Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
Injustice Banerjee

Injustice Banerjee

Author: Editorial
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: January 19, 2005

What is Justice UC Banerjee trying to suggest? Does he want us to believe that on February 27, 2002, kar sevaks inside Coaches S-6 and S-7 of Sabarmati Express developed a collective suicidal urge and immolated themselves? Is Justice Banerjee of the view that the action of the "self-immolating" kar sevaks of Godhra should be a subject for anthropological study, similar to the birds of Jatinga in North Cachar who fly to their deaths every year in one of nature's most abiding mysteries? If his bizarre interim report on the burning alive of 57 kar sevaks were taken to its logical conclusion, fatal, mass self-hypnosis would appear to be the only explanation.

He has, no doubt, sought to soften the blow by calling it an accident. Was it also an accident, Mr Banerjee, that over 1,000 Godhra residents of a particular community gathered just outside the railway station at a place called Signal Falia that day and threw stones into the carriages breaking every glass pane, probably facilitating the propulsion of an inflammatory object from outside? The accident must be truly mysterious as the ex-Supreme Court judge, handpicked by self-styled secular messiah Lalu Yadav to "probe" the carnage, has ruled out electric short-circuit as probable cause of the fire.

We are left in no doubt that Justice Banerjee is an honourable man. So what if he chooses to go public with his "findings" just 15 days before the first round of voting in Bihar? So what, if the Minister who sponsored the inquiry promptly holds a news conference to give out more details to the media than the ex-judge is willing to reveal? So what, if the honourable former member of the country's highest judiciary refuses to submit himself to questions from the media at his Press conference? Those who are raising fingers at the veracity of the report and questioning the timing of its publication must be truly unmindful of judicial honour.

However, we are bewildered by the direct contradiction of Justice Banerjee's "findings" by the Special Investigating Team probing the carnage. Contrary to the mysterious accident theory propounded by the ex-judge, investigators on the ground told the Nanavati-Shah Commission that, in fact, confessional statements of the Godhra accused pointed to a major conspiracy involving terrorists.

Mr Lalu Yadav's unilateral and controversial decision to order a Railway Ministry probe into the incident when another judicial commission was at work already, had been questioned by many for being a politically motivated exercise. This newspaper had wondered whether the Lalu-sponsored commission's report would be pre-scripted to serve the wily Bihar leader's electoral machinations. Some had even suggested that it would be inappropriate for any past or present judge to agree to serve on Mr Yadav's commission when other fellow retired judges were already on the job.

But none of this deterred the honourable Mr Banerjee who promptly responded to the scam tainted RJD supremo's call. The "findings" of the commission have confirmed all apprehensions. The heartening aspect, however, is the ridicule with which the report has been greeted by almost everybody. Even the Congress is muted in Mr Banerjee's praise, embarrassed, no doubt, by the brazen political mileage being derived from it by its somewhere-ally, somewhere-rival UPA partner. From Mr Lalu Yadav and his ilk one expected no better. But we believed there was something called judicial conscience that would stop short of making fun of Godhra victims and their families. Maybe that was a misplaced expectation.

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements