Godhra train carnage's comparison to 9/11 criticised

Godhra train carnage's comparison to 9/11 criticised
Ahmedabad, Feb 23 (PTI) The Gujarat government counsel's attempt to compare the Godhra train carnage with the 9/11 terror attacks in the US was strongly criticised by an NGO's lawyer while deposing before the Nanavati-Shah Commission here today.

Showing video footage of planes crashing into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, advocate Mukul Sinha from the Jan Sangharsh Manch rebuked the comparison made earlier by counsel Sunit Shah.

Shah had compared the incidents and said both were acts of terror and large amounts of fuel were used to trigger the fire in both attacks.

Explaining the 9/11 attacks to the two-member panel probing the train carnage and the post-Godhra riots, Sinha said, "The plane first collided with the towers, then there was an explosion and later the smoke followed.

"This was not at all the case in the train carnage case (in which 59 kar sevaks were burnt alive on February 27, 2002)," Sinha remarked.

He maintained the fire in coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express was a flash-over fire, wherein under favourable circumstances a small fire could spread very rapidly.

Sinha also referred to a chain-pulling incident which happened before the fire, and reiterated that there was only one such incident and not two as claimed by the state government.

He explained this by referring to the testimonies of the driver and guard of the train.

Sinha said the chain-pulling affected five coaches including the guard's coach.

Only four of the affected coaches were set right, which caused the train to drag and to stop a second time, Sinha said.

The A cabin (where the train was set afire) was located just 800 meters from the platform and almost the same distance a train can drag, he said.

"The first and only chain-pulling was by kar sevaks as some of them were left behind on the platform after the inital scuffle," Sinha remarked, while referring to statements made by kar sevaks before the Commission.

When the Commision asked how such a large crowd had gathered in such a short time if the whole incident was not a conspiracy, Sinha replied, "An incident of molestation of a Muslim girl had happened on the Godhra platform and it was just natural for a mob to gather."

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