new Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday accused former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav of trying to portray the 2002 Godhra train carnage as a tragedy and appointed a new committee to probe the incident. BJP MP Brijlal referred to the Godhra issue during the debate on the Criminal Procedure (Identity) Bill and questioned the formation of the UC Banerjee Commission in September 2004 by the then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav to investigate the incident.

What does the Punch Report say?
Referring to the Godhra incident, Lal said that on February 27, 2002, a fire broke out in a coach of the Sabarmati Express, in which 59 people died. He said that the then RJD Railway Minister had constituted the UC Banerjee Commission, in which a report was submitted on January 17, 2005. The report said that the fire was accidental and there is no report of fire in the coach. The commission’s report said that there were sadhus in the coach, who were consuming narcotics and it was their fault that the fire started.

Lal Singh, a former IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, arrested 11 convicts.
He said the trial court had awarded death sentence to 11 convicts in the case and accused some opposition parties of being sympathetic to the extremists. The High Court later commuted the death sentence of 11 convicts to life imprisonment, while upholding the earlier life sentence of 20 others. After his statement, there was uproar in the house. RJD MP Manoj Jai said that after any such incident whether it happened in Kashmir or Godhra or Delhi, “We all are collectively responsible for it. You can’t blame anyone else for this.

Home Minister Amit Shah, who was present in the house, stood up and surrounded Lalu Prasad Yadav.
He took it and said, “Maybe Zee did not listen to Lal’s speech, who did not say anything irrational.” Shah said, ‘At that time the Railway Minister tried to give a different angle to the incident in which people were burnt alive. Without naming Lalu Prasad Yadav, Shah said after coming to know about this fact, an inquiry was going on by a former Supreme Court-appointed judge who had appointed a new committee using the Railways Act. “It was a tragedy and not a conspiracy,” Shah said. The Supreme Court had dismissed the petition.

Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement
The Home Minister said that that is why he (Brij Lal) said that an attempt was made to give him a different direction. Nothing came out of this committee. He said, ‘Now it is the decision of the Supreme Court. It was an attempt to save the seven accused who had killed the people. Brijlal wanted to show us this. Subsequently, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh, who was presiding over the session, asked Shah to reply to the discussion on the Criminal Procedure (Identity) Bill.