New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) The Congress Tuesday declined to comment on an Ahmedabad court ruling convicting 31 people and acquitting 63 for the 2002 Godhra train carnage that left 59 people on the Sabarmati Express dead.
But it blamed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for triggering the communal riots in which over 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in the aftermath of the train killings.
“We cannot possibly comment on the judgment per say because we don’t actually comment upon a judgment of court, it is a part of a legal process,” Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters here.
Additional sessions judge P.R. Patel convicted 31 people, accused of hatching a conspiracy that killed 59 people travelling in a coach of the train Feb 27, 2002.
Most victims were Hindu activists returning from Ayodhya.
Natarajan, however, added that the communal violence that followed the train carnage was a “blot on democracy”.
“In the political sense, whatever the judgment with regard to the Godhra incident, the riots that happened post-Godhra and the communal tension and violence that followed remain a blot on democracy,” she said.
“It is still a blot upon the record of Modi for which he will always have to answer the people of the nation,” she added.
B.K. Hariprasad, general secretary and in-charge of Gujarat, said the “verdict has vindicated that innocent people who were put behind bars” for nine long years.
“In any vibrant democracy, innocents should not be punished. Congress has no hesitation in saying that the guilty should be punished,” he added.