January 19, 2005
Indian Muslim Council-USA, an advocacy group working towards protecting and promoting the pluralist and tolerant values of the Indian society, expressed its satisfaction at the interim report released by Justice Umesh Chandra Banerjee, head of the government inquiry committee investigating the incident of fire on the Ahmedabad-bound Sabarmati Express at Godhra on February 27, 2002.
The incident was blamed on local Muslim and set off days of rioting in Gujarat state in which more than 2000 people, most of them Muslims, died.
The interim report presented by Justice Banerjee, a retired Supreme Court Judge, concluded that the train fire was "accidental". He dismissed suggestions that inflammable liquid could have been thrown at the train from outside and said, "There has been a preponderance of evidence that the fire in coach number S6 originated in the coach itself without any external input."
Dr. Shaik Ubaid, President of IMC-USA said, "This is simply another piece of evidence that goes on to prove that the Gujarat genocide was planned and orchestrated by the BJP. Muslims were never responsible for the tragedy at Godhra, yet they were hunted and killed for weeks by the Government of Gujarat."
Today, around 100 Muslims remain under arrest and accused of the train fire at Godhra. Dr. Ubaid called for their release and an unconditional apology from the Bharatiya Janata Party to the Muslims of Gujarat.
Secretary General, IMC-USA
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