//Citizens Letter to PM about Godhra train burning

Citizens Letter to PM about Godhra train burning

Citizens Letter to India’s Prime Minster seeking release of people unfairly held on charge of burning the train in Godhra, Gujarat

Released by Shabnam Hashmi (ANHAD)

Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
South Block
New Delhi-110001

January 28, 2005

Dear Dr. Singh,

Justice U.C.Bannerjee’s interim report on Godhra train burning confirms that there was no conspiracy by the local Muslims to burn the train. One recalls this conspiracy theory, manufactured by Narendra Modi, was used as a pretext to launch the Anti Muslim pogrom in Gujarat. Mr. Modi came up with this thesis based on his political calculations and Sangh combine launched itself into the massacre of over two thousand innocents. Interestingly Mr. Modi concocted this conclusion out of his hat in barely half hours time, and despite the Collector of Godhra pointing out to the contrary, Modi asserted that it was a pre-planned conspiracy by Muslims. He decided to take the bodies to rouse the communal passions and rest is the horrifying history, which hopefully should never ever be permitted to repeat itself.

Mass hysteria was generated on the ground that Hindus have to take revenge of the killing of Kar Sevaks by Muslims. Mr. Haren Pandya, who was later killed, told the citizens tribunal about the state officials being told to sit back when the Hindus will be taking revenge of Godhra killings. Mr. Vajpayee the then prime minister while shedding the crocodile tears also went on to justify the carnage by stating, "but who lit the fire?" The Citizens tribunal with eminent judges and social workers after painstaking investigation concluded that it might have been an accident and that there was no evidence of the conspiracy by Muslim groups. Also despite the lapse of over two and a half years no evidence has been produced and no definitive accused located who was part of this massive conspiracy, since it was not one.

Irrespective of these logical points, the propaganda mill of RSS family asserted this motivated falsehood in an aggressive manner and large section of civil society was made to believe that Muslims burnt the train. The state Government arrested over two hundred Muslims under draconian POTA act on the charge of being part of the conspiracy to burn the train. Surprisingly despite the provisions of Railway act the train accident was never investigated by the compliant rail minister, Neetish Kumar in an effort to appease his BJP allies, and failed in his duties and obligations by not investigating the horrific train accident. The simple facts pointing to the conclusion that it might have been an accident were put under the carpet. We as a nation have a lot to learn from the antics of RSS family.

Over two hundred innocent Muslims who have been rotting for ‘burning the train’ need our attention immediately. We demand that all those who have been put behind the bars on the charge of burning the train be immediately released and suitably compensated for the torture and humiliation, which they have suffered during this long period. It is also urgent to attempt to formulate provisions so that the likes of Modis cannot usurp the due process of law to pursue their divisive politics.

Sincerely yours

1. Aditya Mukherjee
2. AD Golandaz
3. Ali Asghar-COVA
4. Amit Sengupta-Editor,Commentary & Analysis,Tehelka
5. Ammu Abraham
6. Anand Patwardhan
7. Anil Chowdhary
8. Anish Mokshi-IIT Mumbai
9. Anu Chenoy
10. Anu Fern
11. Apoorvanand
12. Arjun Dev
13. Asghar Ali Engineer
14. Cletus Zuzarte
15. Digant Oza
16. Dolphy D’souza
17. Dr Ram Puniyani
18. Farha Naqvi
19. Fr.Cedric Prakash
20. G N Devy
21. Gauhar Raza
22. Gita Hariharan
23. Harsh Kapoor
24. Harsh Mander
25. Humra Qureshi
26. I.K.Shukla
27. Indu Prakash Singh
28. J G Krishnayya
29. J. Sri Raman- journalist and Convener, Movement for People’s Unity, Chennai
30. John Dayal
31. Kamla Bhasin
32. Kamal Mitra Chenoy
33. KM Shrimali
34. KN Panikkar
35. Ra Ravishankar-University of Illinois (Urbana)
36. Malika Sarabhai
37. Manorma Dewan
38. Mansi Sharma
39. Mukul Dube
40. Mukundan C. Menon, CHRO, Keralam
41. Nalini Taneja
42. Nandita Das
43. NFIW
44. Poornima Joshi
45. Pralay Kanungo
46. Prashant Bhushan
47. Purshottam Agrawal
48. PVS Kumar
49. Rahul Roy
50. Rizwan Qaiser
51. Saba Dewan
52. Sandeep Vaidya
53. S.Irfan Habib
54. Shabi Farooq-San Francisco
55. Shabnam Hashmi
56. Shalini Gera
57. Sheelu-Tamilnadu Women’s Collective
58. Shishir Kr. Jha
59. Shivali Tukdeo-Urbana, IL àUSA
60. Smita Shah
61. Shubha Mudgal
62. Shweta
63. Shyam Benegal.
64. SM Shahed
65. Sohail Hashmi
66. Stalin
67. Sukla Sen-Ekta (Committee for Communal Amity)
68. Suma Josson
69. Swami Agnivesh
70. Tarun J Tejpal
71. Vincent-NCDHR
72. V Ramchandran
73. Virendre Prakash
74. Zakia Zowher
75. Zoya Hasan

Copy to Mr. Shivraj Patil Home Minster, Govt. of India