TNN | Mar 5, 2011, 04.57am IST
AHMEDABAD: The verdict, which gave death to 11 and life terms to 20 in the Godhra carnage case on Tuesday, substantiates the motive of the attack and the conspiracy partly by falling back on Godhra's history of communal riots.
The target of the mob in Godhra on February 27, 2002 was only kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya and not other Hindus travelling on the Sabarmati Express, says the 826-page judgment. Fiftynine passengers of S-6 coach, mainly kar sevaks, were killed that day sparking off riots across the state.
Although judge P R Patel does not pin-point the motive of the attack, he notes, "Godhra is known for its past history of communal riots...For Godhra, this is not the first incident of burning alive innocent persons belonging to Hindu community. Earlier, during many riot incidents in Godhra, persons were burnt alive and shops/houses etc came to be destroyed by fire." He cites 10 incidents of communal riots in Godhra since 1965 and noted that several riots broke out during the rath yatra in 1990 and 1992.
The judge says shouting slogans like 'Pakistan Zindabad', 'Hindustan Murdabad' etc and announcements on loudspeaker from a nearby mosque clearly suggest a motive and pre-planning to attack the train.
The court has substantiated this conclusion by saying: "If the petrol was not kept ready in loose in carboys on previous night near Aman Guest House, it would not have been possible to reach with carboys within 5-10 minutes near S-6 coach...Not possible to gather Muslim persons with deadly weapons within short time to reach near A cabin on the railway tracks".