The Congress said Thursday the conviction of 24 people in the Gulberg killings was “half justice” as the “masterminds” are free while foot-soldiers have been found guilty. The BJP, for its part, said the ruling, which ruled out a conspiracy, had exposed the Congress, which it attacked for trying to malign Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and the BJP.
“We think without a mastermind, this carnage could not have been carried out. Masterminds are at various levels,” Congress spokesperson Jairam Ramesh told journalists. “I don’t want the say anything more… you must have understood.”
Asked whether “masterminds” are also sitting in Delhi, he said, “Masterminds are sitting at various levels. I don’t want to say more… I am not taking any names.”
He added, “It is half justice, not full justice. I say half justice because, the main accused – a BJP corporator – has been let free… In all such cases, our experience has been that the main masterminds somehow manage to get themselves free and the foot soldiers, the people who take orders, find themselves guilty. It is half justice and we certainly hope that not only the people who engaged in the actual massacre, but the people who masterminded and planned the massacre, are also brought to book. That is the only way that this matter can be brought to rest.”
For the BJP, the party’s president in Gujarat, Vijay Rupani, said, “The court ruling that it was not a conspiracy has poured water on attempts to discredit Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and the BJP.” He accused the Congress of trying to falsely implicate the two leaders and the BJP in “every incident after the Godhra train burning”.
“Those who have been acquitted may be happy, those convicted may be feeling sad, and those who feel justice was not adequately done can go to a higher court,” Gujarat BJP spokesman Bharat Pandya said.
“There may be sorrow in some quarters and happiness in some, but the allegation made by Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela that the incident was the result of a conspiracy is baseless,” Pandya said. “On one hand, the Congress says the court verdict is unsatisfactory and on the other, it is pointing fingers at Modi who has been given clean chit by the court. This amounts to contempt of court.”