What has long been suspected has, six years later, been confirmed: the Godhra train fire (2/2002) which burned some 60 Hindu pilgrims alive was, in fact, initiated by Muslim extremists. Hindus long assumed this, and went on a rampage against Muslims in the Gujarat district soon after the Godhra train incident. Ironically, Osama bin Laden used to point to this episode as evidence of non-Muslim hatred for Muslims (The Al Qaeda Reader, 27). Now the facts are clear. Once again, it was Muslims who cast the first stone.
“Mob of Muslims attacked train, says Nanavati Commission,” by Manas Dasgupta for The Hindu, September 25:
GANDHINAGAR: The Nanavati-Mehta judicial inquiry commission on the Godhra train carnage has based its conclusion of it being a “pre-planned conspiracy” on the recorded evidence of over 100 witnesses, who claimed to having heard a crowd of about a 1,000 Muslims shouting “set the train on fire and kill the Hindus.” The report said “instigating slogans” were also made through loudspeakers from a nearby mosque to attack the Hindus.
The evidence recorded by the commission also claimed that a mob of Muslims attacked the train and stoned the coaches so heavily that the passengers could not come out. This was to ensure maximum casualties when the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express was “set afire.”
The commission in its 168-page report said the “conspiracy” was hatched by some local Muslims at the Aman guest house in Godhra the previous night. The conspirators immediately made arrangements for collecting about 140 litres of petrol from a nearby pump on the night of February 26, 2002, and the next day when the train arrived in Godhra, Hasan Lala after forcibly opening the vestibule between coaches S-6 and S-7 entered S-6 and threw burning rags setting it on fire.
The commission said the passengers of the train were attacked the second time some three hours after the stone throwing and burning incident when the train was being shunted to detach the two affected coaches. Two mobs of Muslims of about 700 people started pelting stones on the passengers waiting at the yard for the train to reassemble and resume their onward journey to Ahmedabad. The police had to open fire killing two persons and injuring one to disperse the violent mobs. This refutes the theory that it was an accidental fire, it claimed.