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Rejoinder
Do people have a right to know the truth?

The Godhra incident is still being discussed. The media is also showing interest. The Times of India has done an investigation into S-6 bogey’s passengers of ill-fated Sabarmati Express train. 

The TOI report said that only 59 passengers had made the reservations. Three of them later cancelled their reservations. There is no information about four passengers. Forty-one out of 52 passengers reached their destination, 32 of them did not receive even minor injuries. Only 11 of them are presumed to be dead. But the media had reported that all 52 passengers of S-6 were burnt to death.

The new information brought by TOI raises many questions. The big one is, how the survivors (41) of the S-6 managed to escape? Were they not in the compartment at that time? Were those killed had no tickets? Why was it assumed that they were karsevaks? 

The incident had occurred at a railway station so it became the concern of the railway department as well as the state administration. The railways and Gujarat government both had ordered separate inquiries into the incident. But no report has been submitted by either of them by now. The probe of railways was about to go into cold storage had the bifurcation of railway zone had not come up in the Parliament. Former Railway Minister Mamta Banerji said in the Parliament that the bifurcation of Eastern Railway zone was a gift to the Railway Minister Nitish Kumar to conceal the reality. Ms Banerji did not talk in detail about this. But the Railway Minister got the message. He promised the railways would submit its report soon.

The blame of the Godhra train burning incident has entirely been fixed on Muslims. All the arrested, after the train-burning and subsequent riots, were Muslims.

So far, the reality has not surfaced. Whether the karsevaks were innocent or their misbehavior had provoked the incident? Those who are accused of attack on the train are really culprits or it is a mere propaganda. 

Obaid Ahmad
New Delhi
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