Truth about Godhra
by G. Anil Kumar on 07 Oct 2008 2 Comments

Before the “secularists” stepped in, the incident was correctly reported. On 27 February 2002 morning, the Sabarmati Express coming from Ayodhya reached Godhra, a small town of Gujarat. Just after the train left Godhra Station, it was forcibly stopped and attacked at Signal Falia neighborhood by a Muslim mob. One of the coaches (S-6) was set on fire; 58 Hindu pilgrims were burnt alive.

The Justice Nanavati-Shah Commission that enquired the Godhra train carnage case and subsequent violence in Gujarat has now clearly stated that the train carnage was indeed mob-terror by Muslims.

The Commission’s report says: “on the basis of facts and circumstances, proved by evidence, the Commission comes to the conclusion that the burning of coach S-6 was a pre-planned act. In other words, there was a conspiracy to burn coach S-6 of Sabarmati train coming from Ayodhya and to cause harm to the Karsevaks travelling in that coach…. All the passengers have stated that attack with stones had continued for 10-20 minutes so that the passengers could not come out of the coach….140 liters of petrol were purchased by the conspirators on 26.2.2002 to carry out this conspiracy… The conspirators had opened the sliding door of S-6 leading to coach S-7 and entered the coach S-6 through that door. Hassan Lala had thrown a burning rag which led to the fire in coach S-6….. 

“The confessions disclosed that Razak Kurkur and Salim Panwala were the two main persons who had organized execution of the plan and what was being done was according to what was planned earlier on the directions of Maulvi Umarji. All acts, procuring petrol, circulating false rumour, stopping the train and entering the coach S-6 were the objective of the conspiracy. This conspiracy hatched by these persons further appears to be a part of a larger conspiracy to create terror and destabilize the administration… There is absolutely no evidence to show that either Chief Minister and/or any other Ministers in his Council of Ministers or Police Officers have played any role in the Godhra incident or that there was any lapse on their part in the matter of providing protection, relief, rehabilitation to the victims or in the matter of not complying with the recommendations and directions given by National Human Rights Commission.”

But our “secular” media persons say they don’t believe the conclusions of Nanavati-Shah Commission. Our “secular” politicians say these findings are on expected lines. According to them, the fire was accidental; or, it was Karsevaks’ self-immolation; there was absolutely no provocation for riots; Muslims never provoked anybody; it was a conspiracy of Hindus themselves to carry out a pogrom of Muslims!! They still swear by Justice U.C. Banerjee Committee’s report, which had stated that nobody had set the train on fire. 

Here enters the clash between two contradictory reports. What is the truth? Which report is correct? What is the legal position? Why do “secularists” blame Hindus? First, let us look at the report that came first. 

Two-and-a-half years after the Godhra carnage, in September 2004, Railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav appointed Justice Umesh Chandra Banerjee to “investigate” the matter. Justice U.C. Banerjee completed his “investigation” very quickly and released his report just before Lalu’s home state of Bihar faced assembly elections! His report ruled out the possibility of any mob terror and categorically stated that the fire was just “an accident which resulted out of cooking being carried within the carriage itself.” He also ruled out external attacks.

These “cooked-up findings” have been questioned as being politically motivated. The Gujarat High Court ruled on 13 October 2006 that the very formation of Banerjee Committee itself was “illegal” and “unconstitutional”!  Subsequently, the Supreme Court of India stayed circulation of Banerjee’s report. These judgments are still in force and Banerjee’s “probe results” stand invalid! 

The Gujarat government set up a commission of enquiry on 6 March 2002, just a week after the Godhra carnage and when the subsequent violence was still on. It was headed by retired High Court judge K.G. Shah. But some Muslim organizations and “secular” political parties alleged that Justice Shah was close to the BJP, hence, his report would not be impartial. Then on 22 May, the government reconstituted the commission by appointing the retired Supreme Court Judge Girish Thakorlal Nanavati as its head.

Note that it was a full-fledged Inquiry Commission duly constituted under the provisions of The Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952. Whereas Banerjee Committee was not a Commission, just a committee constituted by the Union Railway Ministry, wrongly exercising powers vested under Article 73 of the Constitution, which states the extent of executive power of the Union. 

The two panels and their conclusions are not comparable. First of all, the Nanavati-Shah Commission has gone through judicial scrutiny. The appointments to this Commission were held valid by the Gujarat High Court and the Supreme Court; the constitution of the Banerjee Committee was held as bad in law. The Gujarat High Court also banned tabling of Banerjee’s report on the floor of Parliament.

Banerjee Committee, illegal as per court verdict, has examined a handful of train passengers and some witnesses before coming to a conclusion in record time. It did not examine any of the investigating officers whom the secular media had, by then, successfully portrayed as partisan demons. The committee did not go through the case papers on record. It did not give private individuals and political parties any opportunity to be heard.

Fire on the train was accidental, it said. The cause of fire was cooking done inside the carriage, it said. No external attack has happened, it said. 

Meaning? All eye-witness accounts, documentary evidences, thousands of statements were false! Rubbish!!  

During the last six years, Nanavati-Shah examined a large number of evidences with a fine-toothcomb and recorded everything in their report (Justice Shah passed away a couple of months ago). It examined documentary evidences, eye-witnesses, expert witnesses, forensic experts and investigating officers.  According to reports, the Commission received applications and affidavits from 44,475 persons! Government officers have filed 2019 statements. All witnesses were also cross-examined by lawyers.

Ironically, even the influential media itself initially reported the truth. Before “correcting” themselves, the “secular” and “foreign” media groups clearly identified the Godhra incident as an attack by “an angry mob”. 

Take BBC; it has always been uncomfortable with Hindu interests. Yet even it reported that the passengers of S-6 coach, Sabarmati Express, were not allowed to escape. It quoted some survivors and reported that they were stoned continuously for 10-20 minutes until the coach was completely burnt. 

The Tribune (28 February 2002, Chandigarh) reported: “As the train left Godhra station, one of the miscreants who had boarded it, pulled the chain alarm  to halt the train a kilometer away. It was here that a large number of stone-pelting miscreants set the coach ablaze by throwing petrol bombs and dousing it with kerosene and petrol.”

After extensively quoting a survivor, one Mr. Patel, CNN narrated the whole story on 27 February 2003, one year after the attack: “The train reached the station at Godhra at 8 a.m., more than five hours late. It soon pulled out of the station, but screeched to a halt. Patel, who was in the bathroom, heard rocks raining on the roof. “I heard noises of people shouting outside: `Kill them! Cut them up!’ Patel said. He looked out and saw men with sticks attacking the train car. The train erupted in panic. Patel used his handkerchief to bandage a woman wounded by rock. Then a burning rag was thrown in the train. The passengers doused that fire with water, he said. Then someone poured a flammable liquid into the car, and a burning torch. Within minutes, the coach was full of smoke. Passengers were choking. Patel and two dozen others leaped out and began pulling others out. But dozens were already burned. Many died screaming.” (still available at

Accidental fire? “Yes,” our proud secularists maintain! Indian “secularism”, which swears by Militant Islam, is, as always, shameless. 

There are many attempts to equate Indian secular mindset with vote-bank politics. But pro-Islam secularists do not abandon their brand of “secularism” even if they do not get the votes of Muslims!

This is a very curious-mindset, which has nothing to do with the original concept of secularism. We will understand our secularists’ mindset better if we acknowledge the fact that Islam is very much involved here, either as Islamophobia or as Islamophilia. 

Egypt-born Islamic-scholar Bat Ye’or, who has studied Christian and Jewish societies, called this meek mindset dhimmitude; it never questions its inferior status vis-à-vis Muslims. According to her, “Dhimmitude derives from the surrender of the clergy and political leaders to the Muslim jihad armies, and their submission to Islamic domination of both their lands and peoples….Sometimes submission to Islam was rooted in personal ambition. Dhimmitude often induced self-hatred, and hatred against those who resisted the jihad and Muslim domination. Christian dhimmitude has been a world force for Islamization throughout history.”

Hindus too have a similar history, and a section of Hindu society was also subjected to the force of Dhimmah. “I realize that my study of dhimmitude remains incomplete,” says Bat Ye’or, “because it is limited to Jews and Christians. It should be supplemented by the dhimmitude of the Zoroastrians, located in an inferior category, and that of Buddhists and Hindus, considered as idolaters. A few books on this subject have recently been published in India. The picture they paint is similar to that of regions to the west of the Indian subcontinent.”

In the Indian context, I call our secularism, which is nothing but the manifestation of Hindu-dhimmitude mindset, as dhimmitva in my writings. Now dhimmitva is in full swing. Besides, leftists have their own political agenda. 

But, despite the dhimmis, the truth has finally come out. The political conspiracy to protect the miscreants has failed. Now you can loudly shout this truth from your rooftop.

The author is a columnist and Supplement Editor of the daily, Samyukta Karnataka

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