July 06, 2020
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Will we ever know what happened at Godhra? Instead of providing answers, the government's investigation has raised questions. Is the government confused ...

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Will we ever know what happened at Godhra? Instead of providing answers, the government's investigation has raised questions. Is the government confused or trying to confuse the people? Within hours of the Godhra incident, the government said that the carnage was pre-planned by the ISI. It even named the main ISI suspect who had allegedly fled to Bangladesh. Now the government says that the Godhra carnage was not pre-planned but spontaneous.

Media coverage of the subsequent riots overwhelmingly suggests that they were pre-planned. Diverse teams visiting Gujarat confirmed this. Most notably, Human Rights Watch of America released a well-documented, 70-page report written by an American of Indian origin, Smita Narula, stating that the riots were planned prior to the Godhra carnage. This view was reinforced by a reported briefing of K.P.S. Gill by Gujarat's IPS officers. They said that a meeting of top officials was held on the night of the Godhra incident. Officials were told to go soft on Bajrang Dal and VHP activists.

Ignoring bureaucratic advice, chief minister Narendra Modi insisted on transporting 17 bodies of Godhra victims to Ahmedabad for their last rites. There was a mammoth funeral procession through Ahmedabad's streets by VHP and Bajrang Dal activists. Later, these activists started the riots. The PM said that sacking Modi could have unleashed more violence. Violence by whom?

Recently, the Muslim Personal Law Board team visiting Gujarat stated that the riots were pre-planned. But it agreed with the government that the Godhra carnage was spontaneous. This doesn't make sense. If the riots were pre-planned, how could the provocation for the riots be spontaneous?

A hundred and fifty registered station vendors in Godhra were among the alleged arsonists. Within hours all 150 vanished. They are still untraceable. Could all of them have escaped so quickly without pre-planning? What made the government first say that Godhra was pre-planned and later that it was not?

The public hasn't been furnished with even routine police information, collected after a crime. We don't know the Godhra victims' names. We don't know how many were genuine kar sevaks. In fact, we know nothing. Except that months after the tragedy the government is still saying nothing.

My oh my oh my!
That Godhra fly
Stuck in my eye
Sure makes me cry!

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