Godhra sentencing based on dubious evidence: Swami Agnivesh

March 1st, 2011 - 5:39 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 1 (IANS) Noted civil rights activist Swami Agnivesh Tuesday said the sentencing of 11 people to the gallows and 20 others to life imprisonment in the Godhra train-burning incident was a “hollow case based on dubious evidence”. “The whole verdict appears to be weak as it is based on dubious evidence of a single person,” Agnivesh told IANS here.

He recalled that the media had exposed the loopholes in the Godhra conspiracy theory.

“The verdict is a very weak, hollow one. It will come up for appeal in the higher court. I am sure the truth will come out at last,” Agnivesh added.

According to the rights activist, the charge that Muslim conspirators collaborated with a Hindu vendor was unconvincing. The judge, he said, had “based the judgment on the basis of dubious evidence of a single person”.

A special court in Ahmedabad Tuesday sent to the gallows 11 people and gave life imprisonment to 20 others for the February 2002 burning of a train coach in Gujarat’s Godhra town, in which 59 people were killed, triggering a communal frenzy that claimed an estimated 1,000 lives in the state.

The 31 people were convicted Feb 22 and held guilty of conspiring and setting on fire S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express near the Godhra railway station Feb 27, 2002. The train, carrying many radical Hindu activists, was on its way back from Uttar Pradesh’s temple town Ayodhya.

The court had acquitted 63 others, including alleged mastermind Maulvi Saeed Umarji.

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