The Godhra verdict: Will there be closure?

By Reuters Staff
February 21, 2011

A special court in Ahmedabad on Tuesday handed down death sentences to 11 people convicted in the Godhra train burning case. 20 others were given life-terms.

A policeman walks towards the entrance of a train carriage set ablaze in Godhra February 27, 2002. REUTERS/Stringer/FilesThe deadly train fire in Godhra killed 59 passengers, most of them Hindu pilgrims, and triggered riots in the Hindu-dominated state of Gujarat. A mob of Muslim men was blamed for starting the fire.

More than 2,500 people, most of them Muslims, were burned and hacked to death in a month of violence in Gujarat in 2002, according to human rights groups. Officials put the death toll at about 1,000.

Will there be any closure for the victims of the Godhra incident and the subsequent riots? Share your views.


Given the dilatory pace of dispensing “justice” in the country talking of closure may be premature, even Kasab’s case — an open and shut one, if any — has gone to the High Court with two more steps to go (the SC and the President). This is just the end of the beginning, not even the beginning of the end.

Posted by VipulTripathi | Report as abusive

The power structure in India is such that there is always a need to protect the ruling classes or parties. In such a scene half truths are created to support theories that are propounded by political game makers.
In this case, the main accused of the conspiracy has been let free while thirty one people are to be tried for murder. If the main conspirator is free, then how can the conspiracy theory be upheld and how does one corroborate two different enquiry reports finding two different results before?

Posted by esharah | Report as abusive

Closure is unfortunately too soon to talk about, however, ideally it is the first thing that pops in one’s mind. Closure for the victim’s families, survivors and the residents/witnesses of the ordeal will probably never arrive. A relief of sorts too will be felt only when the orchestrator is brought to book, which we are well aware isn’t something we are going to hear anytime soon – or ever.

Posted by Anuja.J | Report as abusive

Now that a Congress legislator (Bilal) has been found guilty in this case, there will be more efforts by the Congress-led Central government to muddy the waters. So no, there will be no closure.

Posted by gimlize | Report as abusive

Our judicial system, though very democratic in nature. is so slow that Godhra sentences are coming almost 9 years later. Kasab will probably continue being our five-star guest for a good long time until a sentence comes around to execution. My prime concernm, and I’m sure for many others, is when is Modi going to be put in the dock. A closure will happen the day the “high and mighty” are exterminated.

Posted by Anuja.J | Report as abusive

The Godhra case is now closed, but what about Gujarat?

I’m nominally Hindu, but it seems to me that justice gets served when minorities attack the majority community, but not the other way around.

Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

For nine years, the 93 accused were kept in the jail and tried. The evidence is self confession and eye witnesses. How many criminal cases are decided based on self confession?

Who are these eye witnesses – the 63 acquitted? If so, was it a price that they were made to pay for their acquittal?

Posted by Javeed | Report as abusive

After 7 months, it seems too distant to be possible. Modi even might become the prime minister. Though today it seems a tad impossible, it could become a reality if Modi continues this way.

Posted by yhwh | Report as abusive

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see