The verdict of a special fast court, convicting 23 persons for murder, conspiracy and abetment to murder in the 2002 post-Godhra communal riots at Ode, is welcome. It is significant because the single most important reason for repeated communal violence in India is the lack of punishment for rioters. It is a fitting lesson for those who take the lives of others without fearing the rule of law.
Aman Mohd Khan,
Notwithstanding the Gujarat Health Minister's claim — that the verdict is a slap in the face of those who tried to defame Gujarat — and the Acting Director-General of Police's statement that the critics of the Gujarat police should learn a lesson from the judgment, the trial court verdict is an indictment of the Modi government's inaction, if not complicity. In fact, the Minister and the police should be ashamed of the State's ineffective functioning during the 2002 riots.
The trial and conviction in the 2002 Ode massacre case offers some respite to those who have waited patiently for justice. It also reaffirms the fact that truth always prevails. One hopes the judgment will serve as a deterrent, and make people realise that one cannot go unpunished for crimes committed against the innocent and the helpless.
The conviction is a blow to the Modi government as the Gujarat riots of 2002 happened due to the indifference of his administration. Hats off to the brave witnesses who withstood threats from various quarters during the trial!