It has been two-and-a-half years since that ill-fated day when a torched train at Godhra sparked off a communal wildfire that consumed much of Gujarat and scorched the conscience of an entire nation. The burning of the two coaches of the Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002, in which 58 people including kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya were killed, has been repeatedly described by the Gujarat government as a premeditated effort by local Muslims who worked in connivance with other members of the minority community in Godhra. The state railway police chargesheet, filed after the incident, went along much the same track. But the depositions before the G.T. Nanavati Commission probing the Godhra incident (as sourced by Outlook) reveal that things were not as black and white as they have been made out to be, they are overlaid by confusing shades of grey.
The statements by railway authorities, police officials, eyewitnesses, and kar sevaks who were aboard the train sharply contradict the latest police chargesheet filed in the case in 2003. As per the police version, the train was torched by a Muslim mob from the Signal Falia colony outside Godhra station. The depositions before the commission paint a different picture and contradict the police account.