British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the national broadcaster of
the United Kingdom, aired a two-part series documentary attacking PM
Narendra Modi’s tenure as Gujarat Chief Minister during the Gujarat
riots of 2002.
India on Thursday denounced the
controversial BBC documentary series on Prime Minister Narendra Modi
and described it as a “propaganda piece” that is designed to push a
One of the nefarious objectives behind the documentary was to cast
aspersions on the role of Islamists in the Godhra train carnage, which
claimed a total of 59 Hindu lives.
At about 9:12 minutes into the programme, it claimed, “The final
death toll was 59 and the cause of the fire was disputed. But at the
time, Muslims were blamed.”
Former BBC reporter Jill McGivering was then brought in to
further lend credence to the insinuation. “This is in a State that has a
particular history of tensions between the Hindu majority and the
Muslim minority. There is a history of communal violence, nasty
violence,” she was heard saying.
“And the concern was something like this happens, the Hindu community
will feel angered that their community has been targeted,” McGivering
further added while she tried to portray Narendra Modi as a Hindu
hardliner who avenged the riots.
But by doing so, the BBC nullified the role of the extremists who set
the Sabarmati express on fire, which is not disputed in any sense.
The truth about the 2002 Godhra train carnage
On 27th February 2002, the Sabarmati express was scheduled to reach
Godhra station at about 3:30 am. On that day, the train was running four
hours late. As such, it arrived at Godhra by 7:40 am.
8 minutes later, a mob of 2000 Islamists set 59 Hindus, including 25 women and 15 children, in the coach S6 of the train on fire in Godhra’s predominantly Muslim area – Signal Falia.
31 Islamists were found guilty of
the Godhra massacre on February 22, 2011, by the trial court (with only
11 receiving the death penalty and 20 receiving life in prison), and
all 31 convictions were affirmed by the Gujarat High Court in October
2017, resulting in everyone receiving a life sentence. Prior to that,
based on the testimony of
witnesses and survivors, it was obvious to anybody with even a modicum
of intellectual integrity that Muslims had set the train on fire.
In February 2003, an accused person made a judicial confession in
which he acknowledged that Godhra was a well-planned attack and that he
had personally participated in it. A judicial confession is conclusive
evidence. This proves that the Godhra carnage was a preplanned attack on
the innocent Karsevaks.
In the March 2006 issue of Outlook, a report was published. This report includes the following two paragraphs:
Gayatri Panchal, a resident of Ahmedabad, who survived the
incident on February 27, 2002, but lost both her parents in her reaction
to the report has said, “The report of the Banerjee Commission is
absolutely wrong. I have seen everything with my own eyes and barely
escaped myself but lost both my parents.”
Panchal, who has three sisters, said the Banerjee Commission
report was not correct as the fire could not have been accidental as no
one was cooking in the S-6 coach and it was packed with passengers.
“Mobs pelted stones at the coach for a long and then threw in burning
rags and also poured some inflammable material so that the coach was on
fire. I will maintain the same wherever I am called to depose on the
matter,” Panchal said.
So, it is clear that, according to the eyewitness account, coach S-6
caught fire when Muslims drenched it in gasoline, set it ablaze, and
circled the railway from all sides to prevent the Ramsewaks from
leaving, according to the police’s obviously plausible statement.
It becomes necessary to refer to the Nanavati-Mehta commission’s comments which
cite the forensic science laboratory’s reports. The report denies all
the possibilities and conspiracies raised by Muslims and liberal
activists inventing multiple reasons for the coach being set ablaze.