Godhra verdict: Gujarat govt says stand vindicated, BJP welcomes

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 22:21

Ahmedabad/New Delhi: Gujarat government on Tuesday said the Godhra carnage verdict vindicated its stand that the train attack was a "pre-planned conspiracy" while the BJP alleged it had exposed the "nefarious designs" of the UPA
regime.

"The judgement proves that the court has accepted that this was a culmination of a conspiracy. The arson and self-immolation theory ended today," Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj told reporters.

BJP maintained the judgement also accepts that the event
was "planned in a room" and petrol was bought to set the train
on fire.

"The judgement vindicates our stand that they (victims)
were burnt to death under a conspiracy. It re-establishes the
conspiracy theory," Swaraj said.

Congress and the Left declined to comment on the verdict
by a Special Court saying they would like to first study the
judgement. But the Congress took the opportunity to again pin
the blame on Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP leader Narendra
Modi for the post-Godhra communal riots that left over 1,200
people dead.

The Union Government reacted cautiously to the verdict
on the Godhra train burning case in 2002 in which 59 Kar Sewaks were killed, saying the law will take its own course.

Gujarat government spokesperson Jaynarayan Vyas said the
judgement has established that the attack was a "pre-planned conspiracy hatched and executed with finesse." "So the state government`s stand is vindicated," Vyas told reporters in Ahmedabad.

"The judgement on Tuesday sets at naught all the wrong
propaganda of the so called NGOs that Godhra train burning
incident was not a pre-planned conspiracy," he said.

Vyas said that the government will decide on its future
course of action after studying the judgement.

"The judgement has just been delivered. We are yet to
get full text of the judgement, we shall study the judgement
first and then further reaction will follow," he said.

Vyas, also the state Health Minister, said the question
of compensation to those acquitted by the court does not
arise.

BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay alleged the judgement has
exposed the "nefarious designs" of the UPA government,
accusing it of trying to cover up the "entire ghastly
episode."

Alleging that the UPA Government tried to put the blame
on the victims themselves, he said, "But we welcome that
culprits have been given punishments."

"It has exposed the so-called secularists including
Lalu, UPA government which had set up a fake inquiry under a
retired SC judge, which put the blame on victims themselves.
This verdict has to be welcomed initially," he said.

BJP spokesman Ravishankar Prasad said "Certainly, there
has been a degree of assurance that law and justice has
prevailed. There were elements who were trying to belittle it.
There have been politicians who tried to abuse it."

He slammed the Justice UC Banerjee Committee report,
which found that the fire was lit from inside the coach.

The Banerjee Committee, appointed by then Railway
Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav to probe the causes of fire in the
Sabarmati Express in Godhra, had found that the fire was
"accidental."

"You remember the Banerjee commission report. A retired
judge of Supreme Court gave a collusive report that the fire
was lit from inside," Prasad said.

BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said the verdict has
come as an "embarrasment" for the central government.

"The theory of the government and some NGOs has been
proved wrong with the court saying there was a conspiracy....
One man (Banerjee) gave a clean chit but the court has not
accepted this. The attempts to rubbish the fact of conspiracy
has been defeated," Hussain said.

Party chief spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad maintained
that some elements were trying to "belittle the issue but
finally justice has prevailed".

"Certainly, there has been a degree of assurance that law
and justice has prevailed. There were elements who were trying
to belittle it. There have been politicians who tried to abuse
it," Prasad said.

"You remember the Banerjee commission report. A retired
judge of Supreme Court gave a collusive report that the fire
was lit from inside," Prasad told reporters outside
Parliament.

"It was a sham report at the time of 2005 elections," he
added.

Asked about the acquittal of one of the prime accused
Maulana Umarji, Prasad said "conspiracy has been established."

Reacting to the judgement, BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay
said "this has exposed the nefarious designs of the UPA
government which tried to cover up the entire ghastly
episode."

Alleging that the UPA government tried to put the blame
on the victims themselves, he said "but we welcome that
culprits have been given punishments."

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 22:21

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