Congress declines comment on Godhra verdict, blames Modi for riots

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 16:36

New Delhi: Congress on Tuesday declined to comment
on the special court`s verdict on Godhra train burning case,
saying it is "not aware of the content of the judgement", even
as the party blamed Gujarat CM Narendra Modi for triggering
post-Godhra communal riots that left over 1,200 people dead.

"We are not aware of the content of the judgment... First
we have to study the judgement," Congress spokesperson Jayanti
Natarajan told reporters outside the Parliament House.

Natarajan said the communal violence that followed the
train carnage was a "blot on democracy".

"In political sense, whatever the judgement with regard
to Godhra incident, the communal violence that erupted in
Gujarat (post the train carnage) remained a blot on
democracy... It is a blot on the record of Narendra Modi for
which he will always have to answer the people of the nation,"
she said.

Reacting to BJP`s claim that the judgement vindicated the
party`s stand that the train was set on fire from outside,
Natarajan said, "It still does not take away the fact that
Modi and his government were single handedly responsible for
the riots that took place post the train carnage."

She said, "We have to remind ourselves that whatever the
judgement says, this is the first court and there are other
courts. I am sure that the litigants affected will have other

31 people were convicted and 63 others, including the
main accused Maulvi Umarji, were acquitted by a special court
in Ahmedabad in the February 27, 2002 Godhra train burning
incident that left 59 people dead and triggered violence in
Gujarat, which claimed over 1,200 lives, mainly Muslims.

The sentencing would be pronounced on February 25 after
arguments on the quantum of punishment by the special court
that accepted the theory of conspiracy behind the burning of
the coach of Sabarmati Express carrying kar sevaks returning
from Ayodhya.


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First Published: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 16:36

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