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Rediff.com  » News » Godhra verdict: Justice Bannerjee stands by his findings

Godhra verdict: Justice Bannerjee stands by his findings

February 23, 2011 21:11 IST

Justice U C Banerjee, who had described the Godhra train carnage as "accidental", said he will stand by his inquiry commission report "200 per cent."

A day after a special court in Ahmedabad accepted the conspiracy theory in the burning of a coach of the Sabarmati Express that killed 59 kar sewaks, Justice Banerjee, a retired Supreme Court judge, said he was surprised that the special court has acquitted the main accused Maulvi Umarji.

"I stand by my report 200 per cent that it was an accidental fire in a coach of the Sabarmati Express at Godhra station on February 27, 2002, and I will not deviate from that," Justice Banerjee told PTI from Hyderabad over phone.

Initially refusing to comment on Tuesday's judgement, he said, "I am yet to get a copy of the judgement (delivered by the special court which yesterday confirmed conspiracy theory behind the coach burning) and it has not been sent to me".

Justice Banerjee, who was appointed as head of the commission by United Progressive Alliance government in 2005 when Lalu Prasad was the railway minister, said he had prepared his inquiry report after extensively going into all aspects and examining 80 witnesses before finalising his conclusion.

Asked about the judgement of the special court of Ahmedabad, he said "It is really surprising to me as the main accused was acquitted. But I would tell you that I have yet to get a copy of the judgement".

To a question, he said his report was never guided by any political considerations and was strictly based on evidences. The Banerjee Commission had said dismissed the conspiracy theory behind the train carnage and described it as accidental.

Fifty nine passengers, mostly Kar Sevaks from Ayodhya, were killed in the fire in S6 coach of Sabarmati Express at Godhra station on February 27, 2002.

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