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Godhra in retrospect
|A news item published in the 25 February issue of Hindi daily Jan Morcha, published from Ayodhya, is as follows:
"Faizabad, 24 Feb: ‘Trishul dharis’ (trishul holders) of Bajrang Dal travelling by Sabarmati Express to Ayodhya this morning let loose their terror on dozens of unarmed Muslim passengers, women in ‘burqa’ and innocent children in all their fury and compelled them to raise the slogan of ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Some of them described themselves as Hindus and thus saved their lives.
According to eye-witnesses, about two thousand Bajrang Dal activists carrying ‘trishuls’ and travelling by Sabarmati Express coming from Lucknow had in fact started their hooliganism from Daryabad railway station itself. Whoever among the train passengers was identified as Muslim was gored with ‘trishuls’ and seriously injured by hitting with iron rods. They did not spare even women and innocent children. They tore the veils of women to shreds, hit them with iron rods and dragged them. Same rowdyism continued from Daryabad to Rudauli station. According to an eye-witness, a youngman who tried to resist was thrown out of the train between Patranga and Rauza Gaon stations. The train arrived at the Rudauli railway station around 8 in the morning. As soon as the train came to a halt, many injured ladies, drenched with blood jumped out of the train on the platform. Simultaneously, Bajrang Dal activists identified Muslims and started targetting them on the platform. One passenger Ata Mohammad, who was waiting on the platform for the train to Allahabad, was badly beaten. Some others were also compelled to raise the slogan of ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Some of them projected themselves as Hindus and saved their lives."