Sabarmati Express carnage was planned by Godhra Muslims
Posted by jagoindia on June 27, 2009
DNA Correspondent Saturday, June 27, 2009
Ahmedabad: The torching of coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002, was planned, said Gayatri Panchal (24), whose parents and two sisters were killed in the carnage incident.
In her statement in 2008 before the Special Investigation Team (SIT), constituted to probe the Sabarmati Express carnage and the ensuing riots, Panchal alleged that in March 2008 Sardarji Waghela had submitted a petition which said that the victims of the carnage had been served injustice and that “people from the minority community” had benefited from the help of NGOs working in this direction, which she said was true.
In the statement, annexed with the status report submitted recently by the SIT in the court of special judge PR Patel, who has been designated for the trial in the case, she said that she was travelling with her mother Nita, father Harshad and sisters Pratiksha and Chaya in coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express when it was torched.
“Godhra Muslim ghancio tolaa S-6 dabbo salgavel (Godhra Muslims burnt the S-6 coach),” in which everyone besides her had been burnt alive. She said she had given her statements in connection with the matter to various investigating officers earlier.
She further stated that the earlier investigating officer in the case had conducted a “fair and free investigation,” had arrested the accused and had put them behind bars, but “after the constitution of the team, the investigation officer was changed after the Muslim accused asked for it.”
She said that such an incident was sad and that the investigation officer should be handed the case. She has prayed that the victims of the carnage receive justice and that the accused receive harsh punishment.
When contacted, Panchal told DNA: “I stick to the statements that I have made before the SIT. I believe that such an accident cannot be a mere accident, but a planned conspiracy. However, all we want is justice.”
Charges have been framed against 100 people accused in the case. The dates for the recording of evidence have also been fixed. Evidence in the case will be recorded on July 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8.