhra train burning case, the incident which had triggered one of the worst riots in the state of Gujarat.
He had jumped the 15-day parole granted to him. He did not turn up at Vadodara Central Jail where he was lodged, on November 18 last year.
Zarda was nabbed late last night by a team of Amod taluka police when they were searching for car thieves on Amod-Bharuch highway, Bharuch Superintendent of Police Bipin Ahire said today.
"Since the past few weeks, car thefts have become rampant in and around Amod. Local police received a tip-off that thieves conducted recce at night in their car before stealing the four-wheelers. To nab them, a team of Amod police was patrolling on Amod highway last night," Ahire said.
At around midnight, the police intercepted a car with 3-4 persons inside, suspecting them to be the thieves. On checking their identities, one of the persons was identified as Salim Zarda following which he and the others were detained and later arrested, he said.
"We are now interrogating them about their possible involvement in car thefts in our area. We will hand over Zarda to Godhra police after completing necessary formalities," he said.
Zarda is one of the 31 convicts in the Godhra train burning case in which 59 people lost their lives on February 27 in 2002.
Zarda and 10 others were awarded death penalty by a special trial court in March 2011, while 20 convicts were sentenced to life imprisonment.
He was granted parole by the Gujarat High Court on November 3, 2014 to renovate his house in Godhra town. As per the conditions of parole, he had to report back in the jail by November 18, but he did not return.
Since then, police had been searching for him.