Gujarat announces 5 lakh each for families of 2002 Godhra train carnage

The Gujarat government on Thursday announced a compensation of 5 lakh each to the families of the 2002 Godhra train carnage. The decision comes more than a year after the Gujarat high court delivered its order in the case, drawing criticism from the Opposition.
59 passengers — mostly(AP/File Photo)
59 passengers — mostly(AP/File Photo)
Published on Feb 14, 2019 11:41 PM IST
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Ahmedabad | ByHT Correspondent

The Gujarat government on Thursday announced a compensation of 5 lakh each to the families of the 2002 Godhra train carnage. The decision comes more than a year after the Gujarat high court delivered its order in the case, drawing criticism from the Opposition.

Fifty-nine passengers — mostly kar sevaks [religious volunteers] returning from Ayodhya — on board coach S6 of the Sabarmati Express were charred to death after the train was set on fire near Godhra railway station in central Gujarat on February 27, 2002. The attack on the Sabarmati Express had triggered state-wide communal riots which left more than 1,000 people dead.

“Seven victims were not identified. The kin of the remaining [52 victims] will be paid 5 lakh [each]. In all, a sum of 260 lakh will be paid,” said Gujarat’s minister of state for home, Pradeepsinh Jadeja.

On October 9, 2017, the Gujarat HC had commuted the death sentence to 11 culprits to rigorous life imprisonment and upheld the sentencing of 20 others to life term. It had also ordered a compensation of 10 lakh each to the victims’ kin, which was to be shared by the state government and the Indian Railways. Earlier, a trial court had convicted 31 people, while accepting the prosecution’s contention that there was a conspiracy behind the incident.

The opposition Congress criticised the BJP government over the delay in announcing the compensation and questioned the timing of the pay-out. “The court order came in October 2017. The pay-out is happening now because the BJP government in Gujarat has failed on all fronts,” Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said.

Refuting this charge, minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja said, “There has been no delay. We were just completing all the administrative processes.”

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Tuesday, January 25, 2022