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Committee report

Sir, — This refers to the finding of the interim report of Justice U.C. Banerjee on the Godhra tragedy. It has virtually ruled out miscreant activity in the incident. The report comes as a big relief to the country, particularly to the minorities. The Narendra Modi Government in Gujarat, it seems at least as of now, misled the nation to trigger communal riots.

M. Nazeeruddin,
Kurnool, A.P.

* * *

Sir, — Mr. Modi, the entire Sangh Parivar leaders, and even the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee took no time to blame the minority community for the Godhra carnage. The parivar carried on a vicious anti-Muslim propaganda. The Modi Government has no moral right to continue in office. The charge that the timing of the report's release coincides with Assembly elections is untenable — in a parliamentary democracy, some election or another takes place all the time.

T. Radhakrishna Menon,
Palakkad, Kerala

* * *

Sir, — A new dimension has been added to the tragedy with two scientists of the Gujarat Forensic Science Laboratory raising doubts over the "Missing canvas" (Jan. 20) that connected the vestibule of the S6 and S7 coaches of the Sabarmati Express, by ripping open which the miscreants allegedly poured 60 litres of petrol. This aspect needs to be probed thoroughly.

T. Prabhakara Rao,
Machilipatnam, A.P.

* * *

Sir, — Mr. Modi and other BJP leaders called the incident a pre-planned "jihadi" conspiracy. But it was the Modi Government that seems to have done intensive planning after the tragedy. It twisted the accident to suit its interests and propagated hate, resulting in the so-called retaliatory riots across Gujarat.

Syed Safir Ahmad,
Kanpur, U.P.

* * *

Sir, — Why is Mr. Modi silent, accentuating the impression that the findings are true? The shameful post-Godhra carnage besmirched the image of Hindus and India beyond repair.

Mazhar Wahab Shibli,
Aligarh, U.P.

* * *

Sir, — The report will be a solace to the kin of the victims of the Godhra tragedy. It will help them overcome their ill feelings towards the minorities. Unfortunately, when Gujarat was burning, not enough effort was made to urge the Government to carry out a just inquiry.

N. Jayaraj,
Chennai

* * *

Sir, — The charge that the report is meant to appease the minorities is condemnable. Just because it concluded that the fire was accidental and was not the result of a planned conspiracy, does it mean it is meant to appease the minorities and is a clear case of playing politics? When the BJP went to town with the conspiracy theory, was it not politicising the issue?

M.M. Siddiqui,
Hubli, Karnataka

Sir, — As seen from the pictures of the burnt S-6 coach after the tragedy, it was obvious that inflammable liquid was thrown from outside. Can an accidental fire cause so much damage? Given that S-6 was fire retardant, does it not seem highly likely that the entrance, toilets and vestibules were set on fire first?

C.S. Venkitasubramanyan,
Bangalore

* * *

Sir, — Whether the tragedy was the result of accident or arson, both are serious from the point of view of further investigation. Having accepted the accident theory suggested by the Banerjee report, the Railway Minister has his work cut out. Safety-wise, the track record of the Indian Railways is nothing to boast about.

As citizens we need to know what steps have been taken by the railway authorities to ensure that such incidents or accidents do not happen in future.

Vidya Vasudevan,
Chennai

* * *

Sir, — The Election Commission said the Union Railway Minister, Lalu Prasad, violated the model code of conduct by distributing money, but let him off with a warning. Now there are accusations that he is using the Banerjee report to create tension between communities in Bihar. The Commission should be strict in dealing with such incidents. How is it that the Left, which generally raises a hue and cry over such things, is looking on?

K.S. Sridharan,
Chennai

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