Godhra case: Nanavati Commission gives clean chit to Modi

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New Delhi, Sep 25: On Thursday, Sep 25 the Nanavati Commission probing the Godhra train carnage tabled first part of its report in Gujarat Assembly. The report says that the burning of S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002 was a pre-planned conspiracy and not an accident. The report has given a clean chit to Narendra Modi government.

The Modi government had appointed the panel into the Godhra train burning and the subsequent violence across Gujarat. Fifty eight people, including 25 women and 15 children, were burnt alive inside the train when a violent mob set ablaze four coaches.

The report also said that 140 litres of petrol was purchased as a part of conspiracy to burn the bogey. The Commission report says the vesitbule between two coaches was cut by Shaukat Lalu and Mohammed Latika to gain access to the S6 coach. Hassan Lala, another accused then threw burning rags into the coach to set it on fire. For more than 20 minutes stones were pelted from outside to prevent passengers from coming out.

The conspiracy was hatched at the house of Moulvi Umerji and was executed by Raza Kurjur and Salim Panwala. The petrol for the episode was obtained from a petrol pump in Godhra a day before, the report further says.

Welcoming the Nanavati Commission report Bhartiya Janata Party(BJP) accused Lalu Prasad Yadav of having tried to cover up the facts. As Railway Minister, Lalu Prasad had set up a probe into the Godhra incident after the UPA came to power in 2004 under the UC Banerjee Committee. The probe under Justice UC Banerji had called the train fire an accident and had blamed the railways for negligence. The panel had said evidence showed the fire started in the coach as there was first a smell of burning, followed by dense smoke and flames.

Meanwhile, Congress has staged a walkout of the Gujarat Assembly over the report in Ahmedabad.

The second part of the Nanavati Commission report, which deals with the facts and circumstances that led to the post-Godhra riots, is expected to be submitted before Dec 31, when the 12th extension given to the Commission expires.

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