Ahmedabad: According to a reference book on the political history of Gujarat published by University Granth Nirman Board (UGNB), the February 2002 Sabarmati train fire was part of a “conspiracy” hatched by Congress’s elected members from Godhra.
The book, titled “Gujarat Ni Rajkiya Gatha” (Political Saga of Gujarat), was published in December 2018. Bhavnaben Dave, a former BJP MP and current vice-chairperson of the board has edited the book.
A paragraph in the book reads “To destabilise a stable government, a conspiracy was hatched on February 27, 2002. A coach of Sabarmati (Express) train carrying kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya was set on fire. Fifty-nine kar sevaks were charred to death. This conspiracy was hatched by elected members of the Congress from Godhra.”
Terming it as the BJP government’s attempt to saffronise UGNB, the opposition Congress said it would seek a legal opinion against the writers for “twisting” the court verdict in the Godhra train burning case.
The Indian Express quoted Dave as saying, “Nothing mentioned in the book is without facts. Every mention is supported by facts. We have prepared it keeping all the facts in mind. Since all do not know about the history of Gujarat, it was the responsibility of the University Granth Nirman Board to prepare books on the state’s history”.
Worst communal riots in the history of Gujarat followed the Godhra train burning incident of February 27, 2002, in which over 1,000 people, mostly belonging to the minority community, were killed.