The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) hails the judgement of the Mumbai Sessions court which conducted the retrial of the Best Bakery Carnage on the orders of the Supreme Court. Nine of the 17 people charged with torching the Best Bakery in Vadodara on March 1, 2002 in a State-sponsored communal carnage in Gujarat have been awarded life imprisonment. The court also issued perjury notices to Zaheera Sheikh and her family members.
In a related development, the Supreme Court appointed committee headed by the Register General of the Supreme Court has indicted Zaheera Sheikh as a “self-condemned liar” falling to “inducements” by “certain powers” to give “inconsistent” statements during the trial of the case. At the same time, the committee cleared social activist Teesta Setalvad of all charges of inducement leveled by those seeking to subvert the delivery of justice in this case.
This judgement once again vindicates that the Gujarat government and its administration not only played a major role in the post-Godhra communal carnage but has also systematically sought to protect the guilty. Following this judgement, the Narendra Modi government lacks all moral authority to continue.
Even at this late stage, the Central Government, following the Supreme Court’s direction, must independently pursue the investigations into the other major incidents of communal carnage that took place in Gujarat in March-April 2002. This needs to be undertaken with an urgency in order to restore faith in the country concerning the effectiveness of the system of delivering justice. The PB of the CPI(M) urges upon the UPA government to urgently proceed on the recommendations of the apex court on this matter.