Godhra report: Nanavati Commission gives clean chit to Modi

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Gandhinagar, Sep 25 (UNI) The Nanavati-Mehta Commission, set up to probe the 2002 Sabarmati train carnage at Godhra and the riots in its aftermath in the state, has concluded that it was ''not an accident but a conspiracy'', while giving a clean chit to Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The report categorically stated that there was no involvement of Mr Modi or any of his ministers or officers in the riots.

The report was tabled in the state Assembly today amidst protests from the Opposition Congress, which staged a walkout.

While giving clean chit to Mr Modi and his government, the report said ''There is absolutely no evidence to show that either the Chief Minister and/or any other minister(s) in his Council of Ministers or police officers had played any role in the Godhra incident or there was any lapse on their part in the matter of providing protection, relief and rehabilatation to the victims of communal riots or for not complying the recommendations and directions given by the National Human Rights Commission.'' On the contrary, the government had provided protection and relief to the affected people. There was no flaw in the implementation of the human rights commission laws, the report claimed.

The report said ''There is no evidence regarding the involvement of any definite religious or political organisation in the conspiracy. Some individuals, who had participated in the conspiracy, appear to be involved in the heinous act of setting S-6 coach on fire.'' According to the report, the conspiracy to burn the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express, in which karsevakas were travelling, was hatched by Maulvi Umarji along with six others. The plan was given shape at the Aman Guest House, where all of them stayed the whole night a day prior to the carnage on February 27, 2002.

The report stated that there was heavy stone pelting for 10 to 20 minutes at the S-6 and S-7 coaches before the S-6 bogey was set ablaze, preventing the passengers to come out of it. The fire led to the death of 59 innocent people.

Two persons -- Razak Kurkur and Salim Panwala -- purchased 140 litres of petrol on February 26, 2002, and took them in containers.

Besides these two, Shaukat Lalu, Imran Sheri, Rafiq, Salim Zarda, Zabeer and Siraj Bala were involved in the burning of the train, the report said.

The Nanavati Commission said the conspiracy to set the S-6 coach on fire, hatched by these persons, appears to be a part of a larger conspiracy to create terror and destabilise the administration.

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