After nearly nine years since the Godhra train carnage which left 59 people dead, a special court in Ahmedabad today delivered a verdict convicting 31 people and acquitting 63 others including the main accused Maulvi Umarji. This judgement evoked mixed reactions.Here is a sampling of some prominent responses:
"The judgement has established that this was a pre-planned conspiracy hatched and executed with finesse, so the state government's stand is vindicated... It has set at naught all the wrong propaganda of the so called NGOs that the incident was not a pre-planned conspiracy"
-- Jaynarayan Vyas
, Gujarat Govt Spokesperson
"Whatever the judgement with regard to Godhra incident, the communal violence that erupted in Gujarat (post the train carnage) remained a blot on democracy... It is a blot on the record of Narendra Modi... It still does not take away the fact that Modi and his government were single handedly responsible for the riots that took place post the train carnage."
-- Jayanti Natarajan, Congress Spokesperson
"I have a mixed opinion on the judgement. I am satisfied with the Godhra
train burning verdict, but I am pained as so many lives were lost due
to the incident...We will examine the prospects of an appeal. That's the most logical thing to do. I am not committing myself to any definite conclusion"
-- R K Raghavan, SIT Head
"How can we say the verdict is good or bad without understanding the reasoning... Only time will tell whether the verdict will help increase the level of confidence."
-- Salman Khurshid, Minorities Affairs Minister
"The courts of law will take their own course... There are processes involved because definitely there will be an appeal filed in the High Court. Therefore, it is premature to comment on this."
-- M Veerappa Moily
, Law Minister
The verdict has exposed the nefarious designs of the UPA government
which tried to cover up the entire episode. Certainly, there has
been a degree of assurance that law and justice has prevailed. There
were elements who were trying to belittle it. There have been
politicians who tried to abuse it. You remember the
Banerjee commission report. A retired judge of Supreme Court gave a
collusive report that the fire was lit from inside. It was a sham report
at the time of 2005 elections. Conspiracy has been established.
-- Ravishankar Prasad, BJP spokesperson
This has exposed
the nefarious designs of the UPA government which tried to cover up the
entire ghastly episode. It has exposed the
so-called secularists including Lalu, UPA government which had set up a
fake inquiry under a retired SC judge, which put the blame on victims
themselves. This verdict has to be welcomed initially
-- Tarun Vijay, BJP spokesperson