In contrast to the cautious approach of the other parties, there is a sense of euphoria in the BJP camp over the verdict of the Gujarat special court in Ahmedabad on the 2002 Godhra train burning incident.
While the Congress and the Left parties preferred to wait for the detailed verdict, the BJP maintained that it had vindicated the party stand. “The court has upheld the conspiracy theory behind the carnage,” Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj told journalists.
The party argued that the acquittal of the main accused in the case did not in any way diminish the conspiracy theory. Ms. Swaraj said it was immaterial how many persons had been indicted or let off since the court upheld the contention that the incident was not accidental but the consequence of a well-hatched plot.
She denounced the Justice U.C. Banerjee Committee report as “eyewash” and said that in a way the court had demolished the entire report.
The Banerjee Committee, appointed by the then Railway Minister, Lalu Prasad, to probe the causes of fire in the Sabarmati Express in Godhra, had found that the fire was “accidental.” Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said it had exposed the “nefarious designs” of the UPA government. “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.”
Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan said: “We do not comment on the court's judgment on Godhra.” At the same time, she said that for the post-Godhra State-sponsored genocide of a particular section of society, Chief Minister Narendra Modi was held directly responsible. “The matter is before the Supreme Court and Mr. Modi should give an account to the nation.”
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, while refusing to react to the verdict, said the matter could go to the higher courts.
Keywords: Godhra train burning case