AHMEDABAD, Gujarat(SAR NEWS) --The ruling of the Gujarat high court February 12 that the burning of the S6 compartment of the Sabarmati Express in Godhra on February 27, 2002, was not an act of terror and therefore and that POTA cannot be made applicable to the accused, has come as a ray of hope to many. .
For seven years now, the victims of the carnage -- that followed the burning of this compartment -- together with several human rights and social activists, have waged a relentless campaign for truth and justice. The wheels towards this have so far moved slowly. The ruling of the Gujarat high court is therefore significant. .
In the meantime, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) has submitted its status report to the Supreme Court. Due to the efforts of SIT, a high-ranking police official is now under arrest; but more powerful ones seem to have covered themselves with immunity and are still roaming scot-free. Several cases which were filed in 2002 still languish in various courts. One wonders whether these will see the light of day. .
The Official Gujarat continues to hide under a mask as though 2002 the bloodiest chapter of the states history does not exist. The façade of a vibrant and global Gujarat has very cleverly succeeded in defocusing from critical ground realities which grip large sections of the states population. .
Martin Luther King III, the son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who arrived in New Delhi February 15 on a 13-day visit, will soon trace his fathers footsteps and echo the message of his visit to Gujarat fifty years ago, not as a tourist but as a pilgrim, -- to pay tribute as his father did, to Gandhis philosophy of Ahimsa (non-violence) and Satyagraha (force of truth). This will be a powerful wake-up call -- that we rise up as one people, to ensure that justice, which still eludes thousands of our sisters and brothers, will be rightfully theirs and that we realise the one motto the founding fathers gave our nation Satyameva Jayate (truth alone triumphs)! .
(Fr. Cedric Prakash sj is the Director of Prashant, the Ahmedabad-based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace) .