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Godhra bogie was burnt from inside: Report

WEDNESDAY, JULY 03, 2002 12:05:58 AM

AHMEDABAD: The mystery over the burning of the S-6
compartment of Sabarmati Express at Godhra on
February 27, which killed 59 passengers and set
off an unprecedented spate of communal frenzy all
over Gujarat, has turned deeper with the forensic
report on the incident discounting the possibility
of the mob throwing inflammable liquid from
outside and then setting the bogie on fire.

Investigations made by the Ahmedabad-based
Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) have now shown
that almost 60 litres of inflammable material was
poured from inside the compartment before it was
set on fire.

A report by the FSL's Assistant Director Dr M S
Dahiya, which is part of the charge-sheet filed in
the Godhra case about a month back, is based on a
study of the pattern of the burns in the
compartment and a simulated exercise conducted on
May 3 to recreate the incident. The report
contradicts the view held so far that the mob
which attacked the train threw inflammable liquid
at the train using buckets and cans from a
distance, even while the passengers had shut all
the windows and doors of the compartment.

To recreate how the crime must have been
committed, a train bogie was placed at the same
spot. Using a variety of different containers, it
was doused with liquid for experimental

The report said the height of the window of the
bogie was found to be seven feet. In these
circumstances, it was not possible to throw
inflammable liquids into the bogie from the
outside with the help of a bucket or a jerry-can
because by this method most of the liquid fell
outside the bogie.

At the spot of the incident, at about a distance
of 14 feet, there was a mound of gravel-stones
about 3 feet high. It was spread parallel to the
bogie for a long distance. The FSL officials,
standing on the mound, threw water on the windows
of the bogie, of which only about 10 to 15 per
cent entered the bogie. The rest fell on the
outside. Since, a major portion of the inflammable
liquid fell on the tracks and around it, it would
have caused damage on the outside of the bogie and
under it.

The report says, "after inspecting the bogie and
the tracks, it was found that there is no effect
of fire below the windows. Taking this fact into
account and the burning pattern on the outside of
the bogie, the conclusion is that no inflammable
liquid was thrown into the bogie from the
outside". It further says, "it also does not look
possible that inflammable liquid was thrown in
from the doors of the bogie".

As a next step, using a bucket, about 60 litres of
water was thrown into the passage of the
compartment from one side and then a large part of
the bogie was covered. Water thrown like this went
only in one direction, no part of it flowed
outside from the open doors or in the direction of
the latrine.

"On the basis of this experimental observation,
the conclusion is that standing in the passage of
the compartment near seat number 72, using a
container with a wide opening, about 60 litres of
inflammable liquid has been poured and then
immediately a fire has been started in the bogie,"
the report says.

The FSL report further says that "it appears that
three of the four doors of the compartment were
open when it was burning while all the windows
were shut. The pattern of burning (allegatoring
pattern) shows that the intensity of the heat was
four times more towards the eastern side (towards
seat no. 72 of the bogies".

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