BJP welcomes verdict on Gohdra train burning case

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New Delhi, Feb 22 (PTI) BJP today welcomed the Gujaratspecial court verdict convicting 31 accused in the 2002 Godhratrain burning case and said it had "exposed the nefariousdesigns" of the UPA government which "tried to cover up" theentire episode.

"Certainly, there has been a degree of assurance that lawand justice has prevailed. There were elements who were tryingto belittle it. There have been politicians who tried to abuseit," 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 RailwayMinister Lalu Prasad Yadav to probe the causes of fire in theSabarmati Express in Godhra, had found that the fire was"accidental."

"You remember the Banerjee commission report. A retiredjudge of Supreme Court gave a collusive report that the firewas lit from inside," Prasad told reporters outsideParliament.

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

Asked about the acquittal of one of the prime accusedMaulana Umraji, Prasad said, "Conspiracy has beenestablished."

Reacting to the judgement, BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijaysaid, "This has exposed the nefarious designs of the UPAgovernment which tried to cover up the entire ghastlyepisode."

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

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

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

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