Ten years can be a lifetime in today's here-and-now world. Ten years after the Gujarat violence, the state claims to have moved on. Relative peace and the engine of enterprise have taken the state into another orbit. Its Chief Minister Narendra Modi is being seen in some quarters as a potential Prime Minister, a role model of good governance. But what of those who were caught in the vortex of violence? Have they been able to move on? Have they achieved any sense of closure? Have the scars of a divided society healed?
Lets begin our journey to find some answers in the town where it all began: Godhra. For the residents of Signal Falia, a Muslim ghetto near Godhra railway junction, February 27th 2002 is a morning they will never forget. A majority of the 94 accused of burning the S6 coach of the Sabarmati Express, leading to the death of 59 Kar Sevaks, were from the dusty by-lanes of Signal Falia. Inayat Jujhara was an elderly government clerk who spent nine years in jail under POTA till he was acquitted last year. The nine years were like an eternity for him and his family who now run a small provision store in the area.
Sixty three of the Godhra accused were acquitted last year. But for many it was a case of too little, too late. Siddiq Bakkar pushed a trolley on Godhra railway station when he was picked up and jailed. He was acquitted of
08:53 PM, Feb 25, 2012