Law Minister Veerappa Moily on Tuesday said the Gujarat court’s judgment in the Godhra case does not justify the riots that followed the train burning incident.

“Judgment does not justify the riots that followed after (train burning) it,” Mr. Moily told reporters outside Parliament.

Eleven convicts in the Godhra train burning case were on Tuesday handed down death sentence while 20 others were given life imprisonment by a special court in the 2002 incident that left 59 karsevaks dead. The incident triggered riots which left over 1,200 dead in Gujarat.

“How can you justify that... trial of those (riot) cases has to go on independently and culprits have to be punished,” he said.

Asked to comment on BJP’s statement that the order has laid to rest the theory that everything was instigated by the Narendra Modi government, Mr. Moily said, “I am not going to comment on that...there are differing reports of the commissions. Nanavati Commission is yet to give a report. There are other reports like Justice Mukherjee report. I do not want to get into it.”

However, he said, “There is an appeal. We have to abide by that.”

Welcoming the verdict, BJP leader Balbir Punj said, “This is a good judgement. The conspiracy to defame the Gujarat government was put to rest. Allegation that the bogey was put on fire by karsevaks itself to engineer the riot was proved false.”

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