India politician guilty of murder for Gujarat riots

By AFP
Published: August 29, 2012

Human rights groups say more than 2,000 people, mainly Muslims, were hacked, beaten or burned to death during the riots. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

AHMEDABAD: An Indian court on Wednesday convicted a former state minister of murder for her involvement in a massacre of Muslims during religious riots in Gujarat in 2002, a prosecutor said.

Maya Kodnani, who served as a minister in Gujarat’s Hindu nationalist state government from 2007-2009, was found guilty over the killing of 97 Muslims in the Naroda Patiya suburb of the city of Ahmedabad.

Prosecution lawyer Shamshad Pathan told AFP that, as well as murder, Kodnani was also convicted of conspiracy.

Out of 61 people facing charges including murder, criminal conspiracy and causing grievous hurt with deadly weapons, 32 had been found guilty and 29 acquitted, he added.

Kodnani, who served as child and human development minister under Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi until her arrest in 2009, broke down in tears, the lawyer said.

The violence in Gujarat was triggered by the deaths of nearly 60 Hindu pilgrims in a February 2002 train fire that was at first blamed on a mob.

Hindus hungry for revenge rampaged through Muslim neighbourhoods across Gujarat in an orgy of violence that marked some of India’s worst religious riots since independence from Britain in 1947.

Human rights groups say more than 2,000 people, mainly Muslims, were hacked, beaten or burned to death.

Modi – a prominent figure in the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and a possible future candidate for prime minister – was widely criticised for failing to stop the riots.

He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

An inquiry by Modi’s Gujarat government concluded that the train burning which sparked the clashes was a conspiracy, but a federal probe later said it was an accident.

Wednesday’s verdicts came after final arguments in April following a trial that saw 327 witnesses called to give evidence.

In 2008, the Supreme Court ordered the re-investigation of nine of the most sensitive incidents during the riots, including the initial train fire and the violence in Naroda Patiya.

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Reader Comments (56)

  • Aug 29, 2012 - 2:57PM

    Vienna,August 29,2012
    This is a test case to prove Indian judiciary is moving towards
    fixing the full responsibility for peace, law and order within the
    state on the Chief Minister of the state.He has taken oath to
    uphold the Constitution of India.It may take time but he is
    answerable since his cabinet colleague has been convicted on
    the charge of “conspiracy” as well. A conspiracy initiated by
    the Chief Minister.India is as much a home of Muslims as it
    is for other more than 4000 races,ethnic people including aborigines
    living in the Andaman Nicobar Islands as they did since 60,000
    years ago. If they want to integrate with the rest of population
    by education or marriages there would be no bar.Constitution
    guru Bhimrao Ambedkar was himself married to a brahmin
    although at early stages of his career as an officer at Baroda
    kingdom they give him water from a distance to drink.That was
    before India became free and the princely states were abolished
    after freedom.Mind you Baroda today is within the territory of Gujarat
    ruled by Chief Minister N. Modi.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna

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  • Aug 29, 2012 - 2:57PM

    There were more than 20000 people killed and all of them were Muslims. (Some will claim it sooner or later, so I did it to save the effort).

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  • Aug 29, 2012 - 3:00PM

    but a federal probe later said it was an accident.

    Hmmm… which probe sire.. and how come so many muslims got sentences for the “accident”?

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  • ANIL
    Aug 29, 2012 - 3:02PM

    Any comments from Aman Ki Asha advocates??

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  • Sunny
    Aug 29, 2012 - 3:18PM

    Justice Done !! Bravo India

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  • Well well
    Aug 29, 2012 - 3:22PM

    This article needs more info. How did this Maya get implicated and why not Modi?

    But in any case, this is remarkable, a minister brought to court AND convicted for the actual crime. It appears their justice system is quite good, despite slowness.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Aug 29, 2012 - 3:44PM

    Justice was long overdue better late than neverRecommend

  • unbeliever
    Aug 29, 2012 - 3:46PM

    An inquiry by Modi’s Gujarat government concluded that the train burning which sparked the clashes was a conspiracy, but a federal probe later said it was an accident.

    any refrence?

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  • Truth is out there
    Aug 29, 2012 - 3:46PM

    Kasab will get hanged, but Modi will become PM.

    This is the true face of Indian democracy; if a Muslim kills hindus, he gets hanged; is a hindu kills Muslims he becomes Prime Minister.

    India: world’s largest fascist autocracy

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  • zeal
    Aug 29, 2012 - 3:53PM

    Where in the picture is there anything to affirm that this is Hindus killing Muslims? Quite the reverse if you go by my personal experience – India’s future is doomed with 200 million Muslims venting their usual ire against Hindus at every conceivable opportunity – I am not speaking from media reports but from personal experience – I had family hacked by Muslim mobs in 1992 which our ‘sickular’ media now doesn’t even mention – when Muslims are aggressors it is very conveniently ignored by our Leaders and the Media – after all they need the votes and the illegal migration is just another step being promoted by the Congress and other Muslim favoring parties to gain more of them.

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  • amalgam
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:03PM

    Modi has again proved he has no exceptions for those who violate law.

    Bravo indian judiciary and modi ji :)

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:21PM

    @Well well: It is the foot soldiers who get caught if anyone the big fish get away.Kasab is also not the mastermind.

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  • FU
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:24PM

    Its very funny why ET doesn’t publish the truth.The mob which killed 60 pilgrims in a train is not a accident but intentionally done by Muslims. All the people accused were found guilty and have been sentenced to life imprisonment by High court of Gujrat. Atleast be honest in reporting and please for haven sake don’t play the victim card everytime. Not all the people who were killed were Muslims, there have been Hindus too. By saying most of them killed were Muslims, what are you trying to portray here.The Hindus who were killed in riots weren’t Human beings? Oh i forgot its the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, we are seeing how you treat your minorities and what being a Hindu means in Pakistan.

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  • Hold Your Horses
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:35PM

    @Truth is out there:

    kasab is a pakistani for us, not a muslim…..grow up and come out of your “Hindu-Muslim” insensibility

    Indian court has punished criminals, not on account of the religion they follow but the acts they’ve committed….Recommend

  • antanu g
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:39PM

    @Sunny:
    justice….? modi is still thereRecommend

  • vasan
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:43PM

    Truth is out here : Bas…d Kasab got evidences, witnesses and video footage against him,. I am not a modi suppporter, but have u got any witness against him. Recommend

  • Nand
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:43PM

    Truth and justice is a way forward to peace.

    Recommend

  • antanu g
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:43PM

    @zeal:
    there were many muslims FAMILIES hacked by hindus….what about this…you will be at loss of words if muslim sufferings are cited…..you hate muslins…so keep hating but dont try to justify it sentimentally
    ….Recommend

  • Wonderful
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:46PM

    @Truth is out there:
    Just imagine what PM Modi will do to the ones who sent Kasab to India. I am eagarly awaiting for that time.

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  • Anyways
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:53PM

    Better than: “this is all literature and need more proof.”

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  • Babloo
    Aug 29, 2012 - 5:23PM

    There are many factual inaccuracies in this report.
    There were about 300 hindus killed during the riots along with about 1100 muslims. About a 100 policement , yes Modi’s policemen, died trying to save people from the rioters. Who were they trying to save ? Think carefully.

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  • amalgam
    Aug 29, 2012 - 5:34PM

    @antanu g

    justice….? modi is still there

    He will BE there as he committed no crime and STOPPED many from being killed .He has saved lives of thousands by ending riots in just two days,however you wish can come to reality in 2014.

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  • Vikram
    Aug 29, 2012 - 5:35PM

    @Zaid Hamid: Don’t forget Pakistani government killed 3 million people in East Pakistan and not a single person was punished. Afghanis are still dying every day because of what Pakistanis did. Todays news:Afghanistan: Taliban Insurgents Behead 17 Afghans As Punishment For Attending Party, Dancing Recommend

  • Vikram
    Aug 29, 2012 - 5:42PM

    Why did 26/11 Pakistani terrorists who attacked targets in Bombay, pretended to be Hindus killed 40 Indian Muslims and 132 non-Muslims from 12 countries. It was done to create another Gujarat massacre and create problems between India and Israel.

    I am glad justice is being done. India needs rapid deployment force to deal with problems because our neighbors are always looking to play Kargil.

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  • Lala Gee
    Aug 29, 2012 - 5:54PM

    @unbeliever:

    “An inquiry by Modi’s Gujarat government concluded that the train burning which sparked the clashes was a conspiracy, but a federal probe later said it was an accident.”

    any refrence?

    For reference see the “Banerjee Commission Report”, and also read this editorial of Times of India.

    This what Justice Bajerjee said:

    Asked what exactly were his findings, the retired SC judge Banerjee said: “The final report also contains the same finding which I have stated in my interim report that the fire in S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express was accidental and not deliberate.”

    This is what TOI editorial said:

    “Irrespective of what Justice Banerjee has to say on the train incident, the Narendra Modi government must explain its collusion with religious fanatics in targeting Muslims across the state. No amount of evidence indicating a conspiracy to target kar sevaks can absolve the Modi government, or the BJP, from the culpability of abetting — or at least condoning — mobs who for days went on a killing and looting spree in Gujarat.”

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  • Bas Aur Naheen
    Aug 29, 2012 - 5:59PM

    So much so for Indian claims of secularism and ethnic harmony, what a farce!

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  • amalgam
    Aug 29, 2012 - 6:12PM

    @LALA GEE

    it was formed by LALU prasad to please his votebank (muslims)
    _

    Its findings were challenged by Neelkanth Tulsidas Bhatia who was injured in Godhra Carnage. In October 2006, the Gujarat High Court ruled that the panel was “unconstitutional, illegal and null and void”, and declared its formation as a “colourable exercise of power with mala fide intentions”

    http://www.hindu.com/2006/10/14/stories/2006101405431200.htm
    _
    http://www.financialexpress.com/news/story/180656/

    _

    On 22 February 2011, trial court convicted 31 Muslims of the attack and acquitted 63 Muslims.[5] The court noted that the incident was a conspiracy and convicted the 31 Muslims under Indian Penal Code Sections 302 and 120 B[18]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godhratrainburning

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  • gp65
    Aug 29, 2012 - 6:13PM

    @ANIL: “Any comments from Aman Ki Asha advocates?”

    Not sure I see the relevance of your comments. SOme fcts:
    1. Aman Ki Asha is an initiative between India and Pakistani. Not one Pakistani was killed in Gujarat riots.
    2. 790 Muslims and 250 Hindus died in it. The trigger for these incidents was that a coach of Hindu pilgrims was burnt alive by a Muslim mob.
    3. After a severe rioting for 2 days during which the number of people stated above died, army was called in and riots were brought under control.
    4. This incident happened more than 10 years back. There have been no communal riots in Gujarat in the intervening 10 years. In fact the number of Indian Muslims who died in communal incidents in any part of India totally in the last 10 years is less than 20. (Illegal Bangladeshi immigrants are NOT Indian citizens by the way). This is despite at least 5 major incidents of terror bombings in the intervening period by SIMI which were certainly acts of provocation.
    5. Even before this judgment 33 Hindus had been convicted in this episode. Of course many Muslims were also convicted. This shows the commitment of justice systems to all Indian citizens not just majority comittee
    6. Individual bigotry has not vanished in India and is present in all communities not jyst Hindus but the direction is pretty clear. Also Indian Muslims are Indian. Indians see it as a responsibility to ensure the protection of their life and property. Indian media and civil society were certainly not silent spectators about the issue. Nor does anyone in India ever justify communal riots in India due to oppression of Hindus in Pakistan.
    7. Now consider what has happened to minorities in your country. What has been the response of the state to reduce the occurrences? What has been the effort of the state to bring perpetrators to justice? HEck has there been ANY attempt to even convict the people involved in Meena Bazaar or Moon Market or those who bomber the masjif in which NAemi was praying?
    8. List item

    This shows the commitment of Indian state to protect the life and property of all its citizens not just

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  • James
    Aug 29, 2012 - 6:15PM

    @unbeliever:
    The then Railway minister Laloo Prasad had a railway comission investigate the burnt coach.They concluded that petrol could not have been thrown through the windows.Kerosene stoves were found in the coach which led to the accident premise

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  • unbeliever
    Aug 29, 2012 - 6:17PM

    @antanu g:

    why are you still in my country?

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  • gp65
    Aug 29, 2012 - 6:25PM

    @Bas Aur Naheen: “So much so for Indian claims of secularism and ethnic harmony, what a farce!”
    YEs. The fact that people who killed Muslims in a riot were tried and found guilty does show commitment of Indian state to protect all its citizens without reference to religion. That is what you would expect from a secular state anyway.
    Also this incident happened more than 10 years back. There have been no communal riots between Indian Muslims and Hindus since then in Gujarat. All over India the total number of Indian Muslims who died (Hindus also died) in riots anywhere in India is less than 20. The people in Assam are NOT Indian Muslims or even Indian citizens. So yes we can say that there is commitment to communal harmony.
    Individual acts of bigotry can happen in any country. The frequency, the response of state, society and media to such acts of bigotry shows the commitment/ or lack thereof of the state to safety of all its citizens including the weakest.

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  • Nand
    Aug 29, 2012 - 6:26PM

    Modi was let go because he has a bigger role to play come 2014. He is going to go full throttle against the perpetrators of 26/11 and anyone who stands in his way, inside or outside India,

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  • Enlightened
    Aug 29, 2012 - 6:30PM

    Pak judiciary has to learn a lot from the Indian judiciary which is so far been quite fair to all communities within the Indian state.

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  • Mirza
    Aug 29, 2012 - 6:32PM

    How come nobody is ever convicted for the murders of minorities and Shia in Pakistan? This was a test case for Indian judiciary and they passed it.

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  • unbeliever
    Aug 29, 2012 - 6:45PM

    @James:

    LALLU YADAV , who made entire biharis in my country indentured labours.

    well, amalgam has already offered the rebuttal…..you can pose more questions?Recommend

  • Rohit
    Aug 29, 2012 - 6:52PM

    Hi,

    As being a Pakistan based news paper, I never expected that you will write anything +ve. I just want to bring one thing into your notice sir. Godhra incident was not and accident, the govt at the time of Mr. Vajpayee too probed the incident and it was found that more than 2000 people of a particular community pulled the chain of the train after the train left Godhra Station, and they blocked the two bogies of train in which Karsevaks were sitting who were returning from Ayodhya. They burned these people alive inside these bogies. Just tell me sir 56 living people were burnt alive, through how much pain they must have suffered.

    And the report of Union govt which you mentioned said that it was an accident was prepared by Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav, whose complete vote bank was depended on that particular community appeasement. I am not saying that what happened in Gujarat Post-Godhra was right. No sir, at any cost the human life is more precious than anything, but I urge you please don’t be biased.

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  • ather khan
    Aug 29, 2012 - 6:55PM

    20 thousands muslims were killed, while 80 hindu pilgrims were killed in a train(still controversial as whether they did suicide or not). but still muslims are more responsible for the violence . democracy or not.

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  • unbeliever
    Aug 29, 2012 - 7:01PM

    @antanu g:

    there were many muslims FAMILIES hacked by hindus….what about this…you will be at loss of words if muslim sufferings are cited…..you hate muslins…so keep hating but dont try to justify it sentimentally

    who is denying that?
    and, if you feel so bogged down living in india, then there are two muslim countries made especially for muslims in the sub-continent, why not migrate there and and live happily ever-after…
    and, yes neither do i believe in pseudo-secularism, nor appeasement to minorities……feeling distressed, just cross the border….

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  • Zeta
    Aug 29, 2012 - 7:10PM

    india’s sham secularism is exposed every time.

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  • amir farooq
    Aug 29, 2012 - 7:17PM

    now wt ur judicry will do in ASSAM riots

    hahahahaha the master mind MODI is still moving free wt kind of justice is that….

    muslims will accept if the govt hang MODI….thn u can say JUSTICE HAS BEEN DONE

    u burn muslims women naked …first u raped thm thn u cut there parts thn u burn thm…..ohhhh
    wt kind of justice is tht…..

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  • Ravi
    Aug 29, 2012 - 7:24PM

    Ethnic cleansing…. Dark face of India’s so-called democracy.

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  • Lala Gee
    Aug 29, 2012 - 8:17PM

    @gp65:

    I love your style to euphemistically cover-up the barbarities of Hindu mobs – be it against Muslims, or Sikhs, or Christians. More than 2,000 Muslims were killed, thousands injured, hundreds of females gang raped and abducted, tens of thousands of homes and business set on fire, and over 100,000 made homeless. The police record shows a total of 298 dargahs of Muslim saints and 205 mosques were damaged by Hindu mobs. In Ahmedabad, the dargah of the Sufi saint-poet Wali Gujarati in Shahibaug and the 16th century Gumte Masjid mosque in Isanpur were totally destroyed and the Muhafiz Khan Masjid at Gheekanta was ransacked. And compare these horrific facts with your euphemistic statements making these anti-Muslim riots look like some friendly match. Regarding what justice has been done read these reports of Human Watch Organization:

    1- India: A Decade on, Gujarat Justice Incomplete – Human Rights Watch 2012
    2- India: Communal Violence and the Denial of Justice – Human Rights Watch

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  • ethicalman
    Aug 29, 2012 - 8:29PM

    When Laloo Prasad Yadav was the railway minister he made a homemade report on the Godhra incident and to get gather vote banks in his state Bihar termed it as accident. The truth was 58 Hindu pilgrims were burnt alive by muslim mobs..When Muslims are the trouble makers the media won’t say a word (actually that is the sign that who caused the riots even in this year in many UP cities) our media sucks big time..It won’t even show the atrocities on Hindus in India let alone Pakistan, Bangldesh etc..

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  • Lala Gee
    Aug 29, 2012 - 8:33PM

    @amalgam:

    “it was formed by LALU prasad to please his votebank (muslims)”

    And the judge of Indian Supreme Court was his accomplice. Right?

    “the Gujarat High Court ruled…”

    Why is it that all the commissions, inquires, and courts functioning under the jurisdiction of Gujrat Chief Minister always fail to find any proof that could implicate Narendra Modi, and the commissions, inquires, and courts working outside see things differently.

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  • unbeliever
    Aug 29, 2012 - 8:35PM

    @ather khan:

    it is this attitude mr. athar why non-muslims are suspicious about islam. while 9/11 and 26/11 were false-flag operations, but 59 of them committed suicide….good….you make me more proud of my right-to-center stand…..

    actually i want more of such views like yours published, so that hindus can see through the dark world where brain-washed people like you dwell…..

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  • amalgam
    Aug 29, 2012 - 9:53PM

    “it was formed by LALU prasad to please his votebank (muslims)”
    And the judge of Indian Supreme Court was his accomplice. Right?

    _

    Bullets doesn’t matter, gun does. The REPORT was BUSTED by courts later.

    _

    “the Gujarat High Court ruled…”
    Why is it that all the commissions, inquires, and courts functioning under the jurisdiction of Gujrat Chief Minister always fail to find any proof that could implicate Narendra Modi, and the commissions, inquires, and courts working outside see things differently.

    _

    According to your point Gujrat HC comes under modi then the SC must be coming under his enemies (UPA gov). Thank you for proving my point CORRECT.

    _
    Secondly , READ the SIT REPORT (Supreme court appointed which according to your logic comes under UPA) which CLEARED MODI

    _
    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/its-official-modi-gets-clean-chit-in-gulberg-massacre/247563-37-64.html

    _

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  • amalgam
    Aug 29, 2012 - 9:57PM
  • Pakistani Pakhtoon
    Aug 29, 2012 - 10:43PM

    hats off to india for this atleast they have done something, shame on Pakistan judiciary they should learn lesson from india, there is no need to embarrassed in learning, keep the religion out of humanity. nothing is perfect we know and still pak judiciary is getting mature hope that it goes on like that

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  • J.Sandhu
    Aug 29, 2012 - 10:46PM

    Justice has been denied, first hang Modi, then we will believe Justice has been done. The blood of the Bombay dead is not on Kasab and Co’s hands, but also on Modi’s hands. I along with a lot of other justice loving people of India have had to hang our heads in shame since Godhra.

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  • amalgam
    Aug 29, 2012 - 11:09PM

    This is what happend in GODHRA According to a special court ruling in Gujrat (The Above verdict is also by a Special court of gujrat)

    “Petrol was brought and the train was
    made to stop. Electricity was then cut
    and there was pouring of huge quantity
    of petrol and thereafter it was set
    afire so far as S6 coach is
    concerned,”

    “The burning of the coach S6 was a
    pre-planned act. In other words there
    was a conspiracy to burn the coach of
    the train coming from Ayodhya and to
    cause harm to the ‘karsevaks’
    travelling in it,” the report
    submitted to the government in
    September 2008 had said.

    http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/godhra-31-guilty-key-accused-among-63-acquitted_688998.html

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  • amalgam
    Aug 29, 2012 - 11:14PM

    @j sandhu

    hehe nice name . Anyways india law is supreme , prove him guilty or else do you work.IF 8 years of anti-modi UPA government after pouring tons of rupees in media and NGOs can’t prove the man guilty , I don’t think anyone can.He is an innocent man grabbed up just because this time the so called “minority” didn’t had the upper hand.

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  • 1984
    Aug 29, 2012 - 11:26PM

    @unbeliever:
    If “antanu g” is really an Indian as he claims..then I’m an Asgardian.I even have a hammer to prove it

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  • kaalchakra
    Aug 29, 2012 - 11:58PM

    1984

    I don’t understand why you Indians are so bent upon ostracizing the only Hindu Indian who tells the truth. Well, no, I am one too.

    You Hindu Indians have been carrying out mass genocide since 1947. For the horrendous murder of 90,000 innocent Muslims, you convince ONE small-time politician – who may not even be a Hindu. Then you expect Pakistanis to accept there is any justice in India? Antanu g, Nandita, and I are going to expose the fraudulent secularism in India.

    Do you know (of course you do, but you won’t confess) that 25000-40000 innocent Muslims were killed by Hindu communalists in Hyderabad immediately after Nehru-Patel forcibly occupied that once beautiful place? These are the same people you ‘admire’! Shame on these mass murderers and shame on you Hindu Indians who are trying to fool the world.

    Read the comments of Islamus, Dronacharya, and Tajender to know the terrible deeds of Indians and their leaders against Muslims.

    http://pakteahouse.net/2012/08/20/the-real-issue-is-not-the-controversial-islamic-laws/#comments

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  • FU
    Aug 30, 2012 - 4:16AM

    @kaalchakra Enjoy your humor btw, it was really boring without you being in the comment section

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  • cheeeuu
    Aug 30, 2012 - 7:49AM

    imagine if it was done by any muslim in a muslim majority country, can we hear such news?

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  • Aug 30, 2012 - 11:39AM

    Delivering the judgment yesterday, the court slammed the Modi government, terming the 2002 communal conflagration as “negligence of the state” and censured it for “inaction”, holding that it had resulted in an “anarchic” situation. “Even if we, for the sake of argument, accept the defense of the state that the cause of riot was a general reaction to the Sabarmati Express incident, the failure on part of police to gather intelligence about such general reaction (after the Godhra train burning incident) in time and to take appropriate timely action definitely come within expression ‘negligence of the state’,” the court said.

    Recommend

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