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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

BJP welcomes verdict on Gohdra train burning case

PTI  New Delhi, February 22, 2011
First Published: 14:43 IST(22/2/2011) | Last Updated: 14:45 IST(22/2/2011)

BJP on Tuesday welcomed the Gujarat special court verdict convicting 31 accused in the 2002 Godhra train burning case and said it had "exposed the nefarious designs" of the UPA government which "tried to cover up" the entire episode.

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"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," BJP spokesman Ravishankar Prasad told reporters.

He slammed the Justice U C Banerjee Committee report, which found that the fire was lit from inside the coach.

The Banerjee Committee, appointed by then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav to probe the causes of fire in the Sabarmati Express in Godhra, had found that the fire was "accidental."

"You remember the Banerjee commission report. A retired judge of Supreme Court gave a collusive report that the fire was lit from inside," Prasad told reporters outside Parliament.

"It was a sham report at the time of 2005 elections," he added.

Asked about the acquittal of one of the prime accused Maulana Umraji, Prasad said, "Conspiracy has been established."

Reacting to the judgement, BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay said, "This has exposed the nefarious designs of the UPA government which tried to cover up the entire ghastly episode."

Alleging that the UPA Government tried to put the blame on the victims themselves, he said, "But we welcome that culprits have been given punishments."

"It has exposed the so-called secularists including Lalu, UPA government which had set up a fake inquiry under a retired SC judge, which put the blame on victims themselves. This verdict has to be welcomed initially," he said.

31 people were convicted by a special court in the 2002 Godhra train burning incident that left 59 people dead and triggered violence in Gujarat that had claimed the lives of over 1200 people, mainly Muslims.


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