Godhra incident not Muslims’ work: Indian scientists
By Iftikhar Gilani
NEW DELHI: A group of top Indian scientists have corroborated the findings of Justice (r) UC Banerjee committee report absolving Muslims of the burning of a train two years ago that sparked off India’s worst anti-Muslim riots in Godhra in Gujarat state.
A 36-page report prepared by experts has endorsed the conclusion that the fire was not caused by any flammable fluid thrown on the floor of the coach from a mob.
The scientists who included AK Roy, chemical engineer and an expert in hazards and safety, Dinesh Mohan, professor of biomedical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology and SN Chakravarty, former chief mechanical engineer at Railways coaching section, said the fire may have initiated in the luggage below the seats. “It is possible that the material below the seats smoldered before the smoke was noticed. Heavy smoke is not likely to have appeared immediately after the fire began,” they concluded.
Pointing out inconsistencies in the arguments of Hindu nationalists claiming that flammable substances were thrown from outside the train, the report raps the police for being “totally unsystematic and shoddy” in recording the passengers’ statements.
The post-mortems of the victims have also been dubbed “unscientific and unreliable” as “26 were conducted in the yard without adequate equipment” and average time of 38 minutes taken for the post-mortem was “too little to get details of injuries, preserving relevant tissues, etc”. The report said it was not possible that 26 bodies would have almost identical injuries.