ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Godhra: The Verdict Analysed

A judgment has branded the Muslims of Godhra "Hindu killers" by tradition. The 27 February 2002 train fi re, it declares, was a conspiracy to kill karsevaks. Ignoring the plain record that the source of the fi re was inside the train even before it suddenly stopped after leaving Godhra station, the judgment holds that the train was stalled by Muslims to break into a coach brimming with belligerent karsevaks, pour petrol, and start a fi re, and to do so all unnoticed. The half-truths of forensics and the machinations of the police have succeeded in the trial, and 31 men, unfairly made to bear the burden of proof and denied vital witnesses, have been sentenced either to death or life imprisonment.

INSIGHT
Godhra: The Verdict Analysed Nitya Ramakrishnan karsevaks, with the added comment that Godhra had a history of killing Hindus. Inside the walls of Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati Jail where he tried 94 men for the burning of the Sabarmati Express, P R Patel

A judgment has branded the Muslims of Godhra “Hindu killers” by tradition. The 27 February 2002 train fire, it declares, was a conspiracy to kill karsevaks. Ignoring the plain record that the source of the fire was inside the train even before it suddenly stopped after leaving Godhra station, the judgment holds that the train was stalled by Muslims to break into a coach brimming with belligerent karsevaks, pour petrol, and start a fire, and to do so all unnoticed. The half-truths of forensics and the machinations of the police have succeeded in the trial, and 31 men, unfairly made to bear the burden of proof and denied vital witnesses, have been sentenced either to death or life imprisonment.

Nitya Ramakrishnan (nityarkrishnan@gmail. com) is a Delhi-based lawyer.

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