Guj govt welcomes verdict in post-Godhra case

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat government on Monday welcomed the court verdict in a post-Godhra riot case, terming the ruling as a "slap on the face of those who are hell bent on defaming" the ruling BJP in the state.

A court in Anand district convicted 23 accused for the communal violence in Ode village, where 23 people, including women and children, were burnt alive by a mob on March 1, 2002 following the Godhra train burning incident. Twenty-three other accused were acquitted.

Government spokesman Jaynarayan Vyas said the verdict is a "slap on the face of those who are hell bent on defaming" the Gujarat government, the state police and Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court.

"Some NGOs are trying to fulfil their own ulterior motives in the name of getting justice for the (riot) victims.

People of the state are urged to identify such groups and understand their intentions," Vyas said.

The state government welcomes the court verdict, he said. Gujarat Congress chief Arjun Modhwadia said the victims had to wait for 10 long years to get justice.

"It is the state government's duty to ensure justice to the people, but they have failed to do so. It was under the monitoring of Supreme Court-appointed SIT that the victims are getting justice," he said.