Cong declines to comment on Godhra verdict but targets Modi

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 22 (PTI) Congress today refused to commenton the special court''s verdict on Godhra train burning casebut sharpened its attack against Gujarat Chief MinisterNarendra Modi holding him resposible for post-Godhra communalriots in the state which claimed over 1,200 lives.

"We donot comment upon court judgements. Judgement of thecourt speaks for itself. This judgement deals with the Godharaissue," party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said adding herparty holds Narendra Modi responsible the post Godhara "statesponsored genocide" and "atrocities against a particularsection of society".

She said that these matters are also with the SupremeCourt and she believed that Modi would be "accounted to thenation" for post Godhara incidents.

Natarajan said the communal violence that followed thetrain carnage was a "blot on democracy".

"In political sense, whatever the judgement with regardto Godhra incident, the communal violence that erupted inGujarat (post the train carnage) remained a blot ondemocracy...It is a blot on the record of Narendra Modi forwhich he will always have to answer the people of the nation,"she said.

Reacting to BJP''s claim that the judgement vindicated theparty''s stand that the train was set on fire from outside,Natarajan said, "It still does not take away from the factthat Modi and his government were single handedly responsiblefor the riots that took place post the train carnage."

31 people were convicted and 63 others, including themain accused Maulvi Umarji, were acquitted by a special courtin Ahmedabad in the February 27, 2002 Godhra train burningincident that left 59 people dead and triggered violence inGujarat, which claimed over 1,200 lives, mainly Muslims.

The sentencing would be pronounced on February 25 afterarguments on the quantum of punishment by the special courtthat accepted the theory of conspiracy behind the burning ofthe coach of Sabarmati Express carrying kar sevaks returningfrom Ayodhya.

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