Congress declines comment on Godhra verdict, blames Modi for riots
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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 recourse."

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.

PTI


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


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