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US advocacy group wants apology from BJP
Suman Guha Mozumder in New York |
January 22, 2005 16:54 IST
The Indian Muslim Council-USA, an advocacy group working to protect and promote pluralist and tolerant values of the Indian society, has demanded an unconditional apology from the Bharatiya Janata Party for blaming Muslims for the 2002 Godhra train fire.
The fire on the Ahmedabad-bound Sabarmati Express at Godhra on February 27, 2002, was blamed on local Muslims and it set off days of rioting in Gujarat where more than 2000 people were killed.
Expressing satisfaction over the interim report of the government-appointed inquiry committee on the Godhra massacre, IMC-USA noted that the report prepared by Justice Umesh Chandra Banerjee, a retired Supreme Court judge and head of the committee, has concluded that the train fire was "accidental".
The judge also dismissed suggestions that inflammable liquid could have been thrown on to the train from outside, citing what he called "a preponderance of evidence" that the fire in coach number S-6 originated in the coach itself without any external input.
"This is simply another piece of evidence that goes on to prove that the Gujarat genocide was planned and orchestrated by the BJP," said Dr Shaik Ubaid, president, IMC-USA. "Muslims were never responsible for the tragedy at Godhra, yet they were hunted and killed for weeks by the government of Gujarat," he said.
Ubaid called for the release of about 100 Muslims who are still under detention for alleged involvement in the fire.