The Sessions Court at the Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad which delivered on February 22 the crucial judgement in the Godhra train fire of 2002, convicting 31 people and acquitting 63 others, once again has demonstrated a gross miscarriage of justice, said Fr Cedric Prakash, Director of Ahmedabad based Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace, Prashant. The verdict leaves several questions unanswered with many glaring gaps in it, he added.
The so-called “conspiracy theory” is totally hollow. “Above all, what happens now to the 63 acquitted? Who will bring back the nine years lost in their lives? Will they be compensated by the State?” wondered Mr. Prakash.
The All India Milli Council has also expressed reservations about the judgment by special court on Godhra train attack. In a statement AIMC General Secretary Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam said that the report was largely based on the investigations of a discredited police force that was hand in glove with mass murderers from the beginning. The judgment has established a conspiracy angle on the basis of police reports, “a police force which is part of a so heavily compromised system that even the Supreme Court deemed it fit to have certain cases transferred out of Gujarat”, Dr Alam said. He also dented an official claim that the verdict was based on scientific investigations. “If scientific means narco test, the Gujarat government should keep it in mind that it is not accepted as a fool-proof procedure. Besides, it is objected to by human rights groups”.
The scientific investigations of the train burning (the fuel, the methodology used and the entire forensics) had yielded varying results. If Nanavati Commission found a conspiracy behind it, the Banerjee Commission concluded that the fire was incidental. The Milli Council was of the opinion that the police and administration in Gujarat, on whose inputs the justice delivery system based its conclusions, was still adversely disposed towards Muslims.