On the morning of Feb 27th 2002, entire India witnessed a barbaric incident when innocent Karsevaks were burned alive in the Sabarmati Express train while passing through Godhra, a Muslim dominated area of Gujarat.
After nearly 9 years, a special court in Gujarat has finally held 31 people guilty. The court began its hearing in 2009 and out of a total of 94 accused, it has found 31 to be involved in a conspiracy to kill the Karsevaks, who were returning from a pilgrimage in Ayodhaya. The sentences for the convicted will be announced on Feb 25th.
Godhra will always remain as a black spot on India’s history. Investigations in the incident has shown that the entire operation was carried out with clear-cut planning by some Muslim fanatics. From arranging the petrol for burning the S-6 and S-7 coaches of the train, to pulling the chain to stop the train at A Cabin of Godhra station, several Muslims from the locality were found to be heavily involved with the crime. The Court has clearly stated that the train burning was not an accident or impulsive action, but it was a well planned conspiracy.
Godhra train burning sparked a series of retaliation by Hindus and subsequent rioting saw over 1000 people from both communities die. Congress, as usual, decided not to douse the tension, but to use the incident for its political gains. Till date Congress has not condemned the killing of innocent Hindus, but has always sided with the minority community to accuse BJP and Gujarat CM Narendra Modi for the subsequent riots. Congress however forgets that the riots would never have happened if the Hindus were not killed in the first place.
We condone the killing and riots by Hindus and Muslims and we neither support or disapprove of any community. But we feel that political parties in India should not use such incidents for their political growth. Godhra train burning and the subsequent riots were both a clear case of criminal conspiracy and Congress and BJP must unite in saying that the accused must be punished, whichever community they belong to.