VADODARA: Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal activists paid tributes to the victims of the Sabarmati Express carnage at Godhra on Monday. The organisations have been doing so every year after the February 27, 2002, carnage that left 59 persons dead.
The word “Godhra” records the gruesome killing of some 59 innocent people, including 25 women and 15 children and injuries to 40 by Muslims. Independent India saw many horrors. This was one of the worst of them.
VHP and Bajrang Dal members brought out a motorcycle rally from Chanchad Chowk in Godhra town and reached the railway yard where the ill-fated S-6 coach that was charred has been kept along with the S-5 coach of the train.
Around 50 persons had joined the rally, said officials in the railway police.
Government Railway Police (GRP) superintendent of police S S Baranda said that no untoward incident was reported during the event.
“They just offered flowers and prayed at the coach,” said Baranda. A posse of policemen including sleuths of the GRP’s local crime branch remained present at the coach along with a sniffer dog.The programme that is being held since 2003 used to witness a much larger gathering earlier, but the numbers have thinned over the years. Unlike previous years, most workers who had reached the place were allowed to go to the coach.
A Sundarkand recitation by Ashwin Pathak was also held in the evening in the town. Pathak performs the recitation every year and has committed that he will keep doing so.
A drive to collect grains was also held during the event. The grains will be donated to various organisations in Godhra.