M A I N   N E W S

Godhra report rocks Parliament
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 6
The government today informed the Rajya Sabha that it would table the U.C. Banerjee Committee report on the Godhra train tragedy in Parliament tomorrow, which found that the blaze in the Sabarmati Express was “accidental.”

Both Houses witnessed uproar resulting in the adjournment of the Lok Sabha for the day as treasury benches and their supporting parties demanded the dismissal of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the basis of the findings of the report and the BJP-led Opposition terming the final report of the committee as “totally false.”

Responding to members’ demand, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachauri said in the Rajya Sabha that the government had already tabled the interim report on March 4 and the final report would be placed in the House tomorrow.

The report had concluded that the February, 2001, fire in one of the coaches of the Sabarmati Express train in Godhra in which 57 persons had died was an accident and not the result of a conspiracy.

“Modi hatao, desh bachao (remove Modi and save the country)” slogans rent the air in the Lok Sabha during zero hour as non-NDA members, including those from the Congress, Left parties, Samajwadi Party and BSP rushed, towards the well.

This was countered by the BJP-led Opposition with the BJP’s deputy leader V.K. Malhotra dismissing the report as “totally false” and accusing the committee of giving a “bad name” to the judiciary.

The matter also figured in the Rajya Sabha during zero hour with Congress and BJP members trading charges and demanding tabling of the report.

In the Lok Sabha, CPI(M)’s Rup Chand Pal even wanted a public trial of Mr Modi, alleging that riots that followed the train tragedy were part of a well-planned conspiracy involving the RSS and BJP with active connivance of the Modi government.

As heated exchanges started between ruling benches and the BJP-led Opposition, Sumitra Mahajan, who was in the Chair in the Lok Sabha, adjourned the House for lunch recess. Even after the Lok Sabha was adjourned, two angry BJP and BSP members nearly came to blows but an ugly situation was adverted with the intervention of their colleagues.

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