Report and remorse

via News Today Editorial- published on September 26, 2008

The Part-1 of the Justice G T Nanavati Commission report that inquired into the Sabarmati Express fire at Godhra and the violence that followed in Gujarat in February-March 2002, has been tabled by the Gujarat government in the Assembly yesterday.

 The commission was constituted by the Gujarat government in March 2002 and after a thorough enquiry for over six years examining 72 witnesses and recording 46,494 statements & affidavits, the report was submitted to the government last week. The Commission has found out that the attack on Sabarmathi Express was a pre-planned conspiracy and it has named the conspirators & culprits describing the sequence of events from the conspiracy to the carnage. As expected, the Congress, UPA and the Left have rejected the report. Ironically, these parties welcomed the report of the very same Justice Nanavathi on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots!  

On 27 February 2002, the Sabarmathi Express was attacked at the Godhra railway station by a Muslim mob in which 59 people including 27 women and 10 children were roasted alive when the coaches S6 & S7 were burnt down by the mob. This was the trigger for the unfortunate Gujarat riots, leading to a deep Hindu-Muslim schism. Since then, the nation has been witnessing a continuous campaign against the Narendra Modi government. The ‘secular’ brigade, which unleashed the hate campaign, has been saying that more than 3000 Muslims have been massacred and hundreds of Muslim women have been raped and all that, while the UPA government has placed in parliament records that say that the riots took the lives of 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus. Even the Prime Minister Manmohan termed it a ‘holocaust’!

That a lot of political power play at work can be gauged by the fact that just before the then Bihar Assembly elections, and even while the Nanavathi commission was going on, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, who obviously wanted to utilise the Godhra carnage & Gujarat riots for his electoral benefits, constituted an ‘in-house’ committee headed by Justice UC Bannerjee to enquire into the Godhra incident. As could be gauged, the committee reported that the compartments caught fire due to an ‘accident’, just short of reporting that the people immolated themselves. The fact that this committee took only four months for the investigation and that it was completed just before the Bihar assembly elections, triggered suspicions that dark motives could be behind the hurried probe. The Gujarat High Court dismissed the constitution of the committee as unconstitutional and ruled out against its tabling in parliament, making it a ‘slap’ on the face of the UPA government and the Railway Ministry.

While the views on Gujarat riots could be anything, the sad part is that there has been very little in the mainstream media to suggest that Godhra was a dangerous trigger. Godhra, in general, was sought to be purveyed as an aberration, and at any rate, was not a planned crime. This is a dangerous delusion that doesn’t sit well on a society if it truly valued its secular credentials. It is also unfortunate that here is an attempt now to insult Justice Nanavathi by creating motives and questioning his honesty & credibility.


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