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Truth about Godhra incident
By Raj Babbar

When I was going from Delhi to Ahmadabad along with Party’s general secretary, Amar Singh, Shabana Azmi and Sita Ram Yechuri, the question that was haunting my mind was as to why after all human blood is being spilt on such a mass scale in Gujarat and what was the truth about Godhra train incident which was the basis of all this bloodshed and which was described an organized conspiracy by communalists. After reaching Ahmadabad airport from Delhi and from there to state guest-house, circuit house and while passing through empty and lovely but frightening roads I saw burnt cars and other vehicles and shops everywhere. Seeing large crowds inside the lanes and latticed gates of houses even at one o’clock at night, one could understand that situation is not yet under control. Any thing could happen anywhere any time. Moving about and seeing all these things it was 3 am.

As soon as people in the city came to know about our arrival, bells on my and my colleagues’ mobile phones started ringing continuously and their heart-rending stories continued bringing tears to our eyes. There was no trace of sleep in our eyes and the same question was repeatedly haunting our mind. Somehow night was spent and before sunrise we had set out for civil hospital. In the hospital also, my inquisitive mind was trying to find out the truth about Godhra train incident. And finally I got the answer to my question when I saw a fourteen-year old child sitting on the ground along with his burnt mother in the Burn Ward of civil hospital. His father also was admitted in the ICU of this hospital whose life was hanging between life and death. One of his brothers was missing. This innocent child, Gyan Prakash told me that they were travelling from Allahabad to Ahmadabad and had got three reserved seats. When the ‘karsevaks’ boarded the train at Ayodhya, they forcibly grabbed their seats. They were compelled to sit on one seat with great difficulty. Slogan shouting and rowdysm by ‘karsevaks’ continued. When the TTE asked for their tickets, they pushed and drove him away. On their way they picked up any eatable from the hawkers at the stations without paying for any thing and continued indulging in rowdysm and sloganeering. Meanwhile, they picked up a quarrel with a tea vendor at Godhra railway station who was insisting for payment but they were not prepared to pay. This was the reason which ultimately led to the train incident. Incidentally this tea vendor was a Muslim who lived in a jhuggi of the nearby railway colony. The train was stopped here after pulling the chain. On this man’s shouting, the residents of the jhuggi assembled there and set this compartment on fire. Continued

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