New Delhi: The Congress on Friday alleged that a lapse on the part of the prosecution led to the acquittal of all 67 accused in the post-Godhra riots in Ahmedabad’s Naroda Gam and hoped that while justice may be delayed it will not be denied.
The party also said it will continue to pursue this case and reaffirmed its support for the victims of these heinous crimes and the families that survive them.
The Ahmedabad-based court of S K Baxi, special judge for Special Investigation Team (SIT) cases, acquitted all the 67 accused, including former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani and ex-Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi, in one of the worst massacres witnessed during the state-wide riots triggered by the Sabarmati train carnage on February 27, 2002, after a trial spanning 13 years and half a dozen judges.
The Naroda Gam case was probed by a Supreme Court-appointed SIT.
“While we will await the detailed judgment to offer a comprehensive statement, it is clear that there has been a categorical lapse on the part of the prosecution in the performance of its role. The only way the prosecution and the prosecuting state can prove this to be false is if they pursue the appeals process with seriousness and expediency,” Congress general secretary, communications, Jairam Ramesh said in a statement.
“Justice is a right that must be secured through a constant vigil. The Indian National Congress will continue to follow this case. We also reaffirm our support for the victims of these heinous crimes and the families that survive them. We hope that while justice may be delayed it will not be denied,” he also said.
While a lawyer of the victims’ families said the judgement will be challenged before the Gujarat High Court because “justice was denied” to them, the accused and their relatives termed the verdict, which came more than 21 years after the incident, a “victory of truth”.