Relatives of the victims of the 2002 Godhra train carnage say they are not satisfied by a trial court's decision to award death to 11 and life term to 20 others for the attack.
“We honour the court’s verdict but it is not acceptable to us because death sentence for only 11 people for killing 59 innocent kar sevaks (pilgrims) is not justice. Let there be death sentence to all the 31 people held guilty by the court,” said Janakbhai Panchal, whose brother was among those killed in the February 27, 2002 attack on coach S6 of the Sabarmati Express near Gujarat’s Godhra station. Panchal said the prosecuting agency should also appeal against the acquittal of 63 others in the case.
Manoj Jadav, who lost his father in the carnage, said it was a “cold-blooded pre-planned massacre deserving only death sentence to those found guilty of carrying it out”.
“I have lost my father, who didn’t even know these people, never met them. Why was he burnt alive for no fault?” he said.
Jadav said he was also on the train and barely managed to escape death. “They did it and they must face consequences now after nine years. They have to be hanged at the earliest. There must not be any delay in hanging them,” he said.
Relatives of those who were sentenced to death on Tuesday remained out of bounds for the press. “They don’t want to talk to the media because they are in shock for obvious reasons,” said a local resident.
“Nobody will talk today,” said a lawyer of one of the defendants. “Even I have not spoken to them after the court pronounced its verdict.”